Higashi-Shirakawa One-Day Tour : Rice, Tea, Shintoism, And Local Legends

Japan is a place full of mysteries. A culture completely different from ours, with it’s own religion, food traditions and customs that can be difficult to understand. Yet, through the past years we can see more and more western influence coming to Japan. Especially big towns like Tokyo or Osaka are changing a lot. Although we find this to be a good thing, we want you to experience the real Japanese culture, by taking you to a small village, Higashi-Shirakawa. In the middle of the mountains, this village almost never sees foreigners, with one big part of it’s economy relying on rice and tea agriculture.

In this tour you will be able to experience the way of life of the locals, divided between work in the fields, relaxing around a good cup of tea and visiting a temple. We will accompagny you to communicate with the locals, and help you understand some of the main concepts of Japanese culture and life in a small Japanese village.

1 day tour

Group from 8* to 15 people

From March to November

*Possibility to book for smaller groups, please contact us in this case

per person

What you will experience on this tour :

  • Out of the beaten tracks village of Higashi-Shirakawa
  • Rice field farming (if willing to, you can participate!)
  • Local speciality : Key-chan barbecue
  • Japanese style tea preparation
  • Tea degustation, served with typical local sweets
  • Introduction to the Japanese culture
  • Mountain shrine of Kanda

Useful information :

  • Tour beginning meeting point : 8:00AM, JR Nagoya Station
  • Tour ends at JR Nagoya Station, 6:30PM
  • Guided tour
  • Staff stays with the groupe for the entire duration of the tour
  • Languages available for the explanations : English, Italian, Japanese
  • Although the meeting point is indicated on the program, we will provide detailed information on how to reach us when you book the tour.

Please contact us for any special request or supplementary information you would like to know

Tour Program:

Our trip starts at the JR Nagoya Station, where we meet the other participants and the guides that will accompany us during this tour.  We take our privative mini-bus and head for Higashi-Shirakawa. Before arriving we take a break at the つちのこ館-Tsuchi no ko kan, lit. House of the Tsuchi no Ko. Our guide tells us the story of this legendary creature and we continue our trip to the first stop of our tour : the rice fields!

In the middle of the mountains, Higashi-Shirakawa almost never sees tourists and live from what nature provides them. The biggest economy beeing wood manufacturing and rice and tea cultivation. >> Learn more about this village

We will introduce to you the rice cultivation and all the secrets to grow this rich flavoured, sticky rice so important to us, Japanse. We will show you our 100% organic rice fields and depending on the season you will also be able to experience work in the rice fields! On voluntary basis of course.

Now that you’ve gotten hungry, let’s enjoy a regional speciality for lunch : Key-chan, a barbecue made of chicken and carbage.

And nobody says no to a desert right? So let’s enjoy an other major Japanese tradition : Tea. We assist to the traditionnal way of preparing the Japanese tea. Our expert prepare the tea for us and we taste it afterwards. During this tea-time, we also eat locals sweets and are given a short introduction about the Japanese culture. Themes like the Japanese values, politeness, culture of respect and their link to the religion will be addressed.

To illustrate our short lesson we then go to the shrine of our village : the mountain shrine of Kanda. Our guide explains us the link between shintoism and rice cultivation and we head for our last activity : the tea fields!

We finish by going back to the JR Nagoya station at 6:30 and hope you enjoyed this tour we us!

Welcome to Higashi-Shirakawa (東白川), village of the legendary Tsuchi No Ko (つちのこ)!

10:40 : Introduction to the rice culture in Japan

Depending on the season the work will change.

If willing to you can try a work experience in the rice fields. It is of course not mandatory

Lunch : Enjoy a regional dish, the Key-chan barbecue

13:30 : Demonstration of Japanese style tea preparation followed by tea tasting

14:40 : Visit to the mountain shrine of Kanda

Try to beat the drum at the shrine!

Our last activity : Tea agriculture

The rate includes:

  • Pick-up service at the station upon arrival
  • Private bus transfers for the duration of the tour
  • Guided tour of the rice fields of Higashi-Shirakawa (work on voluntary basis)
  • Key-chan barbecue lunch
  • European, english speaking tour leader living in Takayama, who supports the japanese staff and will accompagny you throughout the tour. Fluent in Japanese, English and Italian
  • Tea preparation lesson
  • Tea tasting with local snacks
  • Discussion on Japanese culture
  • Visit of Kanda shinto shrine
  • Escort to JR Nagoya station at the end of the tour

Useful items to bring:

  • Water
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Bug repellent and/or spray (Summer)
  • Comfortable working clothes and a towel, if willing to try the rice fields working experience

Convinced ? Book now!

per person

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