Visiting a Local Farmer & Mochi-Making

Come and taste freshly pounded MOCHI rice cake & delicious Chicken SUKIYAKI at a farmer’s house amongst a village of terraced rice fields.

 Visit and experience a local village’s lifestyle and food culture where terraced rice fields, continuously cultivated for 1,300 years, cascade down the mountains for as far as the eye can see.

 First, take a stroll to visit the local shrine while surrounded by the beautiful views, with Lake Biwa glimmering far below. Along the way, you will have the chance to feel the spirit of a vibrant community that has co-existed with nature and protected water sources for generations.

 The friendly and good-natured farming family that hosts the Mochi rice cake-making class will welcome you wholeheartedly. They will demonstrate Mochi rice cake making following the traditional method using homegrown rice. Participants are welcome to join in! Freshly pounded with your own hands, they will surely taste exceptionally delicious. Enjoy to the utmost with a variety of toppings!

 Also, try our farm-to-table special Sukiyaki made with fresh chicken and lots of homegrown vegetables. It’s a holiday dish in Western Shiga, especially for local festivals or family gatherings. The recipe is simple and can be made with familiar ingredients at home, so you can enjoy learning how to make it.

Itinerary ~What will entertain and interest you?~

Ogi village
Photo by Fabian Bäcker

10:00 AM

 Meet our tour conductor at JR Ogoto Onsen Station. Drive to the village of Ogi, where you will spend a half day learning about Japanese country life and relishing local specialties.

Tour du lac_rice terraces of Ogi village

10:15 AM

 In the morning, you will explore Ogi village.

 Ogi has been continuously cultivating the large area of terraced rice fields using spring water for 1300 years, since around the same time as the capital city was relocated to just 10km south of the village.

 Legend tells us that when a severe drought hit the city, the emperor enshrined the Shinto spirit of rain in Ogi village. Soon, spring water started running from the same location, saving many lives. 

 Let us stroll through the Ogura Shrine, where the spirit is said to reside. In May, just before rice planting, a large festival is held to pray for a bumper crop.

rice field in Ogi village

rice field in Ogi village

 The view of terraced rice fields surrounding the villages is stunning, portraying the changing colors of the natural surroundings according to each season.  

 In spring, the rice fields are flooded - reflecting the sky like a mosaic of mirrors.  In summer, the fields turn a fresh green color vibrant with the growing rice plants.

 In autumn, they are transformed to gold from the ripened ears of rice plants.

 Finally, after the harvest, the fields return to the color of earth, sometimes dusted with snow during cold winter days. 

 You will surely delight in these varying characteristics of the terraced rice fields. We hope you can visit Japan four times, each time in a different season, to further relish the changes!

Tour du lac_rice terraces of Ogi village


 After exploring the terraced rice paddies, we will visit a local rice farmer. There, a delicious fun time is to be had enjoying exciting mochi-rice cake pounding! Using a huge pestle and mortar, we pound soft steamed glutinous mochi rice into a delicious mochi rice cake. 

 Everyone is welcome to join in, as pounding the rice while it is still hot is essential to make soft and tasty mochi!

 *This tour will be hosted by a family from the local village community group. We carefully select our friendly and open-minded hosts after having meetings and interviews to ensure quality time. We guarantee that you will have a wonderful experience with any of our hosts.

mochi cooking

 Mochi is eaten all over Japan, and various ways to flavor and prepare it in different regions exist. 

 In this village, people eat mochi wrapping salty natto (fermented soybeans) inside and dusted with soybean powder on the outside. This is a very unique way of eating mochi, and Ogi is the only village in Shiga Prefecture that does so.

 Natto is characterized by its sticky texture and strong smell. In Japan, it is called “the meat of the field" and is recognized as a healthy food rich in protein and dietary fiber. Please give it a try.

 Another way to enjoy mochi is as a dessert Yomogi (mugwort) Mochi wrapping sweet red bean paste. Fresh mugwort harvested in spring is mixed with the mochi dough to make a bright green color (it may not be available depending on the season).

 Mugwort has long been used as a home remedy to improve digestion, warm the body, and relieve pain. With its subtly bitter taste, mugwort is a good example of the Japanese tradition of using seasonal ingredients to balance one's health.

 We will be guests at the farmhouse for an enjoyable mealtime and learn more about the traditional Japanese lifestyle as we chat further with the farmer and his wife.



 Also for lunch, the farmer will demonstrate how to cook Sukiyaki in front of you, so do participate and enjoy learning. Many of our guests became fans of this dish made with fresh local chicken and a variety of fresh vegetables just picked from the fields. Try this simple yet delicious dish! 

 This extraordinary experience, learning about a villager’s life coexisting with the bounty of nature, will be the highlight of your trip to Japan!


14:00 PM

 Returning to the endpoint with fond memories. The tour conductor will accompany you to the endpoint.

Mochi making tour


Meeting Point

1. JR Ogoto Onsen Station (Kosei-Line) : 30 minutes (5th stop) from JR Kyoto Station by local train

2.【Optional】JR Kyoto Station

Google Maps content is not displayed due to your current cookie settings. Click on the cookie policy (functional) to agree to the Google Maps cookie policy and view the content. You can find out more about this in the Google Maps privacy policy.

【Optional Program】Morning lakeside e-bike ride

cozy hot spring

 How would you like to start your day in the ultimate tranquility of the countryside as you take a leisurely cycle along the serene shores of Lake Biwa?

 Using electric bikes that provide an effortless, refreshing ride, we will follow beautiful lakeside roads up to stunning scenes of stepped rice terraces. 

 At noon, we will take a train to Ogoto Onsen and visit the farmer's house for making mochi & sukiyaki lunch.



*Height 152cm (5 feet) is required


【Optional E-bike Tour】Meeting Point

1. JR Shiga Station (Kosei-Line) : 40 minutes from JR Kyoto Station by a local train

2. 【Optional】JR Kyoto Station

Google Maps content is not displayed due to your current cookie settings. Click on the cookie policy (functional) to agree to the Google Maps cookie policy and view the content. You can find out more about this in the Google Maps privacy policy.

Photo Gallery

 This video was made by our honeymooner guests, who tasted several scrumptious Mochi while traveling in Japan. Our host was honored to be named "Mochi Sensei (teacher)" as his Mochi was highly rated. Thank you for the wonderful video, D & C. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness. 

 Here is a brief file of the tour. Whether you are a family with children or an adult-only group, this experience will inspire your cross-cultural exploration.