Immerse yourself in the rhythms and traditions of farm life in a Japanese village during this 3.5-hour visit to the town of Ogi, including a ‘mochi’-pounding (Japanese rice cake-making) and delicious chicken Sukiyaki lunch cooking lesson. Walk amidst the terraced rice fields of this picturesque town, discovering its more than 1,300 years of rice farming history. Then visit the home of a local farmer, learning the techniques to make ‘mochi’ while enjoying the warm hospitality of this friendly resident and his wife. A family / couple / senior-friendly tour with a very attentive tour guide.
After a 30-minute train ride from JR Kyoto station, you will arrive at JR Ogotoonsen station. Meet our tour conductor at the station.
You will take a taxi to the village of Ogi where you spend a half day learning about Japanese country life and smacking your lips over local specialties. First you will enjoy a short walk through the village and rice fields that have been continuously cultivated for 1300 years. The legend is that when a severe drought hit the area, the emperor enshrined the Shinto spirit of rain in Ogi village. Soon, spring water started running from the exact same location, saving many peoples’ lives. You'll visit Ogura shrine where the spirit is said to reside. A large festival is held here in May, just before the rice planting, to pray for a good harvest.
The view of terraced rice fields surrounding the villages is stunning, portraying the changing colors of the natural surroundings according to each season.
In spring, the rice fields are flooded - reflecting the sky like a mosaic of mirrors.
In summer, the fields turn a fresh green color vibrant with the growing rice plants.
In autumn, they are transformed to gold from the ripened ears of rice plants.
Finally, after the harvest, the fields return to the color of earth, sometimes dusted with snow during cold winter days.
You will surely delight in these varying characters of the terraced rice fields. We hope you can visit Japan four times, each time in a different season to further relish the changes!
After taking a stroll through the rice terraces in the area, you will visit the local rice farmer’s house. There, you'll experience exciting mochi rice cake making. You can pound the steaming sticky rice into delicious mochi rice cakes using a giant mallet and mortar while enjoying the fun atmosphere, feeling like a child again.
Rolling out Mochi rice cake while enjoying chatting with the farm owner.
Ogi villagers have traditionally been making Natto Mochi; fermented soy beans seasoned with salt wrapped in Mochi rice cake. This is a very original style of eating Mochi rice cakes and is truly a local tradition of this village.
You can also try a special sukiyaki made with fresh local chicken and lots of vegetables. The farmer will show you how to make it, so participate and learn. Many guests became big fans of this simple yet delicious dish cooked right in front of you.We will be guests at the farmhouse for an enjoyable mealtime and can enjoy chatting further with the farmer and his wife to learn more about traditional Japanese lifestyles. This extraordinary experience, learning about a farmer’s life coexisting with the bounty of nature, will be the highlight of your trip to Japan!