News & Events
- The Rice Terraces of Shiga
- Shiga Prefecture has some truly beautiful rice terraces.
Particularly famous examples include the Hata Rice Terraces in Takashima City, and the Oogi Rice Terraces in Otsu City. The Hata Rice Terraces have been selected among the 100 beautiful rice terraces of Japan, and have also been used for the filming of movies. A small settlement there of around 40 buildings maintains the terraces under harsh conditions, at a height between 300 and 400 meters and an incline of 10 degrees.
Incredibly enough, it is said that people started to live in this region more than 2,000 years ago, during the Jomon Period. In modern times, the advancing age of those living in the settlement has created issues with the maintenance of the terraces, leading to the introduction of a terrace owner system which enables exchanges with visitors from the cities through planting and harvesting experiences.
Local Tour Operators :
- Three Islands on Lake Biwa
- Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, has three islands that can be visited, with regular routes sailing between them and the mainland.
A place of worship since ancient times, and also more recently popular as a spiritual power spot. It’s said that if you write a wish on a small tile and manage to throw it through the Torii gate then that wish will come true.
5 min. on foot from JR Imazu Station, approx. 15 min. by ship from Omi-Imazu Port
Charges: Adult 2,590 yen, elementary school child 1,300 yen
10 min. on foot from JR Nagahama Station, approx. 30 min. by ship from Nagahama Port
Charges: Adult 3,070 yen, elementary school child 1,540 yen
The only inhabited lake island in Japan. With no cars and no supermarket on the island, it allows you to take a look at life from olden times. Also famous for food using fish from Lake Biwa.
Take the Kyukamura-bound bus via Chomeiji Temple and alight at the Horikiriko bus stop. Approx. 10 min. by ship from Horikiri Port.
Charges: 500 yen one way.
An uninhabited island with sheer cliffs, the entire island is said to be a spiritual power spot. There are numerous famous places to see, including the Nichiren school Kentoji Temple and the stone monument said to have oozed blood when key Shogunate figure Naosuke Ii was assassinated.
Approx. 10 min. by free bus from JR Hikone Station, approx. 20 min. by ship from Hikone Port.
Charges: Without landing on the island 1,000 yen
With landing on the island 1,500 yen
*Children half price.
- Glamping in Shiga!
- Introduction to facilities on Lake Biwa and in the surrounding area where you can enjoy some glamping.
L' Hôtel Du Lac
Experience glamping while looking out over Lake Biwa and Chikubushima island.
Okubiwako Makino Grand Park Hotel
Enjoy standup paddle boarding and kayaking on a private beach.
Glamping facilities that allow BBQs and standup paddle board yoga to be enjoyed without the need to bring in any of your own equipment.
The largest glamping facility in Shiga.
- Stay in Traditional Homes in Shiga
- There are probably many who don’t know of Shiga Prefecture, but in fact Otsu, the city where the Shiga Prefectural Office is located, is just two stations and 9 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Kyoto is so packed with tourists, and if you stay there and sightsee there, it may be difficult to achieve a true feeling of relaxation amid all the crowds of people.
If you want to see Kyoto, but are also looking for lodgings where you can really relax, why not stay in Shiga Prefecture?
Here’s an information-packed introduction to a selection of Shiga lodging facilities that have been created by refurbishing traditional homes.
Hotel Koo Otsuhyakucho
Lodgings created by refurbishing a number of old homes, and conveniently located close to JR Otsu Station. A nationally registered tangible cultural property. Stylish lodgings that fuse Japanese traditional culture with the modern.
Japanesque Villa Ichien
This is your chance to stay in a building that’s a nationally registered tangible cultural property. Take a relaxing break in a peaceful mountain village. Requires prior booking and only operates on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and during the spring and summer holiday periods.
A lodging facility created by refurbishing a house of around 100 years in the city of Omihachiman. The entire house is offered to just a single party at a time. You can watch the boats sailing the Hachiman Canals right from your window, and during the spring blossom season you can also enjoy the cherry blooming along the water.
Lodgings in an old-time traditional Japanese house with a striking thatched roof, as though you’ve slipped back into history. The owners will also provide meals, made with the best seasonal ingredients and delicious rice.
- Ninja Experience
- The Koka Ninja Village feels like an ancient and hidden settlement. Within the wide grounds there is a shinobi shrine, a museum dedicated to ninja techniques, a house full of ninja traps and secret panels, and a shuriken throwing star dojo. The museum in particular is especially rich in materials relating to ninja, housing the most in the world.
You can also rent ninja outfits, allowing you to experience the feeling of becoming a real ninja while undertaking your training.
How about exploring the place where Koka ninja originated?
[Rental Outfits Charges]
Children 610JPY/day, Adults 1030JPY/day
*Outfit rental is on a first come, first served basis.
*Head wraps are an additional 100YPY.
*A deposit is also required for rentals.
