Take the Road
Less Traveled
to Experience Rural Japan,
Past and Present.

Refresh with Nature

Perfect getaway from the city to explore the rich rural environment of Lake Biwa and surrounding mountains.

Support Culture

As traditions and crafts slowly disappear, we work to support this local lifeblood.

Enjoy Local Life

Our guides are also local residents, working to give an immersive experience of local life.

Just 20 min. from Kyoto by Shinkansen!

Meet your guide right at JR Maibara Station!

Featured Tour Courses

Perfect Kyoto Daytrips!
English-Speaking Local Guides!
Strictly Private Tours!

Active & Outdoor Courses

Culture & Arts Courses

Explore More of Northern Shiga

Custom Private Tours

History & Culture

Local Foods

Mountain Hiking

In addition to our featured tours, we’re also happy to show you more of our favorite local spots on a custom tour course. Go on a sacred mountain hike, visit an island sanctuary within Lake Biwa, and more. Flexible itineraries designed around your interests, and guided by our local experts for a truly special experience.

Custom Tours

from our guests


Local Expert Team

Our Primary Guides

Yoshitsugu Shinmura
Takako (Tako) Matsui-Leidy

Tako is the main manager of the Biwako Backroads project as well as a fully licensed English guide. Aside from 11 years living in the US, Tako has spent most of her life in Shiga and is happy to share the local culture with you!

Yoshitsugu Shinmura
Yuta Fukuhara

Yuta is an outdoor explorer at heart and local forestry worker by trade. He’s been a great help to our team as the resident nature and hiking guide, and having grown up nearby, he knows the local region very well.

Isaac Morgan
Isaac Morgan

Originally from Arkansas, Isaac has been a Shiga resident for many years now. His interests in culture, history and outdoor recreation made him a perfect fit for the team, and his Japanese is excellent too!

Support Guides
Support Guides

In addition to our primary guides, we also have a small network of friendly and knowledgeable guides providing back up and support as needed to ensure tour availability and a positive experience for our guests.

Access & Meeting Point

Meet Up and Go!

Working Together for Progress

Memberships & Partners

Japan Ecotourism Society
Yu Tour
Biwaichi Rental Cycle
instagram @biwakobackroads
Questions Welcome!

Contact Us

All questions welcome! To book a tour, please use the Booking Page form. Thanks, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

* all fields required!

COVID-19 Status: Bookings now available. Read more: COVID-19 Safety Measures