For families who have settled in Shiga, the town of Wani, just half-an-hour from Kyoto Station on the Kosei line along the west side of Lake Biwa, is a kind of ‘portal’ to the stunningly beautiful area we have chosen to live and raise our families. Suddenly, the all too familiar and at times faceless and built up lake shore is transformed into one that brings nature’s true splendor pressing in on both sides of the train line.
Even after four years here I am still at a loss about which way to look: out over the vast stretch of the ancient ever-changing lake or up over the terraced rice fields to the soaring thousand-meter plus mountain range. For the next ten kilometers, these giants rise up like a jagged wall just a mile from the white sand beaches adding to the notion that one has just entered a semi-paradise that for most of the year remains undiscovered by both Japanese and foreign tourists.
It was out of their deep appreciation for this exquisite locale that the two founders of ‘Tour du Lac’ created their recently born company so as to offer a bridge between English speaking foreign visitors and those local people who quietly continue to follow the traditional ways in a sustainable balance with their natural surroundings.
Under the banner ‘Slow Life, Slow Food, Leisurely Tours Alongside the Tranquil Shores of Lake Biwa’, Tour du Lac presently offers eight unique full day and half-day tours, all of which offer participants in small groups the chance to actively interact with both the geography and the people of this ancient area.
From cooking with a Japanese grandmother in a small mountain village to bicycling along the lakeshore and through rice terraces and enjoying a home-style lunch in a 200 hundred year old house or participating in a Zen Pilates Yoga session, each activity guarantees a truly memorable day to those overseas visitors who want a break from being mere observers and wish to truly become one with the enchanting spirit of this area. Upon your return, you will no doubt empathize with those of us who celebrate each day how blessed we are to live here. For more information, contact: https://www.lacbiwa.com/