News & Events
- Take a Look Around Hikone-jo Castle at Night with Hikone-jo Castle Night Fun
- Hikone-jo Castle Night Fun is an annual event that allows the castle to be enjoyed at night, something that isn’t normally possible. You can look out over the nightlights of the castle town of Hikone from the castle tower square, experiencing something that you can’t normally do except on this one special day.
The theme this year is “feudal cosplay,” and we are looking for people willing to participate dressed in costumes from Japan’s turbulent feudal period.
Date & Time September 29 (Sat) 2018, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (last entry at 8:30 p.m.)
Location Hikone Castle
Participation Fee Entry Free
You can apply for Feudal Cosplay here: http://www.hikoneshi.com/jp/yagaku-cp/apply
- 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.
- Summertime Fun with the Kids in Shiga
- Shiga is a great place to spend your summer holidays! Here’s an introduction to sightseeing spots you can enjoy along with your kids.
You can also experience a simulator of Yanmar construction machinery.
Rosa & Berry Tawada
Ride a steam train and play with ponies, sheep for a full day of fun.
Planetarium “Digital Star Dome Hotaru”
Located inside the Lake Biwa Marriott Hotel. The Pocket Monster program is particularly popular.
- Main Fireworks Displays in Shiga Prefecture
- Nagahama and Kita-Biwako Great Fireworks
July 27 (Fri) 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Nagahama Port (Nagahama City)
Access: 10 min. on foot from JR Nagahama Station
Inquiries: Nagahama Fireworks Executive Committee, telephone: ＋81-749-65-6521
Hikone and Kita-Biwako Great Firework Festival
August 1 (Sat) 7:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Matsubara Swimming Beach (Hikone City)
Access: Special shuttle bus from JR Hikone Station
Inquiries: Kita-Biwako Great Fireworks Executive Committee,
Lake Biwa Great Fireworks Festival
August 7 (Tue) 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. *If delayed: August 10 (Fri)
Venue: Otsu Port (Otsu City)
Access: 15 min. on foot from JR Zeze Station or Otsu Station
5 min. on foot from Keihan Hamaotsu Station
Inquiries: Lake Biwa Great Fireworks Executive Committee
- Special Experiences in Temples in Shiga
- Visiting temples in Shiga Prefecture can be about more than just sightseeing. A variety of experiences are on offer that allow you to come into contact with Buddhist teachings, including but far from limited to Zen meditation and hand-copying sutras.
You can select the beads for the rosary yourself, from materials that include power stones and natural wood. Once the rosary is completed a monk will pray over it, allowing you to commune with Buddha by wearing it and bringing you lasting peace.
Time Required: Around 30 minutes
Charge: From \1,000
Inquiries: Mii-dera Temple email@example.com
Tosenkyo is a darts-style game played by the Japanese nobility, sometimes called “fan tossing” in English. Other experiences on offer include wearing a kimono and the tea ceremony, allowing you to enjoy various facets of Japanese culture.
Time Required: 2 hours 30 minutes
Inquiries: Enmanin firstname.lastname@example.org
[Experience the Diet of a Buddhist Monk]
The diet of a Buddhist monk is similar to a vegetarian diet, using no meat or fish, and was originally created for the purposes of the monks as they undergo their harsh training. It is suitable for everyone, including vegetarians.
- 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.
- Lake Biwa Flower Fountain
- The Lake Biwa Flower Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world, located in the offing at Otsu Port, the gateway to Lake Biwa tourism.
Completed in March of 1995, it has become beloved by many locals and visitors alike.
Against the backdrop of beautiful Lake Biwa, the water reaches heights of up to 40m into the air, with varying volumes and angles depicting all sorts of shapes.
During the daytime you can enjoy the cool and refreshing scenery, while at night a fantastical world of colorful illumination is created.
Afternoon: 12:00 - 13:00
Evening (Sat, Sun, Holidays): 15:00 - 16:00 *Not on weekdays
Night: Between 18:00 - 21:00 *Changes depending on the day. The fountain is also illuminated.
4 min. on foot from Keihan Biwako Hamaotsu Station
- Special Activities in Shiga
- List of facilities recommended for the season of fresh greenery!
【Open】 28 Apr (Tur)～6 Nov (Fri)
※Closed for maintenance at certain times
Seven Views! Seven Thrills!
All-day fun with many more attractions
【Fees】 ¥ 3,200 (7 Lines)
※Fees for cable car (Adult: ¥1900 for round-trip) required separately
【Open】 Weekend and Holidays 9:30～15:00 (Every 30 minutes),
Weekdays 10：00～14：30 (4 times a day)
Weekdays during Summer Holidays (Except Bon Holidays) 10：00～15：00(Every 1 hour)
【Inquiry】 Biwako Valley 077-592-1155
【Adress】 1547-1 Kido, Otsu
【Access】 About 10 min. ride of Kojyaku Bus from the Shiga Sta.(JR Kosei Line)
【Open】24 Jun(Fri)～31 Aug (Wed), 10 Sep(Sat)～10 Oct(Mon)
For adults and children, enjoy off-road buggies at the top of the mountain!
