This is a three day tour of Shimane Prefecture’s riverside towns and mountain communities. The tour will feature the riverside town of Gotsu and the deep country villages of Uzui, Kandani, Kaizumi and Hirasa Ueda, featuring beautiful rice paddies. You will be able to meet locals and hear their stories of life in this region, and take part in immersive activities such as hiking, canoeing, trying Kagura - Japan’s oldest performing art, visiting a sake brewery and meeting local children. You will also be able to try the best of local cuisine and fresh produce in the heartland of Japan.Tour provided by Heartland Japan http://heartlandjapan.com/.
Day 1 Oda~Gotsu (Lunch, Dinner)The group will meet on the 2nd Floor of the Shinkansen Ticket Barriers at Hiroshima Station at 9am. From the station we will take a chartered bus to the riverside town of Gotsu. After a local lunch, we will take a walking tour of the town, hearing about the history and closure of the Sanko Train Line, and stopping by a one hundred year old dorayaki sweet bakery! We will then make our way to Asari House, an old folk house that has been renovated into a cafe and free space. We will then head to our accommodation for the night - a traditional Japanese ryokan with a hot spring bath.Day 2 Gotsu~Uzui~Asuna~Onan (All meals)On the second day, we will visit a traditional flute shop before heading to the house of Mr Amano, a legendary river fisherman and passionate painter (some of his works have been exhibited at the Louvre in Paris!). You will be able to talk to Mr Amano about his life, his painting and if you’re lucky, watch him fishing. After lunch in the small village of Uzui, we will visit Ikezuki Sake Brewery where you can hear about the sake making process and enjoy a tasting session. Before heading to our accommodation in the mountains of Shimane, we will walk through Kandani and Kaizumi villages and their iconic rice paddies. After dinner at our accommodation, we will visit a Kagura practice hall where you can learn about Japan’s oldest performing arts, watch performers practicing and have a go yourself!Day 3 Onan~Hiroshima (Breakfast, Lunch)On our final day, we will have a short hike from Hirasa Ueda down to Gonokawa River Sakugi Canoe Park. Here, we will enjoy canoeing along the river before a lunch of fresh produce and local cuisine. After lunch we will visit Tamazakura Sake Brewery where you will have the option to buy sake gifts. We will then make our way to the town of Onan where we will meet local children at the Kids’ Club, engaging in cultural exchanges and activities. Our tour will end back in Hiroshima at 18:30.