Why bundle up your leftover straw into bales when you can build amazing dinosaurs instead? That’s what residents of Japan’s Niigata Prefecture did for the Wara Art Festival, an annual event that takes place at the end of August. Every year, students, artists, and volunteers celebrate the end of the local rice harvest by spending huge amounts of effort to construct gigantic straw sculptures in a temporary art exhibition.
Niigata is a region renowned in Japan for its delicious rice, but it also attracts a steady stream of tourists who come every fall to visit the famous Wara Art. This year’s sculptures include a roaring T-rex, triceratops, menacing praying mantis, and even a cute floating duck. Past festival artists have created sculptures of gorillas, sumo wrestlers, and even a yeti-like monster with a cave mouth large enough to walk into.
Each artwork starts out as a wood frame. Builders attach the straw to the frames with a technique similar to that of building a thatched roof. The sculptures are located in Niigata City’s Uwasekigata Park, where they will stay until the beginning of November.