～A hidden gem away from all the tourist hot spots of 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 your utmost satisfaction.
Discover and join in the traditions of Shiga life amid uncrowded natural surroundings within just a short hop from Kyoto. 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.
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.
”Incredible, authentic experience!”
Our visit to Shiga was a highlight of our recent trip to Japan. We thoroughly enjoyed mochi-making but there was so much more to this tour. We began with a memorable visit to a local Shinto shrine where our excellent guide, Saori, explained different aspects of Shintoism. The host family were most welcoming and Saori's excellent translation skills enabled us to have a good conversation with them, gaining insight into their lives and their wonderful sense of humour. The sukiyaki they prepared for us was delicious! We felt we gained a real understanding of rural life and culture and learned something of the difficulties rural communities face, problems we recognize at home. This was one of those times when travelling when you feel you make a connection with the people of your host country. A truly memorable experience.
Go Places (England)
Review submitted November 2018
”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