Top 20 Experiences in Shiga Prefecture
Backroads Exploring Japan’s Rural Life & Nature: Half-Day Bike Tour Near Kyoto
Just a 20 minute shinkansen ride from Kyoto to our starting point, we offer an easy way to explore small town rural life in Japan on this leisurely beginner-friendly ride, with a local resident guide, fluent in English, to help you enjoy our area’s unique geographical and historical points of interest. This 13km course features a broad range of sights such as rice and agriculture fields, historic trade routes, local villages combining old and new ways of life, a temple and shrine, a brief hike, and the shores of Lake Biwa, all in about 3 hours. In our tours, we hope to both share and preserve our local culture and traditions. Toward this goal, we also work closely with municipalities and residents to ensure that we always respect the wishes and needs of the local communities that we visit. Our convenient location and short tour time make it easy to explore more before or after your tour too, such as visiting Hikone Castle, or Lake Biwa!
Sailing Experience in the biggest lake in Japan with BBQ Option
Lake Biwa, or Biwako, is Japan’s biggest lake closely located at just about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Kyoto. It is recognized as one of the most ancient lakes in the world, and the only lake of its kind in Japan. Biwako has been designated as a UNESCO Ramsar Wetland since 1993 boasting a rich ecosystem with approximately 1,000 different species of plant and animal life. Our sailing experience takes place in the splendor of such a magnificent atmosphere. This activity is conducted with our company-owned 30ft private sailboat. All amidst a pleasant breeze experienced most of the year by cruising over the mirror-like calm water as you hear the gentle sound of wind and birdsong. The sailing adventure is a refreshingly promising choice for breaking away from the hustle and bustle of the city center in Kyoto. The activity starts at 2PM with two options such as 3 hour cruising with or without BBQ after sailing (the options with BBQ consists of 3-hour sailing and 2-hour BBQ, TTL 5 hours).
Shirahige Shrine Kayak Tour
You can kayak on the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. A kayak guide will accompany you, so you can enjoy it even for the first time. The destination is Torii on Lake Biwa. It is the property of the oldest shrine in Lake Biwa. Experience good memories at GOODTIMES TOURS!
Life, Culture, and History in a Local Brewery Town: Half-Day Tour Near Kyoto
Kinomoto is a charming old brewery town blessed by an abundant source of fresh water. As a former post station town of Edo era kaido routes, the town has retained much of its historical charm, without heavily catering to tourism, but rather sustaining its natural community and identity of local family businesses that have thrived here for centuries. After meeting up at JR Maibara Station (shinkansen stops here), our guide will lead you on the 24-minute train ride north to JR Kinomoto Station. Here we will give a walking tour around traditional sake breweries and soy sauce breweries, as well as the local Buddhist temple, and local shops such as confectioneries and bakeries. We value real local culture. So, we rely on guides who are from the area and have strong local knowledge to guide you. Rather than simply introducing sightseeing spots, guides involved in the community can act as mediators and create opportunities to experience the values and communal ties of this small town.
Traditional Villages: Full-Day E-Bike Tour Near Kyoto, with Lunch
Just a 20 minute shinkansen ride from Kyoto to our starting point, we offer an easy way to explore small town rural life in Japan on this leisurely beginner-friendly ride, with a local resident guide, fluent in English, to help you enjoy our area’s unique geographical and historical points of interest. During the morning cycling tour, you will witness the beauty of local satoyama nature, wildlife, and rural communities. In the afternoon, take a leisurely walking tour to explore the historic brewery town of Kinomoto and interact with the friendly locals. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit sake and soy sauce breweries that have been operating for many generations here as local family businesses. Sake tastings are available.
Japanese Home Cooking Lesson with Local Hosts in Peaceful Kyoto Suburb Otsu
Your host Hisako learned to cook from her mother and sister and is passionate about sharing Japanese home cooking with travelers using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her other passion is music - Hisako studied classical music at the Guild Hall School of Music in London for two years. Her husband Atsuo has a tech consulting office in Kyoto and is a match maker between high tech companies in USA and Japan. Your cooking class will begin with a short introduction to miso, a fundamental element of Japanese cooking. There are many kinds of miso and Hisako's introduction will help to demystify the varieties and their usage. You will learn to make 2-3 authentic Japanese dishes with Hisako in her kitchen that you will later share at the dining table in their modern Japanese home. Your experience will end on a musical note, with Hisako playing and singing one of her favorite songs.
Otsu-e Folk Art Workshop & Local Culture Walk, Gateway to Kyoto
Join a unique cultural experience led by Misato Takahashi, an Otsu native and daughter of Wado Takahashi, an Otsu-e artist originally from the Otsu-e master family, Takahashi Shozan. Misato is fervently committed to preserving the important local tradition of Otsu-e painting, a form of traditional folk art that originated in this area about 400 years ago. This unique cultural experience provides an excellent opportunity to delve into Japan's artistic heritage, immersing yourself in the creativity and artistic expression that has enriched Otsu's local culture for centuries. And with only a 10-minute train ride from Kyoto Station, you can relax in the cozy lakeside town of Otsu while exploring the city's rich history and treasures.