I got off at the Maibara station, about a two and a half hour ride by bullet train from Tokyo.
I have a friend there with a car and another friend joined us from Nagoya. We visited Hikone Castle and the Hitomi Winery.
We started with the castle. It was known as a strong defense and was built on the mountaintop. It overlooks Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan. Quite a spectacular view. The weather was just perfect. The white walls looked so pretty under the clear blue sky.
We had lunch at Taneya. It has a nice ambience and serves great dishes. We had a lovely time.
Then we drove about an hour and arrived at the winery.
I still cannot forget the impressions of my first taste of Hitomi wine. Their flagship wine is NIGORI Wine, a wine made with no antioxidants and as few chemical additives as possible. So NIGORI wine is not clear (NIGORI means “not clear” in Japanese), you can see sediments in the bottle. It is like a natural grape juice with alcohol. It is very different from regular wines, but very tender. I fell in love with this wine when I first tasted it.
The sign for the winery is not very obvious. We almost drove past it the first time, without noticing it.
It has a bread factory within the structure. Smelled yummy! We tasted various types of bread and they are all good. We also tasted a few wines. Two were Delaware wines (dry and super dry) and one a sparkling wine.
I bought Dela Soul, Kire Dela, Ikkaku
The sun setting into the Lake Biwa was so stunning. We had a really good time.