Enjoy my Japan!

 One of our host mothers has been featured on a VTR made by Japan National Tourism Organization!

 The tour offers electric cycling along Lake Biwa as well as a farm experience. You can view the scene of the host and a young lady who joined the tour cooking Daikon radish.

 It is our honor to be introduced as one of Japan’s leading tour companies. Please enjoy the VTR.

 

当社のツアーが日本政府観光局のVTRに登場しております。

電動バイクのサイクリング&農業体験ツアーを提供しているコースで、ホストのお母さんと小さなお嬢さんが大根をお料理している様子がご覧いただけます。

実際の登場シーンはホンの一瞬ですが、日本を代表するツアーの一部として、弊社のツアーが紹介されていることを大変嬉しく思っております。これからも、ご協力いただいている農家さん一人ひとりにスポットが当たっていきますように、ますます頑張って参ります!

Mochi Trowing event at the local shrine

mochi throwing event at the farm visit & mochi making tour in Shiga

An annual event ‘Mochi Rice Cake Throwing’ was held at the shrine we visit during our Mochi pounding tour. Local villagers prepare Mochi rice cakes from early morning in order to offer them to the Shinto god in return for the perfect health and safety of family members. Afterwards, Mochi rice cakes that have been blessed by the Shinto god are distributed among the villagers.

From ancient times, Mochi rice cakes have been considered to bring good luck. Local villagers come together to receive this luck by gathering and collecting thrown Mochi rice cakes. 

Not only Mochi rice cakes but also Ramen noodles and sweets were thrown, causing a lot of laughter among the participants. You may encounter such local events during the tour if you are extra lucky. We hope you will join our Mochi pounding tour to see and learn about the local life of people in the countryside.

 


お餅つきのツアーで訪問する神社で「餅まき」の行事がありました。

地域の人たちが朝早くからお餅を準備して、神さまに捧げて無病息災や家内安全をお祈りし、その神気が宿ったお下がりを皆で有難くいただくのです。

お餅は古来より縁起の良いものとされていて、そのご利益にあやかろうと地元の方がにぎやかに集まり、放られたお餅を拾いまわります。

お餅のほかに、ラーメンやお菓子も飛んできて、笑い声に包まれた楽しいひと時でした。

Tour du lacのツアーでは、運が良ければ、こんな地元ならではのイベントにもご案内いたします。

是非楽しいお餅つきツアーをご体験下さい。

 

HASHI-ITA ~Bridging the Lake and the People~

Lake Biwa electric bike tour
Hashiita bridge on Lake Biwa
Lake Biwa electric bike tour

HASHI-ITA bridges were used daily by people who lived by the lake until a piped water supply system was set up. Every day, they carried buckets to collect water for the washing, drinking, cleaning, laundry and for their bath tubs.

People had a rule never to wash dirty things in the lake and to throw away the used grey water in their backyards, so the lake water always remained pure.

A HASHI-ITA bridge is a fun place for children to play (they can run along and jump into the water) and is also a good safe spot for baby fish to hide under. 

After a water system was set up in the 1950’s, the local government ordered that the HASHI-ITA bridges should no longer be used and they were removed from the lakeside. 

In the intervening years, most people have forgotten about them. However, the cultural importance of Lake Biwa has recently been acknowledged, once again defining Lake Biwa as a ‘Water Heritage of Life and Prayer.’

 

HASHI-ITA bridges are valuable environment study areas where one can learn about the life around the lake as well as offering an important access to emergency water during disasters.

 

Our hope is to hand over the HASHI-ITA bridge culture to future generations and this is why we are presently attempting to once again bring these bridges back to life.

 

Happy Reunion!

Cool young gentlemen from Singapore returned to our tour for the second time!

It was a lovely reunion since this January. We felt such an honor and a pleasure that the guests have come back to the same tour with his friends.

We hope our friendship will continue. We wish for their bright future!


