Half Day Bike Tour

Japan’s Backroads Exploring Rural Life & Nature

Time
approx. 3.5 hours
Starts 9 am or 1pm
Active Level
6/10
15 km slow cycling and 10 min uphill hike. Suitable for ages 13+.
Group Size
1-4 guests
Pricing
From ¥8,000 / person
price info below

Beginner-friendly course featuring a diversity of the local life, culture, and nature around Lake Biwa.

  • Leisurely beginner-friendly route.
  • A fun & easy way to explore the unique rural culture of northern Lake Biwa.
  • See local satoyama nature and wildlife such as birds, and occasionally even monkeys.
  • Just 20 min. from Kyoto by bullet train! Convenient location and scheduling allow time to explore more on your own afterward, such as Hikone Castle or Lake Biwa!
  • Enjoy a smooth ride with our own fleet of GT mountain bikes.
  • Guides are truly local, and members of the community who can help you engage with the friendly local residents.

Course Details

Just a 20 minute shinkansen ride from Kyoto to our starting point, we offer an easy way to explore small town rural life in Japan on this leisurely beginner-friendly ride, with a local resident guide, fluent in English, to help you enjoy our area’s unique geographical and historical points of interest.

This 15km course features a broad range of sights such as rice and agriculture fields, historic trade routes, local villages combining old and new ways of life, a temple and shrine, a brief hike, and the shores of Lake Biwa, all in about 3 hours.

In our tours, we hope to both share and preserve our local lakeside culture and traditions. Toward this goal, we also work closely with municipalities and residents to ensure that we always respect the wishes and needs of the local communities that we visit.

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

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

Our convenient location and short tour time make it easy to explore more before or after your tour too, such as visiting Hikone Castle, or Lake Biwa!

  • Course Notes
  • Seasonal operation: Late March until early December
  • 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.
  • The meeting point is JR Maibara Station. We will start and end the tour at the station.
  • Suitable for age 13 & up, and at least 152cm (5 ft) tall.
  • You are also welcome to bring your own bike (but tour cost will not change)
  • We can also arrange for electric bicycle at additional fee of ¥1000.
  • The tour will be canceled in case of heavy rain (a decision will be made no later than 7 PM on the day before the tour), but it will be replaced with a walking and vehicle version at no extra charge. Even with the change, you will still be able to enjoy the serene landscapes of a traditional Japanese countryside village.
  • Please wear appropriate clothes and shoes. There will also be a short hike.
  • We strongly recommend purchasing appropriate travel insurance in advance. Although minimal insurance is included.
  • What’s Included
  • Professional guide
  • GT mountain bike
  • Helmet
  • Light refreshment
  • Not Included
  • All train fares to the meeting point (but covered by JR Pass if you have)
  • Souvenirs, snacks, etc.
                                       

Meeting Point

Meet your guide right at the ticket gate of JR Maibara Station. By bullet train, Maibara is 1 stop east (20 min) from Kyoto (fare paid by customers, but covered by JR Pass if you have one).

                                         
                                    

Pricing

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 ¥24,000 per person
2 people ¥14,000 per person
3 – 4 people ¥10,000 per person
Options & Additions

Additional fees apply, but vary by time & group size (final cost will be confirmed before finalizing reservation). Please mention in comment field of reservation form to add options, or feel free to ask us for more details about any of them!

  • Zen Temple Visit (+1-2 hours) Near our meet-up point is a great little Zen temple with an amazing garden, newly added cafe, and even zen meditation sessions. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Hikone Castle Visit (+3 hours) While many explore this local treasure without a guide, we’re also happy to accompany, guide, and also take you to the adjacent gardens, and moat boat ride.

Booking

Visit our booking page to request reservation: Book Now

When submitting your request, be sure to include relevant details in the comments. We'll get back to you within about 1 business day to confirm availibity, details, and price.

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.
We may cancel tours for weather. Bike tours in particular are cancelled for moderate rain or snow. This decision will be made no later than 7pm on the day before tour, so please check your contact email for any updates. In such a case, you will be fully refunded any advance payment. Bike tour weather cancellations are given the option to exchange for a walking tour instead. Walking tours are still conducted in light to moderate rain & snow. 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:
  • 8 days or more before tour: No charge
  • 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