Rural Japan Cyclinig Tour ・Tour Du Lac Biwa ・Satoyama Experience
Dotted across the Japanese countryside are quaint traditional villages where locals enjoy a quiet, slow-paced lifestyle in harmony with nature. This close intertwining of people, culture, and nature is embodied in “satoyama,” a term and concept that’s closely associated with rural Japan.
There’s no better way to explore the satoyama than a relaxing cycling tour that will take you through diverse landscapes that change with the seasons: rice paddies, vast fields that stretch out as far as the eye can see, rivers and streams, forests, picturesque hamlets, and so on. Often held in small groups for a more intimate experience and guided by locals, these tours also provide opportunities for guests to get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the region and interact with villagers.
Many of Japan’s rural towns have local operators that offer guided cycling tours. Shiga-based Tour du Lac, for example, runs custom-made sustainable cycling tours along the shores of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Meanwhile, Gifu-based Satoyama Experience guides guests through some of the area’s most scenic villages and cycling routes, as well as the castle town of Hida-Furukawa and off-the-beaten-path gems.