Farm to Table Local Cooking and Cycling Tour: Lake Biwa and Rice Terraces

On this tour, you will be visiting the Takashima area on the northwest side of Lake Biwa that offers exceptionally charming views of both the lake and mountains. In this rare and exclusive experience, you will also stand along side the farmer’s wife and assist as she prepares a simple and amazing multi-course lunch. During lulls in the preparation, step outside to enjoy the most commanding views of the picturesque rice terraces, taking your leisure to stroll among them. Those with an interest in photography will particularly enjoy the vantage points this access provides.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Takashima, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




On this tour, you will be visiting the Takashima area on the northwest side of Lake Biwa that offers exceptionally charming views of both the lake and mountains. In this rare and exclusive experience, you will also stand along side the farmer’s wife and assist as she prepares a simple and amazing multi-course lunch. During lulls in the preparation, step outside to enjoy the most commanding views of the picturesque rice terraces, taking your leisure to stroll among them. Those with an interest in photography will particularly enjoy the vantage points this access provides.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Kyoto Station, Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan

JR Omi-Takashima Station (KOSEI LINE) is the starting point of the tour. Meet our tour conductor in front of the ticket gate (the only one gate at the station) at 10:00 am.

We can also pick you up at JR Kyoto Station in front of the 7-11 convenience store next to the West Ticket Gate (2nd floor) at 8:45 am (Weekdays) or 9:00 am (Weekends and Japanese National Holidays). The pick-up charge is 5,000JPY/group. Your train fare is not included in the price. Please pay the pick-up charge by cash to our tour conductor.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture

After a 1 hour scenic train ride from JR Kyoto station, you will arrive at JR Omi-Takashima station (Kosei-Line).

In the morning, you will enjoy cycling leisurely along the lakeside following a beach known for its white sand and green pine trees as well as visiting Shirahige shrine where the Shinto god of longevity is believed to reside.
The almost perfectly flat lakeside road is ideal for a memorable bicycle ride. Feel the refreshing breeze from Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Shirahige Shrine, 215 Ukawa, Takashima 520-1122 Shiga Prefecture

You will be visiting Shirahige Shrine, the oldest in Shiga prefecture, with its impressive view of a Torii gate standing in the water and a center of devotion for many local people. With many water springs, this part of the lake around the shrine appears particularly serene, creating an even more unforgettable impression for those who visit.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Hata Rice Terraces, Hata, Takashima 520-1144 Shiga Prefecture

After enjoying the bicycle ride, you will be taking taxi to the mountain village nestled in a narrow valley in the northern Hata District.

The Tanada of Hata are authentic terraced rice fields where humans and nature have co-existed together over the centuries, and is a valuable heritage that has fortunately remained to this day. They are arranged like steps on the hillside between altitudes of 300m and 400m. When you look at the landscape with the old traditional mud-walled warehouse and old-fashioned thatched houses, you will feel a nostalgic longing for the tranquility of the old days. You can enjoy taking a walk to explore this neighborhood area after lunch.

For lunch, you will experience making country-style food with a friendly “Obaachan,” elderly lady, and have lunch in her private house. Filled with locally-grown natural ingredients, this healthy meal is the kind she has prepared every day. You can enjoy talking with her about Japanese country life.

After slowly savoring each dish of the lunch you helped prepare, take a leisurely stroll down through the quaint country village, where life seems a bit slower and a bit more robust many miles from the nearest convenience store.

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

Stop At: Jr Omi Takashima Station Tourist Office, 2245-5 Katsuno, Takashima 520-1121 Shiga Prefecture

-Returning to Kyoto with fond memories.

You will get a local bus to JR Omi-Takashima station. The tour conductor will accompany you to the JR Omi-Takashima train station for your return journey to Kyoto.

Duration: 30 minutes