里山文庫 satoyama library

Seasoning Journey to living Satoyama~meet the ingredients, taste their stories!~

Featured Tour

Village Life




Travel to visit producers in Uda: Indigo Japan blue and Medicinal Plant Expedition

After visiting a traditional indigo dyeing atelier, which inherits 150 years old indigo vase, we explored edible forests. Uda city is a historical land, where wild medicinal plant has been conducted, since ancient Yamato dynasty in 7th century.

Wild medicinal plants master taught us how to distinguish  porcelain berry (or wild grape, scientific name: Ampelopsis glandulosa) and ornamental grape vine (scientific name: Vitis coignetiae), how to make yakushu, alcoholic beverage for medicinal purposes by using natural resources such as Linden arrowwood (gamazumi in Japanese, scientific name: Viburnum dilatatum), silver vine, cat powder, matatabi in Japanese (Scientific name: Actinidia polygama), deodeok or lance asiabell (Tsuruninjin in Japanese, Scientific name: Codonopsis lanceolata), and so on.

Pick and eat, eat and learn, by using five senses, we learnt traditional knowledge of ancient people on living in co-existent with nature.

only use mountain water for 150 years in kasama indigo atelier

"When father-in-low went hospital, I thought someone has to learn how to take care of 150 years indigo vase. My husband is a business person, and only I could do that for the time being. This is how I started to learn, and got deep into this world."

Said the 4th generation of Kasama indigo dyeing atelier, Ms Kayo.  

In the village of Kasama, there are households earning their livelihoods by dyeing, blacksmith, farming... Nowadays, this knowledge is gradually disappearing. Dyeing workshop and black smith are also last one craftsman.

Ms. Kayo, still has hope to keep the lifestyle living with indigo as it is.

Aizome experience 1,500yen (reservation required)

walk and eat: medicinal plant hunting in the forest. 

After lunch, expedition for edible forests.

Walking and picking wild plants. 

Gamazumi (Linden arrowwood), good for making yakushu, medicinal liquor.

 silver vine, matatabi, is also good for medicinal liquor

What is the taste like?
It is very spicy!! Can you believe?

In Korea, it seems deodeok or lance asiabell is edible in raw, just dipped into honey. 
It smells like soil, but the taste is mild, not bitter, not spicy. It is okay to eat as salad by raw.
flower of deodeok

Japanese snake gourd (Karasuuri in Japanese, Scientific name: Trichosanthes cucumeroides). The seeds can be used as a talisman for good fortune, and also edible after baking. It could be indeed good luck in case of emergency, when kept into wallet.

Wild kiwi, or baby kiwi (sarunashi in Japanese, scientific name: Actinidia arguta) is indeed little kiwi, when tasted. It is also good for making liquor.

 Wild grape.
This is similar, but not edible, just beautiful.

You can go for medicinal plant hunting most of the season.  Next workshop will be making kudzu powder form arrow roots, tuber crop.

We also plan to go for foraging and cook medicinal plants in spring.


[1 Day from Kyoto] Farm to Table Food Experience in Rural Kyoto

Starting from visiting Kyoto’s kitchen, Nishiki Food Market, we will travel to off-the-beaten rural farms providing ingredients to citizens in Kyoto, and learn cultivation of vegetables and experience home-style cooking at a local house in Ohara.

About the tour

The tour starts from visiting Nishiki Food Market, known as "Kyoto's kitchen", guests can learn about key seasonings of washoku, Japanese traditional food in the first place. Then, we will take an hour bus ride to Ohara village, located in the north of Kyoto. Historically, Ohara has been the place to produce ingredients to ancient town of Kyoto, and developed food cultures such as tsukemono (pickle) or shibazuke. Farmers are still producing major kyoyasai vegetables till now. 

One of the highlights is visiting an organic farmer, "Purple Farm Fujioka" and learn home-style cooking from local farm shop "Schop and Hoe" at a traditional farm-house. Not only learning food ingredients but also it offers special time to experience daily life of Japanese organic farmers. Local community people are very eager to host you for the lunch time together.

Ohara is also well known for its hidden temples such as Jakko-in and Sanzen-in. After lunch, guests have time to walk around tranquil village of Ohara before heading back to Kyoto station.