シンガポールからリピーターのお客様とお友達が餅つきツアーに参加してくださいました!同ツアーに1月に参加してくださったばかりなのですが、相当気に入って下さった様子、有り難いかぎりです。シンガポールでは兵役があり、2年間のお勤めのあとの旅行だとか。とっても仲良しな皆様、笑顔と笑いのたえないツアーでした。輝かしい未来をお祈りしています!


 

After the tour, we received a very sweet feedback from them. We are touched by their warm gesture and would like to introduce their impressions here.

 

A fruitful experience of Japanese culture is what I promise you will enjoy if you are to attend the Farmer’s Tour  

Want to understand more about Shinto, an ancient religion practiced by the Japanese?

Test our knowledgeable tour guide as she brings you to explore the shrine where the Rain Deity resides. My friends and I were at awe as we witness the significance of the Rain Deity in the plantation of Japanese pearl rice that the world has come to love. 

 You will also get your fortune told on a piece of empty white paper, mysteriously revealing the god's message only after washing it with the sacred water in the shrine. 

 

After the introduction to the Japanese religion, you will be brought to a quint little house own by a friendly yet quirky old couple, where you will get a first-hand exposure into traditional mochi (rice cake) making. Work up a sweat and have fun getting your hands dirty as you pound the mochi which you well get to try. I can assure you that even though the process of making rice cakes between the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese are similar, they have very different taste and textures. 

 

After you have had your fun, you will be then be treated to an authentic Japanese meal by the old couple. Be prepared to wait though as the chicken sukiyaki that you will have is made from scratch, using products fresh from the old couple's farm. 

 

Feeling adventurous ?

The old couple may also show you their homemade soju infused with snakes or wasp, caught from the wild. You can still try out these fermented exotic creatures. From what I was told, the larvae of the wasp apparently taste like cream cheese. If you are not used to food like these, it is perfectly fine to turn the couple down on their offer.

 

To conclude, my friends and I truly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend you to try it. I would also advise you to check when the rain festival is as it will definitely be a sight to see. However, as it is only conducted once a year, be warn that to view this festival, it will be during a peak period.   

 

 

Thank you, gentlemen! We feel as if we have got a great spokesmen.

 

Zen Pilates & farm to table lunch cooking

He is from the UK and has been living in Australia these past 4 years. His family are originally from Jamaica, so he has a global outlook. He says "I very much enjoy being in the outdoors and seeing the worlds natural beauty, and get involved in some type of physical activity". It was just the right tour for him and he had a wonderful time together with our host family after zen Pilates. He enjoyed preparing for Japanese cooking with some organic food from host`s' vegetable garden, too. We all had an awesome time!!


シドニー在住が4年目とおっしゃるゲストはイギリス国籍ですが、ご家族はジャマイカ出身と、グローバルで素敵なマインドをお持ちの方でした。今回が初来日。地元の方との触れ合いを味わい、大自然を感じられるアウトドアーな旅が大好きということで、湖西の魅力をじっくりと堪能していただく禅ピラティスのツアーにご参加いただきました。「次回は彼女を連れてまた訪れたい」と彼の言葉を受けて、笑顔いっぱいのホストファミリーが「お待ちしていますよ、行ってらっしゃい!」とチャーミングな言葉でお見送りしてくださいました。

Kimono & impressive photo shoot on the lakeside

 We had a lovely couple guest from Singapore for our Kimono & Photo shooting program. They looked so beautiful wearing antique Kimonos that have been carefully looked after by the house's family, who have lived here for seven generations. 


シンガポールからステキなカップルをお迎えして、着物&湖畔の写真撮影プランを催行いたしました。小雪がチラつく寒い一日、来日前は灼熱のオーストラリアにいらしたそうで、あまりの寒さに凍えながらも、カメラの前では素敵な表情を見せてくださいました。指をクロスする仕草は、シンガポールでは「ハートマーク」を表すポーズだそう。どうぞ末永くお幸せに💛

Graceful 91!

 Our special guest from the US yesterday, very energetic, active, and smart wonderful lady who is turning 91 years old this month.

Her wonderful friend also joined our tour. They just met each other in Kyoto few days ago! (Thank you for joining us together!!)

