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1 - 6 of 72 reviews
Reviewed August 7, 2019

This was an amazing trip to the Asamiya tea field to learn how tea is grown in Japan and when it was introduced to the country. We met up with our guide (Misako) who introduced us to three local ladies who showed us the tea fields and then took us for a delicious lunch in the village. On the way back down to the village we stopped off at a shrine halfway down the mountain. The ladies were hilarious, and the food delicious. After lunch we were taught how to roast the tea, and we took back samples we had roasted ourselves. This day trip from Kyoto really surpassed our expectations, we would hugely recommend visiting this beautiful place and spending some time with the local ladies who were hugely welcoming (and cook a fantastic lunch to boot!!). This was one of the best experiences we had during our two weeks in Japan. Thank you for a marvellous day.

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank Giles H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, Tour guide at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2019

Hello there!
Thank you very much for your nice response for me and the cheerful ladies from the tour.
It was a really fun day with you for us as well.
It’s been extremely hot summer days here after you left. I can imagine your sunny weather in Bermuda would be much much nicer with the beautiful sea.
Thanks again & all the best. Misako

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Reviewed July 28, 2019

The green tea plantation tour was one of the most special experiences I've had after living in Japan for 5 months. The tour itself, visiting and learning about green tea plantations- the history and growing and harvesting process, eating an absolutely delicious meal of fresh, locally grown veggies and meat cooked right before us, tasting and learning about the different kinds of green teas, and roasting our own tea leaves to take back with us was such a unique, immersive, and fun experience! But what truly set this tour apart, was our guide Misako, and the community women who welcomed us into their host home and made us feel like we were long-lost friends. It's quite the treat to meet such genuine, warm, and accepting people who are as intent as they were on getting to know us and sharing about their own lives and experiences. These women were extremely kind and also quite the jokesters. As I can speak very basic Japanese, it was very funny being able to share little jokes and poke fun at each other good-naturedly. My heart felt so warm and full by the time it was time for us to leave and each of the women eagerly welcomed me back to visit the next time I'm in Japan. Such genuine experiences don't happen often, especially on tours, and I felt so lucky to have been able to have this experience and meet these people. Highly highly recommend this tour as a lovely chance to get away from more big city-esque atmospheres and truly immerse yourself in the Japanese countryside. This tour strives to support the community of farmers in Shiga prefecture by exposing their products to people from all over the world who would never have the ability to know of such locally sourced and locally sold goods. I think that is such a meaningful mission behind this tour and it made me all the more glad that I took part in it!

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank jay_frayy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, マネージャー at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2019

Thank you so much for your very kind words We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us and even mentioned on the ideas behind this tour. As you said, we are striving to support the local community and their small business as well as keeping the beautiful natural surroundings of this area! We count ourselves lucky for customers like you. Thank you for choosing us, and we look forward to meeting you again when you come back to Japan in the future...!

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Reviewed June 4, 2019

Tour guides Saori, Keiko and Horumi are exceptional, waiting for us at train station with smiling greeting and invited us to take taxi to village shrine. Our time at village shrine was very impressive and moving. Weather suddenly turned inclement and Keiko found umbrellas for us all. Lovely short walk through village to Mr & Mrs Kosaka's farm. They are the most beautiful welcoming couple and full of fun. Our lunch prepared by Mrs Kosaka and cooked by Mr Kosaka was absolutely unbelievable. They welcome you into their private home and treat you like family. We cannot impress enough what a wonderful day we had on this tour. Big thanks to Horumi for organising this tour and picking the two best guides in Saori and Keiko. This is definitely a must do in Kyoto.

Date of experience: May 2019
2  Thank sixamigos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, マネージャー at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2019

Thank you very much for your compliment. We are so glad to hear your wonderful comment which is very encouraging. Our super host Mr. & Mrs. Kosaka are such entertainers who are happy to accommodate people with warm hospitality in mind and their Sukiyaki is absolutely delicious. Thank you for finding our small local tour!

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Reviewed April 4, 2019 via mobile

We were in Japan for two weeks and took day and half days tours every day from Tokyo to Osaka to Kyoto to the islands. Our very best tour was this one! We had the best tour guide (Keiko), and our host Mr Tsoji was wonderful! Sitting around visiting with the local ladies and our host was a highlight! The lunch was outstanding. This is a real “farm to table” experience not to be missed! Keiko was really attentive. She was fun, and her English is great. I can’t say enough about what a wonderful experience this was out in the countryside of Japan.

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank annarc6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, マネージャー at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2019

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!
Although what we offer is very simple, we believe this is the hidden gem kept by the locals and do hope more people would realize that we have beautiful customs, traditions and the natural surroundings that should be taken over to the next generations. We appreciate you evaluated us highly which is SO encouraging for us all.
We thank you for choosing us and wish your health, happiness and the bright future for your grandson…!

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Reviewed April 1, 2019

This was one of the best tours we took on our recent trip to Japan! We met our guide at the Ishiyama train station. From there our private car took us to the Asamiya tea fields. This is where the first tea plants were planted in Japan. We met our hostess Komiko who told us the history of the tea fields and how the plants are cultivated and harvested. Her enthusiasm and passion were infectious. From the tea fields we walked a short distance to see the local Buddhist shrine. Then we went to Mrs. Hora's house in town for lunch and tea making lessons. Kumiko made first tea which is made with lukewarm water. She made 3 batches with same leaves, each one tasted slightly different. Lunch by the Ochame tea ladies consisted of warm spinach salad, tempura chicken, vegetable cakes, another green vegetable, rice porridge made with tea and more tea. Green tea mousse and green tea mouchie for dessert. Then we roasted more tea leaves to make another type of tea. The women were all so friendly and welcoming. I have a whole new appreciation for tea! After a visit to the local Shinto shrine, we were taken back to the train station.

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank Collette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, マネージャー at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2019

Thank you so much for visiting Asamiya all the way from Kyoto. It was our pleasure and an honor to have hosted the tour for the elegant couple like you. We hope you enjoyed varieties of tea in China and had a wonderful reunion with your brother. Best wishes from Ochame tea team & Tour du lac

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Reviewed November 21, 2018

We loved this experience from the warm welcome of Keiko and Emi to the delightful couple who opened their home to us while allowing us to experience the hard work involved in making mochi rice. This wonderful insight into traditional Japanese ways should be high on the list of all travellers, where else can you taste viper wine?

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank ARDant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LacBiwa, マネージャー at Tour du Lac Biwa, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2019

Thank you very much for your feedback. We were glad to know that you enjoyed the day with Keiko, Emi and the amazing host couple who love to offer something beyond guest's expectation. We believe the Mochi & Sukiyaki was also excellent after the hard work! Hope your trip to Japan was filled with wonderful encounters.

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