News & Events
- Mount Ibuki Trekking
- Mount Ibuki is the tallest mountain in Shiga Prefecture, boasting a height of 1,377 meters. Located on the border with Gifu Prefecture, it is loved by the people of both regions as one of the 100 famous mountains of Japan. The peak has been known as a treasure-trove of medicinal and alpine plants since ancient times, with certain nationally protected endemic species also growing on its slopes.
The legendary prince Yamato Takeru, who appears in both the ancient texts of the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, is also said to have climbed Mount Ibuki. When the mountain and numerous important shrines in the region - Ise Jingu, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Izanagi Jingu, and Motoise Geku Toyo’uke Omikami are connected by straight lines, they create a beautiful five-pointed star on the map. This star is considered to be a Japanese ley line, forming a barrier to protect the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo, and Mount Ibuki is therefore known as a highly spiritual place. You are sure to feel this incredible power as you walk its slopes.
- Enjoy the Changing of the Leaves in Shiga! (1)
- Many people enjoy the changing of the leaves during fall in Japan, and Shiga Prefecture has many spots famous for their crimson foliage. Numerous events, including illuminations, are also held during this period. Come to Shiga to see the leaves!
Hieizan Enryakuji - The Maple of Hiei
Until November 25
The leaves at Yokogawa are said to be particularly special, even for Mt. Hiei, and a variety of events are held here.
Hiyoshitaisha Maple Festival
November 1 - 30, 2018
As well as illuminations of the leaves during this period, there are also performances for Noh and Kyogen theater and a chrysanthemum exhibition.
Kotosanzan Original Goshuin Paper
Special Goshuin stamped paper can be purchased for \500 until December 2018.
- Enjoy the Changing of the Leaves in Shiga! (2)
From November 10 - November 27, \200 charge during the changing leaves period
An old temple originally opened in 735, with the Sando (path leading to the temple) dazzling in crimson during the changing of the leaves, making it a popular spot to take photos.
Ishiyamadera - Atarayo Maple
The maple at Ishiyamadera are best viewed from mid-November. You can also enjoy illusory illuminations.
From November 16 - December 2, 2018.
Konansanzan - Divine Favor Wooden Plaque Tour
Konansanzan is a spot renowned for its crimson foliage among those in the know, and also offers special wooden plaques with Goshuin stamp. The Goshuin stamp costs \2500 (which includes admission fee).
Hikone City - Genkyuen Garden Illuminations
18:00 - 21:00, From November 17 - December 2, 2018.
During this period, Hikonyan will make an appearance on November 17, 21, and December 2.
- Introducing the “The Perfect Time to Travel In Shiga!” Promotional Campaign, Exclusive to Shiga Prefecture Residents
- First make an advance purchase of a convenience coupon (1000 yen) issued at a convenience store. Then present proof of your residency in the prefecture at your intended accommodation facility to receive the following assistance for staying in Shiga!
(1) Accommodation assistance (The accommodation assistance discount is applied in exchange for the convenience coupon.)
(2) If your accommodation plan costs 7,000 yen or more (prior to application of the discount), a Shiga-Shuyu Coupon will also be issued.
*Shiga-Shuyu Coupons are 5,000 yen coupons that are accepted by more than 400 sightseeing and dining facilities in Shiga.
Details of accommodation assistance:
・[Accommodation Plan] Between 4,000 yen - 6,999 yen
Accommodation assistance: 3,000 yen / Shiga-Shuyu Coupon: Not issued
・[Accommodation Plan] Between 7,000 yen - 9,999 yen
Accommodation assistance: 3,000 yen / Shiga-Shuyu Coupon: Issued
・[Accommodation Plan] 10,000 yen or more
Accommodation assistance: 6,000 yen / Shiga-Shuyu Coupon: Issued
Retailed in 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Ministop locations inside Shiga: Convenience product number 0256861
*One convenience coupon can be used per person, per night.
*One convenience coupon can be redeemed as an accommodation discount for one night, or as a set with a Shiga-Shuyu Coupon (if the accommodation plan costs 7,000 yen or more prior to the discount).
*There is one type of convenience coupon: for use with accommodation between July 9 - August 31
*Children: Adults and children may use the convenience coupons in the same manner.
