Life, Culture, and History in a Local Brewery Town: Half-Day Tour Near Kyoto

Kinomoto is a charming old brewery town blessed by an abundant source of fresh water. As a former post station town of Edo era kaido routes, the town has retained much of its historical charm, without heavily catering to tourism, but rather sustaining its natural community and identity of local family businesses that have thrived here for centuries.

After meeting up at JR Maibara Station (shinkansen stops here), our guide will lead you on the 24-minute train ride north to JR Kinomoto Station. Here we will give a walking tour including 2 sake breweries, both among the 10 oldest operating in Japan, as well as a traditional soy sauce brewery. We can meet the staff of these family-owned businesses, taste samples, and aside the winter brewing season, if not busy, they'll often show us around the actual brewing area behind the storefront.

We'll also visit the large local Buddhist temple, a central presence in local culture, and local shops such as traditional confectioneries and bakeries.

per adult from




3 to 4 hours


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Insurance
    • Professional Guide
    What's excluded :
    • Local train fare between Maibara and Kinomoto
    • Alcoholic Beverages - Complementary tasting often provided, but other drinks should be purchased.
    • Snacks - We don't provide snacks, but there are many spots to buy along the way.
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Daiko Soy Sauce, 1137 Kinomotochō Kinomoto, Nagahama, Shiga 529-0425, Japan

    Our guide will bring you to Daiko Shoyu, a local family-run soy sauce brewery that has been in business for over 100 years. Soy sauce is also made with fermented mash, so production is actually quite similar to that of sake. Explore the varieties and uses of quality Japanese soy sauce. Aside from the active winter brewing season, visitors can usually also get a private look at the brewing area too.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Tomita Shuzo, 1107 Kinomoto, Kinomotocho, Nagahama 529-0425 Shiga Prefecture

    The Tomita family sake brewery has been here in Kinomoto for about 400 years and is one of the region's top brands winning awards in Japan and abroad. Our guide will show you around the traditional storefront, explaining some of the sake types and helping you interact with the friendly staff.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Kinomoto Jizoin Temple, 944 Kinomotocho Kinomoto, Nagahama 529-0425 Shiga Prefecture

    This interesting local temple has a long history and is central to the Kinomoto Village community and traditions. Our guide will show you around the grounds and main hall while explaining its significance in local culture. People visit the main Jizo deity of this temple with prayers for vision care, using votive ceramic frog statuettes to leave as offerings. There is also a pitch dark maze for meditation underneath the main hall!

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Yamaji Brewery, 990 Kinomoto Kinomotocho, Nagahama 529-0425 Shiga Prefecture

    Recognized as the 4th oldest sake brewery still running in Japan, this small brewery has been in business for almost 500 years! With several varieties of sake, they're also famous for a delicious and unique mulberry liquor. Depending on season and staffing, we may get to look at the brewing area behind the storefront, and the owners are happy to welcome our visitors with tastings.

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    Maibara Station, Japan, 〒521-0012 Shiga, Maibara, Maihara, 米原市米原
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 5 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.


English - Guide

Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Biwako Backroads

Activity ID: V-146959P3

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