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Hata and Harie --- Rice Terrace, Water Spring

Highlights

  • Visit Hata, a beautiful farming village on steep hills in a deep mountain
  • Pleasurable walks around Hata seeing magnificent rice terraces
  • Local food lunch in a farmer's house in Hata
  • Visit Harie, a village known for its unique ecosystem of water spring called "kabata"
  • Participating in a neighbourhood walking tour by locals to see their "kabata"
  • Taste sake made from kabata water at Kawashima-Shuzo (sake brewery)

Description

The tour begins at JR Kyoto Station at 8:00 a.m. with taking the JR Kosei line to Omi-takashima Station in the Takashima area, northwest of Lake Biwa. During most of the approximate 40-minute train ride, you will enjoy magnificent views of the lake and the ranges of Mt. Hiei and Mt. Hira from the window.

From Omi-takashima Station, we take a bus to the village of Hata deep in a mountain. This time the view from the window is not a shiny lake but beautiful countryside with full of green (or white in winter!). Shortly after passing a narrow road through a dark forest, stepped rice fields stretching upward on steep hills will come into sight. Now you are at the bottom of Hata, a beautiful mountain village famous for its magnificent rice terraces. We start exploring the village from here upwards. During the walk, your tour guide will give you an overview of the place and introduce knowledge of life in the village with a vertical drop of one hundred metres. What waits for you at the top of the village is the undeniably amazing view of terrace fields surrounded by mountains! At around 11:30, we will visit a local's home for lunch. Enjoy local, home-cooked lunch by farmers in a real farm house!

Now we leave Hata by taxi and travel to our next destination, the Harie "Shozunosato (village of living water)". This small village has become noted in recent years for its unique lifestyle: each home has its own crystal-clear water spring called "kabata" which is used as both well and kitchen sink. Dozens of small streams run through the village connecting pond and pond of kabata, in some of which locals have big carp. People have lived cooperatively following unwritten rules to protect this miraculous eco-system for generations. We here join the 1.5 hours neighbourhood walking tour guided by villagers to see kabata in private homes. Some small shops, temples and roadside springs are also planned to be visited. Learn and experience their lifestyle respecting the blessings of nature with ever-flowing spring water.

Afterwards, we make our way to a 150-year-old sake brewery, Kawashima Shuzo. We will go behind the scenes and learn from the brewers how they make award-winning sake using locally-grown rice and pure kabata water. After seeing the brewery, sake tasting waits for you!

After a 5-minute taxi ride to Shin-asahi Station and following 45-minute train trip, the tour ends up at Kyoto Station at around 5:00 p.m.

Itinerary

JR Kyoto Station (Departure)

Train

JR Omi-takashima Station

Public Bus

Hata
- Walking around the village (about 1.5 hours)
- Local food lunch in a villager's private home

Taxi

Harie
- Walking tour of Harie by locals (about 1.5 hours)

Walk

Kawashima Shuzo

Taxi

JR Shin-asahi Station

Train

JR Kyoto Station (Return)

Tour includes

  • English-speaking tour conductor (licensed guide interpreter)
  • Participation fee for guided walking tour in Harie
  • Lunch
  • Fare for all transportation listed in the itinerary
  • Insurance
  • Local tax

Tour does NOT include

  • -- None --

Remarks

  • If you stay in Shiga Prefecture, our departure and return point may be changed into a more convenient place.
  • To secure a seat for the neighbourhood walking tour in Harie, early booking is recommended.
  • The neighbourhood walking tour of Harie may be held in a group with other individuals/groups.
  • Packing light and wearing comfortable walking shoes are recommended. On this tour we will walk about 4-5 kilometers in total. A coin-operated locker is available at JR Kyoto Station.
  • Be sure to be prepared for all weather conditions depending on the season. It often snows in winter and the sunlight in summer is usually blazing. (During the neighbourhood walking tour in Harie, you can drink fresh water from ubiquitous kabata!)
  • A few more places may be visited in accordance with your request if time and other conditions allow.
  • Seats in public transportation are not guaranteed.
  • Itinerary may change without earlier notice due to weather and transport conditions or any unforeseen circumstance(s).

Gallery

Rice terraces of Hata
Rice fields and homes Local vegetables cooled in water from mountain Visit a farmer's house and enjoy local-food lunch!
Outdoor kabata "Help yourself!" Carps in a roadside stream Tofu cooled in kabata water
kids playing in a river Kawashima Shuzo (sake brewery) Kawashima Shuzo (sake brewery)
Booking Enquiry Form »

Price (per person):

No. of person(s)Price
1¥30,000
2-3¥20,500
4-5¥18,000
6-7¥16,000

Children under 5 are free of charge and not included in guest count.

Discounts!

  • ¥1,700pp off for adults with a valid JR pass
  • ¥2,000pp/¥1,200pp off for children aged 6-11 with/without a valid JR pass

Tour operates:

Every day except for Monday

Group size:

Minimum 1 / Maximum 7

Language:

English (and of course Japanese)


Meeting time:

8:00 a.m.

Meeting point:

JR Kyoto Station (Next to the JR Information desk in the central concourse)  » MAP

Your tour conductor with a YUtour's logo card hung from his neck will be waiting to greet you.

Returning time:

5:00 p.m. approx.