Otsu, Japan
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4 hours (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English


Immerse yourself in the rhythms and traditions of life in a Japanese village during this 4-hour visit to the town of Ogi, including a ‘mochi’-making lesson (Japanese rice cakes). Walk amidst the terraced rice fields of this picturesque town, discovering its more than 1,300 years of rice farming history. Then visit the home of a local farmer, learning the techniques to make ‘mochi’ while enjoying the warm hospitality of this friendly resident and his wife. A guide, plus lunch, mochi class and train from Kyoto are included.
  • Explore the picturesque village of Ogi while enjoying a lesson on how to make mochi rice cakes
  • Admire the stunning views of the surrounding area rice terraces during a walk in the village
  • Learn about the area's role in more than 1,300 years of rice farming
  • Join a local farmer and his wife as you learn to prepare 'mochi' (Japanese rice cakes)
  • Get a sense for daily life among Japan's countryside residents


Viator Traveler's Reviews

25 Reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
, Sep 2018

Keiko and the family was so hospitable. The food was delicious and accommodating, Mochi making was incredibly fun. That hammer sure isn’t light! We visited as another farmer was harvesting his rice and we got to spend some time watching the harvest and learning about the rice fields. All in all, an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this to all my friends that are visiting Japan.

, Jun 2018

What an amazing and unique experience--my husband and I highly recommend this tour. Before we arrived, we were contacted by Tour du Lac so that our visit could be personalized to match our interests and tastes. We were met by our guide Misako at the train station and escorted by taxi to a small rice village. After a walking tour of the village, including a beautiful shrine, we arrived at the farm house of the Kosaka family. We were warmly welcomed and participated in making mochi rice cakes. We then joined the Kosakas and Misako for a home cooked meal, where we conversed and got to know each other. Misako really went out of her way to make sure our visit was perfect. She even phoned the shrine from earlier in the day and extended our stay, so that we could go back to get a Goshuin temple stamp for our Goshuincho temple book. Thank you for such a memorable visit.

, Apr 2018

The tour leaders Keiko-san and Saori-san both speak excellent English, and we had a very pleasant time with them and the other couple attending the tour.

The local hosts very extremely hospitable, even going above and beyond to give us a packet of his home grown rice. The sukiyaki was very fresh and tasty, along with the side dishes made by his wife.

The highlight for me was the mochi rice cake making, as we got to experience first hand how to pound and make the mochi! Fresh mochi is very very soft and tasty, along with the kinako soy bean powder and azuki bean.

, Apr 2018

The tour leaders Keiko-san and Saori-san both speak excellent English, and we had a very pleasant time with them and the other couple attending the tour.

The local hosts very extremely hospitable, even going above and beyond to give us a packet of his home grown rice. The sukiyaki was very fresh and tasty, along with the side dishes made by his wife.

The highlight for me was the mochi rice cake making, as we got to experience first hand how to pound and make the mochi! Fresh mochi is very very soft and tasty, along with the kinako soy bean powder and azuki bean.

, Apr 2018

We had a great time on this tour. Small, personable, and real. There were only four of us, and two amazing guides. The guides are fluent in English and have a great relationship with this local farmer and his wife. Yes, everyone has fun pounding the rice/mochi eat as much as you want!. Yes, there is a giant meal served afterwards. This tour also included a walk around a local area shrine before walking to the farmer's house. Thank you Tour du Lac Biwa :

, Feb 2018

This is the best tour we did while in Japan. Misako and emi looked after us very well. Emi well done with all the photos. We have a very good record of our day. Misako spoke very good English and was very informative. Our host family the Yokakus family made us feel very welcome and went to a lot of trouble to make our day memorable. Thank you all so much.

, Dec 2017

My mom, sister, and I had an amazing time on our tour! Keiko and Saori were delightful they were extremely knowledgeable and friendly throughout the trip. Keiko met us at the train station and accompanied us to Ogi, taking all of the guess work our of traveling. We were given an excellent tour of a shrine and then headed to the Kosaka family home, which was the highlight of the trip! Mr. and Mrs. Kosaka were inviting and warm. It was so special to have had this unique experience where we learned their trade and shared lunch in their home. It was such a pleasure to have a personal experience in trip full of sightseeing. This tour is a must when visiting Kyoto! Thank you again to Keiko, Saori, and Mr. and Mrs. Kosaka. We truely appreciate you generosity and attention to detail!

, Nov 2017

This activity truly gave us a clear and personal insight of a typical local farmer lives. Mr Kosaka and his wife were very warm and welcoming, such wonderful hosts and we enjoyed the talk we had all through out especially during lunch. The mocha making was super fun and by far the best tasting mochi Ive ever had never thought a simple version of freshly pounded mochi just rolled into sugar and some cinnamon could taste so heavenly as its chewy, warm and really fresh tasting! The chicken Sukiyaki prepared was also good but I was not really able to eat a lot as been full with all the mochis! The highlight and selling factor of this tour are the hosts themselves. Mr Kosaka had the most amazing eyebrows! And Mrs Kosaka was very funny too! Great adventure for kids, whole family and friends!

