Group Size2-8 guests
The abundance of local fresh water is at the heart of the sake and soy sauce brewing tradition here in Kinomoto.
Kinomoto is a charming old brewery town blessed by an abundant source of fresh water. As a former post station town of Edo era kaido routes, the town has retained much of its historical charm, without heavily catering to tourism, but rather sustaining its natural community and identity of local family businesses that have thrived here for centuries.
After meeting up at JR Maibara Station (shinkansen stops here), our guide will lead you on the 24-minute train ride north to JR Kinomoto Station. Here we will give a walking tour including 2 sake breweries, both among the 10 oldest operating in Japan, as well as a traditional soy sauce brewery.
Unlike many sake tours here in Japan which cater to large groups and teach about the basics of sake-making, our tour is more focused on the actual community and history of these local brewers. So, we can meet the staff of these family-owned businesses, taste samples at one or two of the stops (note: sake and alcohol samples only available for guests age 20 or older), and aside the winter brewing season, guests can usually also visit the actual private brewing area behind the soy sauce storefront. It’s also a great chance to learn the differences between soy sauce varieties and their respective culinary uses.
We’ll also visit the large local Buddhist temple, a central presence in local culture, and local shops such as traditional confectioneries and bakeries.
- Suitable for all ages. No strenuous activities.
- Meeting point is JR Maibara Station (shinkansen stops here). From here, our guide will lead you on the 24-minute train ride to JR Kinomoto Station.
- 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.
- Professional bilingual (EN/JA) guide
- Light refreshment
- Entrance Fee
- All train fares
- Souvenirs, food, snacks, etc.
Pricing for this private tour is determined by the size of your group, and any optional activities. Basic pricing is as follows:
Standard Private Course
|Attendees||Price per Person|
|2 people||¥9,000 per person|
|3 – 4 people||¥7,500 per person|
|5 – 8 people||¥6,000 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!
- Mountain Hiking (+3 hours) Kinomoto is also very near Mt. Shizugatake, an easy beginner hike with a spectacular view of Lake Biwa. Combine for a more active one-day private tour!
- 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.