Schoolchildren enjoy skating lesson at rice paddy-turned ice rink

Children in a city north of Tokyo are enjoying skating lessons at a rice paddy-turned ice rink.

Every winter, residents of the Fukiage district in Tochigi City pour water over rice paddies to create the rink. The ice is now about 15 centimeters thick.

A group of 36 children from the local Chizuka Elementary School took a skating lesson there on Thursday.

Many initially had difficulty maintaining their balance on the ice. But they soon learned to glide on the slippery surface.

A fourth grader says it was fun skating together with his friends.

A second grader says she slipped and fell many times, but was pleased to learn to skate little by little.

The rink is also open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays through January 29.