【Fees for 2 rounds】 19 and older¥1,500
Young Children to High School Students¥1,000
※Children need to be at least 120 cm tall
※Entrance fees (Adult: ¥1850) required separately
【Gondola Hours】 9：00～Outward16：30・Return17：00
【Inquiry】 Hakodateyama 0740-22-2486
【Adress】 4201-4 Imazucho-hiokimae, Takashima
【Access】 About 20 min. ride with an Imazu Community Bus from the Imazu Sta.(JR Kosei Line)
【Open】5 Mar (Sat)～Early Dec
Midair Athletics next to a Large Shopping Mall!
【Fees(All course day pass including zip-line)】 Adults¥4,600 Children¥3,600
【Open】 Weekdays 10：00～18：00 Weekend and Holidays 10：00～21：00
【Closed】 irregular holidays ※Check with our website
【Inquiry】 Biwako SKY Adventure 077-585-0122
【Adress】 2620-5 Imahamacho, Moriyama
【Access】 [Car] Turn left at Biwako Ohashi tollgate exit
- Stay in a Popular Old Folk House!
- ■Hitomi Sanso■
very special place to lodge can be found in Higashi Omi City. A place of healing, surrounded by nature.
This reed thatched old house was built 300 years ago, and moved to its current location from Eigenji Dam about 50 years ago.
They only accept reservations for one party of guests per day.
You can enjoy homegrown vegetables, miso paste, and pickles, dishes made using local ingredients, and local sake and wine. Sitting around the hearth and sharing a wonderful time with your family and friends will surely become a treasured memory.
Furthermore, the vicinity of the house allows you to enjoy seasonal scenery, with plum flowers and cherry blossoms in the spring or bathing in the nearby Echigawa River and fireflies in the summer.
- Biwaichi Cycling
- Biwaichi Cycling allows you to cycle around the circumference of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan and the symbol of Shiga, while enjoying nature, history and sightseeing spots along the way.
A full circuit of the lake is approximately 200km in length, taking experienced cyclists a full day. Others often take two days with one night's lodgings, but a three days, two nights plan actually comes highly recommended!
There are lakeside spaces where you can enjoy varied and thrilling seasonal scenery, as well as many historical sites and famous spots along the shores, offering a whole range of fun things to do.
The appeal of Lake Biwa is inexhaustible! Grab as much of it as you can from the back of a bicycle!
Many of the stations and tourist facilities in Shiga offer renta-cycles, making it easy to get your wheels on the ground. How about sightseeing across Shiga from the back of a bicycle, proceeding entirely at your own leisurely pace?
- Firefly Viewing Place in Shiga
- ■Moriyama Hotaru Park and Walk■
19 May～27 May 2018
Approx. 3 km walk from Moriyama Institute of Firefly's Woods to Moriyama station is set up for firefly viewing. It is a feature of early summer in Moriyama. There are various events taking place during the festival.
【Place】 Around Moriyama Institute of Firefly's Woods and various venues across Moriyama City ,
10 Miyakecho, Moriyama
Take a free shuttle from the rotary at the west exit of the Moriyama sta. (JR Biwako Line)
【Inquiry】 Moriyama Hotaru Park and Walk Executive Committee
■ Amano River Firefly Festival■
1st Jun ～13 2018 Scheduled from shortly after 7:30 pm
You can encounter many flying Luciola near the Amano River during the festival. During this time, lanterns will be installed along the walkway around the venue. Viewing spots offer you a view of the astral dance of the fireflies. Enjoy the soft glow of fireflies in the dark. (Fireflies emerge generally from the beginning to the middle of June. )
【Place】 Around Nagaoka, Maibara ,
5 min. walk from the Omi-Nagaoka Sta. (JR Tokaido Main Line)
【Inquiry】 Maibara City Amano River Firefly Festival Executive Committee Secretariat
(Within Maibara City Commerce and Tourism Division)
- Rose Gardens of Shiga
- <<Biwako Otsukan>>
The venue for the "Autumn Rose Festa," during which 100 varieties and 2000 bulbs of fall roses reach the optimal time for viewing.
Alongside the English garden roses, brilliant cosmos and amethyst sage also bloom in abundance.
Enjoy this stunning collaboration between roses and other wonderful plants, all set against the epic backdrop of Lake Biwa.
●Address● 5-35 Yanagasaki, Otsu City, Shiga
●Access● 15 min. on foot from JR Otsukyo Station
<<Moriyama Rose & Herb Garden>>
A botanical garden spread across approximately 3,000㎡ and cultivating 82 varieties of rose and 1,300 stems.
The fall roses reach the optimal time for viewing from mid-October to mid-November. They also cultivate more than 200 foliage plants across 60 different species.
●Address● 2840 Sazukawa-cho, Moriyama City, Shiga
●Access● Take a bus from JR Moriyama Station, 15 min. on foot after alighting at the "Sazukawa Minami" bus stop