  • Nishiki Food Market 
  • Learning about Organic Farming in Ohara 
  • Home-style cooking experience at a traditional local farmhouse 
  • Sight seeing in Ohara

Tour Price

2 persons:  13000JPY / person
3 persons:  11500 JPY/ person
4-10 persons: 8500JPY / person


  • guide fee
  • cooking class
  • lunch 
  • Farm visit

Not Included:

  • Transportation fee (you and guide): 550 JPY from Kyoto to Ohara / one way
  • Entrance fee for Sanzen-in temple (you and guide): 700 JPY
  • Hotel pick-up 1000JPY



[1 Day Kyoto] Meet producers of traditional crafts in Kyoto

In the ancient capital Kyoto, various traditional crafts workshops are located. In the Higashiyama area near Kiyomizu temple, located potters of kiyomizu yaki,  craftsman related to tea utensils have lived near Ogawadori, where headquarter of sado Senke is located, and Nishijin is a notable district, which produced great number of weavers.  

For this tour, you can visit producers of traditional handicrafts based on your interests (ex. shibori, weaving, bamboo crafts, laquerware, pottery studio, knife maker).

example itinerary:

 9:00 Hotel pick-up in Kyoto city
 9:30-11:00 Visit to shibori workshop
11:00-12:00 Shopping at a linen fabric shop  
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Shibori museum
14:30-16:00 Nishijin weaving atelier
16:00-17:00 Nishijin textile center


Shibori is a Japanese traditional tie-dyeing, which makes patterns by using several techniques such as string gathering, folding, binding, pegging, or stitching. 

Kanoko shibori 

The linen shop focuses on linen materials and products, such as linen thread, clothe, bags, interior products, and so on.

Shibori museum

vintage textile techniques

indigo dyeing atelier
Pottery, bamboo crafts, woodblock printing also could be good options.


half day tour

1-5 persons 15000JPY
6 persons 18000JPY
7 persons 20000JPY
8 persons 22000JPY

1 day tour 

1-5 persons 25000JPY
6 persons  30000JPY
7 persons 33000JPY
8 persons 36000JPY

included: Guide fee, hotel pick-up
not included: Lunch (you and guide), transportation fee, entrance fee and lecture, if needed



[6th -8th October Kyoto] Japanese Art of Fermentation 3 days Koji Malt Work Camp

sake,miso,soy sauce,vinegar,mirin are foundations of japanese cuisine.All are made from koji malt.In this workshop,you will learn how to make koji malt while enjoying fermented meals to introduce you to the traditional and contemporary landscape of food culture in kyoto.
Mr nakaji,the main facilitator,trained at Terada-Honke sake brewery in Chiba,and has been organizing koji malt workshop throughout Japan.
The venue,Kyoto Moyashi House,was once a shop where moyashi koji malt seed was produced 100 years ago.

We hope you can join us and enjoy a memorable weekend in a historicant significant setting amidst a pleasant autumn season atmosphere in Kyoto.





maximum number of participants:25 person Participartion Fee:148000 JPY

Cost includes: Lunches,Dinners,Transportation fee during the seminer , English interpretation , and a Textbook.
The cost does not included:Accommodation,Transportation to the kyoto moyashi house(A neighborhood guest house is available upon request)

Reservation Form: masuji90@maia.eonet.ne.jp
Home Address
E-mail Address
Phone number
Date of Birth
Payment method (Credit Card)https://schophoe.thebase.in/

募集人数:25名様 参加費:148000円



 expert of koji culture 

Graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design Ceramic Course. After learning traditional performing arts (wadaiko, dance, and song) at Kodo Cultural Foundation, he studied cooking and self-sufficient lifestyle under a cooking expert, Ms. Deco Nakajima. He had engaged in natural brewing sake at Terada-Honke as a Kuroudo (head sake brewer) for 8 years, and learnt fermentation and philosophy of life from Mr Keisuke Terada. Through brewing sake, he acquired fundamental knowledge of koji mold and fermentation. He started his own business and actively works to convey a low of koji and fermentation, organizing seminars related to Koji, fermentation, bodywork, and meditation.

Guest Speaker

Akihiko Sukeno / HISHIROKU

種麹屋 菱六 助野彰彦














Reservation Procedure 予約方法

We need formal reservation for attending this program. 

Step 1:  Please fill in following form and send email to: masuji90@maia.eonet.ne.jp

Reservation Form:  

Home Address
E-mail Address
Phone number
Date of Birth

Step2:  Please note that we need payment by credit card or paypal in advance. We will send confirmation letter after we confirm your payment.


Payment method (Credit Card)

Cancellation Policy: キャンセルの場合の取り扱いについて
- 7day before the seminar start date 100%
- 14day before the seminar start date 70%
- 20day before the seminar start date 50%

The seminar will be guaranteed when the participants reaches more than 8 persons. We will 100% refund the participation fee, if the tour will be cancelled. 

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