About the tour

On this tour we’ll show you around our village, home and property, have a traditional green tea ceremony (different from the usual matcha ceremony), enjoy local sweets, teach you how to make our local speciality, and walk to our local waterfalls (one of Japan’s top 100).

Starting before 9am or just after lunch, we recommend staying at Yuyaonsen the day before or after so you can relax and enjoy the hot springs. This tour does not use public transport, so you will need a car or rent-a-car (unless you really love to walk). Contact us if you'd like help renting a car from our friendly local rent-a-car company.

Learn to make Gohei Mochi

Grilled over charcoal, 'gohei mochi' is a delicious savoury and sweet miso flavoured treat that we love to make with guests. A speciality of Central Japan, each area and village has a different take on this classic snack. On the tour we’ll show you how to make our village’s version, and enjoy them with a view as either a light lunch or an afternoon snack.

Enjoy a sencha-do ceremony

Many people are familiar with the matcha tea ceremony from Japan, but did you know there’s also a ceremony for sencha green tea?

This type of ceremony is elegant and precise, but unlike similar matcha ceremonies it's easy for visitors to join, and you’ll be able to taste the range of flavours that can come from Japanese green tea.

We’ll enjoy the tea with some local sweets - our city has a long history of tea ceremonies which means a long history of sweets!

Learn more about Japanese countryside life

Join this half-day (4 hour) introduction to our peaceful village and the countryside Japanese lifestyle. Perfect for a stopover between Tokyo and Osaka.

If you’ve ever considered living in an old Japanese house it’s a great opportunity to ask us about anything too.

A must-see along the Golden Route

Our village is up the mountain valley from Toyohashi (with Shinkansen and rent-a-car services).

With accommodation and hot springs at nearby Yuyaonsen, our area is perfect for exploring the real Japan between Tokyo and Osaka.

Tour highlights

  • Exclusive local experiences at our beautiful home in a very quiet mountain village.
  • Learn about the lifestyle of countryside Japan, in the mountains.
  • A rare chance to walk around a Japanese village that is not a tourist destination.
  • Great for anyone considering living in a Japanese kominka or akiya (empty house) someday.
  • Flexible itinerary and timing, over a half-day 4 hour tour.

Interested? Get in touch!

You can view our available dates for tours on our availability page.

Atera Countryside Life Tour

About your hosts

We are an Australian/Japanese couple that have loved this part of Japan for a long time. In 2023 we were able to buy our dream house in our current village, and we've made it our mission to spread our love of this incredible place and its stories as much as we can. We also want to encourage people to consider a future life in the beautiful Japanese countryside!

With both of us, we offer both native-level English and Japanese, which is useful when talking about the complicated cultural history of Japan.

We can't wait to share this place with you!

The hosts for the tours

What we'll do in detail (over roughly 4 hours)

Meet at Yuyaonsen Station
Using your car or rental car, follow us on the short drive to our village. The scenery from the road is beautiful.

Depending on the starting time, weather, and how hungry the group is, we can change the order of the following activities!

A tour of our beautiful traditional home, and property
We'll show you around our very old kominka home, while highlighting the unique aspects of traditional Japanese homes and the countryside house lifestyle.

Then we'll take a walk around our land and to one of our nearby rivers. We'll share the way people in the mountains work with their farmland.

a mountain view with clouds
The view from our garage.

A Japanese green tea ceremony (called 'sencha-do') with local sweets, at home or at the local waterfalls
Enjoy a tea ceremony that's easy for visitors to join, and experience the range of flavours possible! This is a less common type of tea ceremony, but it's as elegant and precise as the matcha ceremony many have seen before, while being more casual and inviting.

This area has been one of the major tea producing areas of Japan for hundreds of years, and sencha-do came from the working class people of tea farms wanting their own way to enjoy the tea they were growing.

Walk to nearby Atera no Nanataki waterfalls
The Atera no Nanataki waterfalls have been linked to our village for 1000 years, and they're one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls.

Walking on easy roads and paths, we'll cover roughly 6kms along the beautiful Atera River. At the falls we'll show you the unique geology and share the legends going back 1000 years.

Learn to make gohei mochi - our local speciality food
At our home, together we'll make gohei mochi, then cook it over charcoal while enjoying the mountain views.

The flavour of our gohei mochi is our village's speciality, with a unique special ingredient compared to other gohei mochi of Central Japan!

gohei mochi cooking over charcoal
Gohei mochi cooking over charcoal.

The tour ends at our home, where we can suggest your next destination


Private group, 4 guests maximum:

Please see inclusions and exclusions in the FAQs on this page.

Where in Japan is our village?

The map below shows the meeting point for the tour, our village is not far away.

FAQs and details

Days and times

Summer months

In July, August, or September, due to the heat of Japanese Summer, we may need to alter some parts of the itinerary. Our home doesn't have air conditioning and it can be quite hot inside, we apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

Important times

The tour takes roughly 4 hours, and usually starts before 9am or between 12-1pm. If you need a different starting time, we may be able to have gohei mochi for lunch and start in the mid-morning.

What is included/excluded in the price?

Included in the tour:

  • Gohei mochi (about a normal serving of rice size)
  • A sweet per guest with the tea ceremony

Not included in the tour:

  • Car rental - we drive in front and lead you to our village.
  • Umbrellas in case of rain.

What do I need for the tour?

  • A basic level of fitness. We will walk roughly 7kms over the full tour, but mostly on easy roads and paths.
  • Shoes suitable for walking. Some areas are slippery but we will try to avoid these where we can.
  • A hat, and preferably a sun shirt, sunglasses, and sunscreen - especially in warm months. We walk through the forest but there is still a chance of being sunburned. We provide insect repellent in warmer months.
  • Sufficient travel insurance for this type of activity.

Cancellations and bad weather

Please see our page on Tour Policies and Conditions