half-day private course

Local Landscape Explorer Tour

Private group tour which provides a peaceful ride exploring the diversity of local agriculture, nature, history, and culture.

Course Details - Local Landscape Explorer

Course covers a broad range of local scenery for a true sense of rural Japanese life in Shiga.

Get an up close look at local agriculture, Lake Biwa, and some of the charming smaller villages of Maibara.

This leisurely beginner-friendly route explores small-town rural life in Japan while highlighting some of our area’s unique geographical and historical points of interest.

Enjoy a refreshing ride including rice and agriculture fields, the shores of Lake Biwa, historic trade routes, and more for a fun, memorable experience.

Bikes and helmets are provided. You are also welcome to bring your own bike (but tour cost will not change), and we can also arrange for electric bicycle at additional fee of ¥1000. The basic course can be done in about 3 hours and covers 13-15km of mostly flat terrain through the smaller villages that comprise Maibara City, from the foot of nearby mountains to the shores of Lake Biwa and everything in between!

This half-day course operates in the morning or afternoon. Mornings begin at 9:00, ending in time for lunch (which is not included as part of the tour, but we can offer local recommendations!), or in the afternoon beginning at 1:00pm.

Itinerary - Local Landscape Explorer

Standard course itinerary. Longer custom itinaries possible by adding optional activities (see Options below).

Standard Itinerary
"Local Landscape Explorer" Course

Meet Pt: Maibara Sta.
Time: Approx. 3 hrs
Cycle Distance: 13-15km
Group: 1-4 People
Active Level: ?
Price: see pricing below
  • Itinerary Details
  • Meet at Maibara Station
  • Safety and equipment check before departure
  • Leisurely-paced tour of Maibara area villages with occasional stops at points of interest
  • A short uphill hike (5 min. up) to a scenic spot to take a break for refreshment drinks
  • Tour countinues along local agriculture fields and Lake Biwa shoreline
  • Return to Maibara Station
  • What's Included
  • Professional guide
  • Bike and helmet rental
  • Light refreshment
  • Insurance
  • Not Included
  • All train fares
  • Souvenirs, snacks, etc.

Course Options - Local Landscape Explorer

Optional activities to extend and customize your experience. Our standard itinerary is about 3 hrs, so there's plenty of time to customize with the following options:

Zen Temple Visit

Seigan-ji, a local Zen Buddhist temple, is a hidden gem with an amazing moss garden.

Fortunately, it’s just a short walk from Maibara Station, so we’re able to offer this optional stop to any of our courses.

Relax with tea and traditional sweets while enjoying beatiful views of the garden. And if we’re lucky enough to catch the head monk, he also offers free zen meditation sessions!

Hikone Castle Tour
adds 3.5 hrs

Your guide can also take you on a tour of our area’s most famous historical landmark.

One of only four Japanese Castles that have maintained their original keep! Includes tour of the Genkyuen garden. By request (and additional fee) we can also include a boat tour of the Castle moat.

This 3+ hour optional activity usually extends a half-day course into a one day course, but we also offer an extended 5-hour version of this Castle Tour as a standalone custom half-day course on its own, which pairs nicely with the Zen Temple Visit option!

Pricing - Local Landscape Explorer

Pricing for this private tour is determined by the size of your group, and any optional activities. Basic pricing is as follows:

Standard Private Courseincl. bike and helmet rental
Attendees Price per Person
1 person ¥14,000 solo tour
2 people ¥7,000 per person
3 - 4 people ¥6,000 per person
Option Price added to course price above
Option Price
Zen Temple Visit ¥2,500 per person (details above)
Hikone Castle Visit 2 people:
¥7,200 / person
3 people:
¥6,500 / person
4 - 5 people:
¥6,000 / person
note: adds 3.5 hrs, includes all Castle and garden fees (details above)
Electric Assist Bike ¥1,000 per person must request at time of booking

Booking - Local Landscape Explorer

Request bookings through the form on our Booking Page. Please include any relevant details in the comments, and we'll get back to you within 1-2 business days to confirm availibity, details, and price.

Before booking, please also read through our Terms and Conditions for complete details about payment, cancellations, etc.

Frequent Booking Questions
We allow, and recommend, payment in person at tour start time. We accept in-person payments by cash (Japanese yen), or major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover). Alternately, we can arrange for advance payment via secure online invoice in Japanese yen, payable by Paypal or credit card. Note: while we don't require early deposit payment, you may be invoiced to pay any applicable cancellation fee in the event of late cancellation.
Biwako Backroads may decide to cancel bicycle tours for moderate rain or snow. This decision will be made no later than 5pm on the day before tour. In such a case, you will be fully refunded any advance payment, or possibly given the option to change to walking tour instead. Walking tours will still be conducted in rain or snow (unless severe conditions). Weather cancellations are made at our discretion; if you decide on your own to cancel, then cancellation fees may still apply. See our Terms and Conditions for more details about weather cancellation.
See our Terms & Conditions for complete details. Regarding cancellation fees, here's our basic timeline for fees applying to cancellations made by the customer:
  • 15 days or more before tour: No charge
  • 8-14 days before tour: 15% of total tour cost
  • 4-7 days before tour: 30% of total tour cost
  • 2-3 days before tour: 50% of total tour cost
  • 24 hrs or less before tour: 100% of total tour cost