Make your application at any travel agent located within Shiga Prefecture. *Please bring the required convenience coupons with you.
Visit any JTB, Heiwado Travel Center, Nippon Travel Agency, Tobu Top Tours, and Nokyo Tourist location within Shiga.
*Convenience coupons cannot be refunded for any reason after purchase.
*When checking in, every member of your party will need to provide a form of official identification proving they are a resident in the prefecture (their address), such as a driver’s license or My Number (personal identification) card. (The address on a piece of mail is not sufficient).
*It may not be possible to reserve your desired facility, due to reasons such as lack of capacity.
*Details of the promotion may be changed at any time, in accordance with conditions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promotion Website (Japanese): https://www.biwako-visitors.jp/feature/detail/imakoso/
Inquiries: Biwako Visitors Bureau, Overseas Visitors Attraction Department
- Asamiya Tea, One of the top five Tea brands of Japan
- Have you ever heard of “Asamiya Tea”? It is counted as one of the top five tea brands of Japan, with a history of 1200 years.
Said to be the oldest tea in Japan, when compared to tea produced in other regions Asamiya has larger, thicker leaves that are yellow rather than green, and is characterized by a flavor that blends bitterness and sweetness.
[Places to Enjoy Asamiya Tea]
Yamamotoen With Tea
Enjoy a menu packed with unique items, including Asamiya tea smoothies.
The roll-cake made with Asamiya tea is especially popular.
39-1 Shigarakicho Shimoasamiya, Koga City, Shiga, 529-1842
- Shiga Regional Cuisine
- If you're visiting Shiga, don't miss out on the regional delicacies on offer!
Funazushi is a type of preserved food with more than 1000 years of history in Shiga. It has even been registered by the Prefecture as an Intangible Folk Culture Asset. Salted crucian carp is mixed with rice and slowly pickled, allowing it to ferment, which creates a unique fragrance akin to fermented beans or cheese.
Winter time in Shiga brings ducks to Lake Biwa, providing a chance to sample duck hotpot containing tofu, onions and other vegetables. Ducks have plenty of fat in order to make it through the cold winter, and these dishes are characterized by the firm texture and fatty sweetness of the meat.
Shiga is blessed with a rich natural environment and plentiful water, and the Japanese Black cattle that have been reared here the longest are known as Omi Beef. Characterized by their high ratio of marbling, the meat has a mellow fragrance and soft tenderness, so delicious as to just melt in your mouth.
Restaurants information: http://en.biwako-visitors.jp/spot/eat
- 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.
- Get a taste of Shiga’s sake (Japanese alcohol)!
- The water culture built up around Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, has combined with Shiga’s long-standing renown as a rice producing region to establish a wide range of delicious local sake! Why not take tour of some breweries and compare different type of sake for yourself?
A brewery that has existed since the Edo period, and even offer free tours. (Reservation required)
793 Nagano, Aisho Town, Echigun, Shiga, 529-1303
TEL: +81-749-42-2080 email@example.com
A brewery with 100 years of history. Their tours and sake sampling sessions are particularly well received.
3-2 Minakuchicho Nishihayashiguchi, Koka, Shiga, 528-0025
TEL: +81-748-62-1113 firstname.lastname@example.org
A brewery located in Kabata, a town known for its beautiful water. The tour includes a video featuring an English explanation.
83 Asahi, Shin Asahi-cho, Takashima City, Shiga, 520-1501
TEL: +81-740-25-2202 email@example.com
- O'pal Water Sports Experience
- A sports facility located on the shores of the lake at Ogoto. Here you can enjoy a wide range of lake-based marine sports, under the skilled and watchful eye of an instructor.
[Use by Schools for School Trips etc.]
Offers Lake Biwa Experience Courses aimed at school trips, out of school learning, and integrated learning. All sorts of courses are available, including learning about the environment along the shores of Lake Biwa or experiencing water sports. Plans can be tailored to suit the requirements of each school. * Capacity for 20 - 300 participants.
[Use by Families and Friends]
A marine sports school that caters to all, even beginners. Skilled instructors lead you safely through a range of possible experiences, including canoes, SUPs and yachts.
- 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.
- 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 :
- 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