~A hidden gem away from all the tourist hot spots of Japan~

japanese green tea & tea farms
cycling along Lake Biwa
mochi rice cake making in the traditional method

hieizan enryaku-ji temple and gyojya pathway
hieizan enryakuji temple & roof masters
meditation & yoga at Lake Biwa

Why not go beyond visiting typical tourist spots and take a break from ordinary sightseeing by joining our special programs?

 We are based in Shiga Prefecture on the western shore of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. On our tour, you can experience quality Japanese traditional life as well as a farm to table cooking experience while enjoying heartwarming exchanges with our local host families who welcome you with their natural hospitality.  

 We offer programs where you can enjoy the beautiful scenes of Lake Biwa or terraced rice fields either by bicycle or by foot at a leisurely pace while learning about the traditional local culture and art.

 Led by our personable and knowledgeable local guides, the tours are either private or as part of a small group to ensure their utmost satisfaction. It’s a great chance to encounter authentic local Japanese life amidst the stunningly beautiful countryside.

 We believe that our tours offer a real heart to heart cross-cultural experience, which will remain as one of the highlights of your trip in Japan.


 We would be very happy if you would recognize our tours as ones that could allow you a chance to experience Shiga, which remains a hidden gem away from the tourist hot spots even though it is only a short hop from Kyoto. Through our tours, we hope to help the local people hand over their rich culture and traditions to the younger generation and to assist in boosting the local economy.


  Tour du lac members all live near the shores of Lake Biwa, the largest and most unique lake in Japan, and are looking forward to sharing time with you in the hope that we can offer a bridge between the tour participants and the local people in a shared celebration of our collective humanity.


Customers Reviews

”A special tea field visit”

 Thank you so much for your incredible hospitality and sharing your part of Japan with us.  We loved our guides and hostesses and so appreciated their special presentation, delicious lunch, and heartfelt sharing of their life stories. 

 Spending the day the with these ladies was truly a special experience that we will never forget.  It was especially exciting to find women across the world who share our values and hopes for a better planet. 

 You are doing excellent work and I cannot recommend you enough to other travelers who want a unique, educational, and personalized visit.




Review submitted  May 2019

”Beautiful cycle trip on Lake Biwa”

This tour was the highlight of our recent trip to Kyoto.

It's a quick train ride from Kyoto Station, and you're met by a tour guide who speaks flawless English. Keiko led us on a bike ride down to a beautiful Shinto gate in the water of Lake Biwa and a Shinto shrine. Then we spent some time on the beach before going to the home of a fifth generation rice farmer, where we learned to cook tempura,  sukiyaki, among other things. The family was so welcoming and generous, and enjoyed showing us their gardens and rice fields. The area is absolutely beautiful - terraced rice fields and gardens. I highly recommend this trip for anyone! The bike ride is suitable for all - not difficult.


Linda B (USA)

Review submitted  May 2018

Landscape photos: ©Biwako Visitors Bureau