, Oct 2017

Hello fellow travelers- Our mochi making tour was the best part of our two weeks in Japan! Our guides Keiko and Saori were wonderful.
We were met at the station and taken by train to a temple then off to meet our host family. This tour is like no other. Very intimate, and you are never hurried to move on.
My 83 yr. old parents were with me and both guides were extremely helpful with assisting them. I am eternally grateful!
We spend a lot of time at the temple, with Keiko and Saori explaining everything to us. We then took a very short walk to meet our host family. They are both wonderful people. Kind, patient, and giving. We spent time chatting asking many questions and enjoyed the best sukiyaki meal I have ever had!!!! Oh and the mochi making was so much fun and a great experience. We ate great tasting mochi and have the best time ever.
I have never been on a tour like this and we are so glad we took this tour. I highly recommend it to all first time travelers to Japan. You won't regret it!
Thank you to Keiko, Saori and the Kosakas for a wonderful experience!

, Oct 2017

This tour was one of our favourite days in Japan. Our tour guide Keiko was lovely and very knowledgable and even gave us a mini tour before the actual tour started because we were early :
Our host family were so warm and welcoming and making the mochi was such a fun and delicious experience. There is nothing quite like freshly made mochi : Our host family also provided a very large and delicious chicken sukiyaki lunch made with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Would definitely recommend this tour to everyone! We loved the small group atmosphere and the ability to experience an authentic part of Japanese life.

, Aug 2017

One of the best experiences to be has in Japan! During my two week trip to Japan I wanted my daughter and I to experience a truly Japanese experience. That is, not some tourist trap designed to seem what tourists feel is traditionally Japanese but rather an actual insight into the Japan of the locals. This experience gave us just that and so much more.
We were lucky enough to have the tour all too ourselves, which is likely not an uncommon occurrence because since this is a genuine experience, no large groups would fit. Our two guides were just amazing. They were kind, funny, incredibly friendly, and spoke very good English. We started off by going to a local water shrine. At this point in the trip we had visited at least six of Kyoto's seemingly endless collection of shrines, so we were not expecting to be much impressed. However, the shrine we went to had something that no other shrine we had visited came close to possessing. It was a secluded little nook in the woods with running water and huge trees throughout. It was completely deserted, lending in an ambiance of peace and mindfulness. We walked around and even had our fortunes magically revealed by the sacred waters that protect the shrine.
Next we headed over to a traditional Japanese home. The house is beautiful with its rice fields outside and its sliding doors, tatami mats, and low tables inside. We were treated like royalty by the elderly couple who owns the house and the farm. Soon after arriving and enjoying some refreshments we embarked upon the supposed objective of the tour: making mochi. This was just plain fun and like something out of a cartoon. With a giant hammer everyone looks turns rhythmically pounding this ball of glutinous rice while everyone else cheered, laughed, and or/smiled. The ambiance was just incredible and felt like visiting old friends. When the pounding was done we got to enjoy fresh mochi absolutely delicious and nothing like what you find in stores before sitting down to a meal that offered us the best Japanese food we have ever tasted. The farmer's wife is a phenomenal cook and willing to adapt the meal to any dietary restrictions. In our case, we are vegan, so we had an incredible traditional Japanese meal vegan style. Do not eat before this tour because there will be so much delicious food you'll likely be unable to finish it all.
After a lovely lunch filled with friendly conversation we started getting ready to say goodbye only to be treated to one last surprise that I shall leave unnamed. Suffice it to say, you've probably never seen anything like it before.
Overall, it's definitely well worth it to make time during your trip to Japan to take this tour. It will undoubtedly be one of the best experiences of your trip as well as a memory you will treasure forever. This tour offers the everyday traveler the rare opportunity of entering a traditional Japanese and sitting down to a meal there as well as the fun pursuit of making fresh mochi rice cakes and even some Japanese friends along the way. I cannot recommend it enough.

, Aug 2017

This was the MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE! HIGHLY recommend it! Authentic and real! Our tour guide was fantastic, and our farmer hosts were incredibly gracious. It was incredible to experience traditional japanese life in the farming lands and making mochi!

, Jul 2017

Wonderful tour with an excellent and very warm guide. Mochi making with the most adorable farmers is an experience we will never forget. Guide's English was impeccable and she was the most passionate and kindly person we met on the trip.

Can you please send us the photos please?

, Jul 2017

This was the highlight of my 9 days in Japan! Misako was a great tour guide and took the time to give background information about the town before going to the host family's home. Once arriving at the home, we spent a few hours making mochi, eating lunch, and getting to know each other. Best ever!

, Jul 2017

This tour was fantastic! We brought our daughter, who is almost 4 years old and it ended up being perfect! Both Hiromi and Keiko did a fantastic job showing us around beautiful Shiga. We visited a shrine and finally were able to understand the intricate details and what purpose everything served. Best of all was our experience learning how mochi is made and enjoying a fantastic sukiyaki meal with our host and his family. Even in Japan, never had we tasted mochi so fresh and delicious and you're literally cooking your own authentic Japanese meal in a Japanese house. My daughter was never bored. Through our guides, she easily interacted with the host family even though her Japanese is very limited. In fact she said it was one of her favorite parts of our trip! And we went to Tokyo Disney, so that's a pretty big deal.

I definitely would recommend this if you're looking for a family friendly activity, or as a couple. It was a short train ride away from Kyoto Station, but it felt like stepping into another world. It's a great way for kids to experience rural Japan!

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