They got very well together and had really nice time at the local farmer's traditional Japanese house! 

 

私たちのツアー催行以来、最年長の素敵なお客様は、アメリカからお越しのとても聡明でアクティブな女性でした。なんと今月91歳を迎えられるとのこと!ご一緒に参加いただいたステキなご友人とは、ツアーの数日前に京都の教会で出会ったそうです。こんな旅のスタイルも素晴らしいですね。ツアーでは、地元農家さんの温かいもてなしと触れ合いを心から喜んでくださいました。

 


Magic Hanmer?

He is a roof craftsman who dedicate his lifework to preservation of renowned temples and shrines in Shiga, Japan.

Look how fast he drives nails with a magic hammer! Amazing! 

Our first guest from Russia!

We had a cute young couple from Moscow, Russia. They enjoyed Mochi pounding and surprised to see how to make it. It's such a tough work out, but fun, they said. They cooked delicious Sukiyaki with the host Ojichan (elderly man) with home-grown fresh vegetables and delicious chicken. 

モスクワからの初ゲストは建築家の若いカップル!夏の終わりの日本の田舎を満喫していただきました。お餅つきでは力仕事に驚かれながらも楽しまれ、自家製の新鮮な野菜料理に地鶏のスキヤキも美味しく召し上がっていただきました。

The science of Mochi by Dan Kohler!

Mr. Daniel Kohler, a chef on an American TV show "Home & Family", joined the Mochi tour!

On this VTR, he explains scientific facts about Mochi and rice. Get some tips on our Mochi tour and savor the fresh Mochi pounded by your own hands!

 

See inside Japan with our host families

 All the guests are deeply touched with our local host families who welcome you with warm smile and hospitality in mind. Join our home visit program, we promise it will be the highlight of your trip to Japan! 

ツアーの中でもひときわ参加者の評価が高いのが、日本の一般家庭を訪問するホームビジット・プログラムです。心温かく旅の方を迎え入れてくださる農家さんを訪問し、触れ合いのひと時を楽しんでいただく時間は、お連れする私たちにとっても、まさに一期一会の忘れがたい体験です。

Early spring in Takashima

Early spring has arrived here in Shiga with blooming plum trees. In Takashima tour, our guests have enjoyed cycling and the visit at the terraced rice fields in the tucked away village. Tasting both the fresh Sake at the local 250 years old brewery as well as home made plum wine at the farmer's house, sweet air of spring became even sweeter. Guests also liked the heat patch 'Hokalon' during the cycling time; Japanese simple yet hot technology.

初春、梅が咲き乱れる棚田にオーストラリアからのご夫妻をお連れ致しました。まだ冷たい風が吹く中のサイクリングでは、使い捨てカイロが活躍しました。ゲストご夫妻、今まで見た事がない、と感動しておられました。確かに使い捨てカイロ、海外では手に入らないのでしょうか? 肌寒い中、ご主人はホスト自家製の梅酒や酒蔵での試飲を楽しまれておられました。

Photogenic Shiga

“We would love to take photos of Autumn colors and the sunset on the lake”

This was the request we received from the wonderful couple who participated in our tailor-made tour last November.

To our honor, we received a thank you message from them with some of the beautiful photos they took during the tour.

Biwako-Ohashi-bridge certainly looks very impressive through their viewfinders. Magical!

 

「紅葉や琵琶湖にかかる夕陽の美しい写真を撮りたい」 

11月の終わりにシンガポールからお見えになったお客様から、素敵な写真が撮れたよとメールでご連絡をいただきました。

プロ用のカメラを何本も持参し、琵琶湖1周の旅を楽しまれた素敵なご夫妻が撮った印象的なお写真です。いつもの景色が全く違ったものに映るのは不思議なものですね。

せっかくですので、こちら(ブログまたはFB)でもご紹介させていただきす。

 

Kimono & Hair dressing with impressive photo shoots!

Take beautiful photos of yourself dressed in a gorgeous Kimono by the largest lake in Japan! We will give you a gorgeous traditional Japanese Kimono dressing experience for your special holiday in slow local Shiga.