Satoyama Experience provides guided walking and cycling tours highlighting the Japanese countryside and arts and culture scene in the cities of Hida and Takayama—both of which are located in the landlocked Gifu Prefecture in central Japan approximately 4.5 hours away from Tokyo by train.
Satoyama Experience offers five styles of guided bike tours, including the Standard tour, the Ride & Hike tour, the Takayama Good Day Cycling Tour, the Half-Day tour and the option for cyclists to rent their own bike for a self-guided tour. The Ride & Hike guided bike tour, starting at $82 pp, takes guests on a 12-mile ride through a farming village where many traditional kura (Japanese storehouses) still remain. Later, guests go on a 1.5-hour hike in a primeval beech forest near waterfalls. A box lunch, made with ingredients grown in Hida, is provided amongst the backdrop of the Japanese Alps (Hida Mountains).
On the Discover the Sake cultural guided tour in Takayama, starting at $21 pp, guests learn about the origins and culture of sake by participating in a hands-on workshop at the Funasaka Sake brewery. First, an educational video, highlighting the connection between sake and the Shinto religion, is shown. After the video, guests get a feel for local life through activities such as calligraphy tutorials and tying bottles with wrapping paper made out of furoshiki cloth (an ancient Japanese art). The Food & Culture guided walking tour, starting at $40, features the unique cultural sights of Takayama—a town where resident’s daily life still revolves around traditional shops such as the tofu seller, sake breweries and Japanese sweets shops. The tour includes a stroll down the side streets of the town, where guests can sample bites of food and shots of sake along the way as a local guide expounds upon the city’s history and culture. For more information, visit satoyama-experience.com.