■Koka Ninja Village
Adults 1030JPY, Junior High School Students 820JPY, Elementary School Students 730JPY, Toddlers 520JPY, 2 years and under free
- Lodgings in Shiga that welcome your beloved pet dog
- If you’re bringing the whole family to Shiga, surely you don’t want your pet pooch to miss out. The good news is, they don’t have to! Take a look at this introduction to lodging facilities were dogs are also welcome guests.
L' Hôtel Du Lac
Regina Resort Biwako Nagahama
Royal Oak Hotel Spa & Gardens
Note: Has a separate pet hotel on the grounds.
- Dedicate a “Wish Daruma” doll on Chikubushima Island!
- Chikubushima Island is found on Lake Biwa. Here’s the way to dedicate a traditional “Wish Daruma” doll to the goddess Benzaiten, who is believed to free people from suffering and lead them into happiness.
(1) Write your wish along with your name on a special piece of paper.
(2) After finishing writing on the paper, roll it up into a tube shape.
(3) Insert the paper into the hole on the bottom of the daruma doll.
(4) Have someone from the shrine office seal the wish inside using a special sticker.
(5) Dedicate the doll in the main hall, pay a prayer fee of 500 yen, and you are finished!
Please note that you cannot take the Wish Daruma doll home with you. However, if you make an additional donation along with your 500 yen prayer fee, you can receive a non-retail “Wish Daruma strap” to take home.
Here’s hoping that your wish comes true!
- World Heritage! Visit Hieizan Enryakuji Temple!
- As a place of prayer for world peace and tranquility, and as a place of learning and training for some of the greatest, national-treasure level monks across all sects, Hieizan Enryakuji Temple is absolutely fundamental to Japanese Buddhism. Furthermore, Mt. Hieizan's location on the border between Kyoto and Shiga allows for some epic scenery, looking out over the expanse of Lake Biwa in the east and the city of old Kyoto in the west.
This beautiful natural environment, combined with 1,200 years of history and tradition, has received recognition and praise from around the world, and in 1994 it was finally registered as a Unesco World Heritage site.
- Kannon Villages
- Nagahama City in Shiga is a treasure trove of Buddhist cultural artifacts, among which many are statues of Guanyin Bodhisattva (called Kannon in Japanese). In fact, there are almost as many statues as there are separate settlements, and all of them are still reverently protected by the villagers to this day.
Statue of Eleven-faced Kannon (Important Cultural Property)
The statue of Eleven-faced Kannon kept here, said to have been created toward the end of the Heian period (794 - 1185), is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property. Carved from a single block of Zelkova wood, the crimson that remains on its lips even today is an indicator of the vivid colors that once adorned it.
Admission Times： 9:00 - 16:00
Admission Charges： ￥300
Statue of Eleven-faced Kannon (Important Cultural Property)
The main statue of Keisokuji Temple, a bold piece created from a single piece of Japanese cypress, still has its lacquer color basecoat intact. It is thought to have been carved at some point between the start and the middle of the Heian period (794 - 1185).
Admission Times： 9:00 - 17:00 (April - November)、9:00 - 16:00 （December - March)
Admission Charges： ￥500
- Recommended Hatsumode Spots in Shiga
- At the start of a brand new year, why not make your traditional Hatsumode (first shrine visit) in Shiga? Here’s an introduction to some of our top picks to visit!
Visits for Hatsumode can be performed at any time. The shrine shop (selling protective amulets and other items) is open from 0:00 - 17:00 on Jan 1, and 8:00 - 17:00 on Jan 2 - 5.
Omi Jingu Shrine
Protective amulets and other items are available from 0:00 until around 18:00 on Jan 1 and 9:00 - 17:00 from Jan 2 onward, with the New Year’s lottery held between Jan 1 - 3 and sweet sake on offer until Jan 5.
Reception is open all day Dec 31, right up until 22:00 on Jan 1. On Jan 2 it is open 6:00 - 21:00, and then 6:00 - 20:00 on Jan 3.
You can find out about other Hatsumode spots here:
- Seasons Greetings from Inbound Tourism Department, Biwako Visitors Bureau
- Happy Holiday Seasons!
Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2021.
Pray to end Covid-19 soon....
Visit our website : http://en.biwako-visitors.jp/
- Become Beautiful in Shiga
- Life expectancy in Shiga Prefecture is the highest in Japan for men, and fourth in Japan for women. While seeking the secrets to longer life, then, women also come to seek beauty. Here’s an introduction to some literal beauty spots in Shiga!
Popular as a power spot among women seeking beauty. Muku trees of around 300 years old stand like beautiful women’s legs, and touching them is said to bring you blessings of beautiful skin and legs.
They are also known as “confession trees,” with the power to make people speak honestly about things they wouldn’t normally say when standing between the roots.
392 Toyomitsu, Aisho Town, Echigun, Shiga, 529-132
Ogoto Onsen was opened by Saicho, the great Buddhist teacher of Mt. Hiei, and is the closest hot spring area to Kyoto. The waters are effective for nerve pain, muscle pain, sensitivity to cold, recovery from exhaustion, and skin beautification. All of the inns and hotels in Ogoto Onsen use water direct from the source, without diluting it with other water.