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

cooking with locally grown food
magnificent rice terraces in Hata, Shiga
mochi rice cake making in the traditional method

Japanese roof artisans who support UNESCO class temples
Lake Biwa e-bike cycling
top level quality Japanese tea

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

 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.


Customers Reviews

”Incredible, authentic experience!”

 My husband and I absolutely loved this tour. Hiromi and Saori were the most accommodating and pleasant hosts. You could really feel how committed and passionate they are about preserving local traditions and sharing them with visitors. The destination was a breeze to get to from Kyoto, thanks to the detailed instructions provided in advance. The mochi pounding was a fun and unique experience--the fresh mochi we sampled was probably the best I've ever had--but the highlight was really sitting down at Mr. and Mrs. Kosaka's table and being treated to their hospitality. The chicken sukiyaki made with fresh produce from their garden was fantastic. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone interested in a slightly under-the-radar destination and a truly memorable afternoon with a local family.


Valeriemnyc (USA)

Review submitted  May 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