News & Events
- MIHO MUSEUM
- The Miho Museum opened in 1997, and was designed by the world-famous architect I. M. Pei, also responsible for the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the Washington National Gallery's East Building.
With a fused theme of "the art of nature and buildings," "the traditional and the modern," and "East and West," more than 80% of the building's volume is submerged underground, and great care was taken not to destroy the natural environment around it and also to restore the nature above the building.
The museum opens seasonally three times per year, and allows special exhibitions and permanent installations to be viewed.
The café and restaurant on-site provide meals made with ingredients grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and with no artificial additives of any kind.
- 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.
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Konan Area -
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Konan Area -
Shiga Prefecture boasts a trove of cultural assets. So much so, in fact, that the region ranks third in Japan for the number of buildings designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Assets. Here's an introduction to three temples in the Konan area.
The main temple at Chojyuji is quite literally a treasure-trove of history, containing many Important Cultural Assets, including a decorative cabinet that is a National Treasure. The repository behind the main temple also houses a large statue of a seated Amitabha, almost 3m in size and made from gold.
The main temple has a cypress bark roof and is a designated National Treasure. Immediately behind it there is a perfectly formed three storey pagoda, to which the trees beyond provide a beautiful backdrop. The interior of the lowest section features a Zen dais, and the walls, four pillars and other locations are all decorated with Buddhist images and bright colors.
The palace-style, solemn and solid main temple is representative of Tendai Buddhist construction. It barely survived the war fires of Nobunaga Oda, and is now a designated National Treasure. The interior also features no less than 15 Buddha statues, including representative pieces from the Tempyo period (710 - 794) and the Heian period (794 - 1185) and a wooden seated Bhaisajyaguru that is a Important Cultural Asset. All of them are more than worth making the trip to see!
- 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?
- Sutra Copying & Zen Meditation Experiences
- ■Hieizan Enryakuji Temple
・Sutra Copying Experience
You will copy the Heart Sutra.
Brush, ink, ink stone, paper and everything else you need will be provided.
[Participation Charges]1,000JPY (not including tax) per person
[Required Time]Approx. 90 min.
・Zen Meditation Experience
May not always be possible depending on venue and instructor availability.
Please make a reservation in advance.
At least 2 people are required to take part.
[Required Time]1 hour (including explanation)
[Inquiries]077-578-0047 (9:00 - 17:00)
■Remains of the Enmanin Temple Gate
・Zen Meditation Experience
If you are unable to relax and always worrying, some Zen Meditation might be for you.
Providing control of your body, mouth and will, this is the fastest way to get closer to Buddha.
[Day Held]Every week Saturday & Sunday
[Participation Charges] ¥1,000
[Required Time]1 hour - 1 hour 30 min.
[Inquiries]077-522-3690 (9:00 - 17:00)
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Kosei Area -
- Shiga Prefecture boasts a trove of cultural assets. So much so, in fact, that the region ranks third in Japan for the number of buildings designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Assets. Here's an introduction to a shrine in the Kosei region.
Shirahige-jinja Shrine is the oldest shrine in Omi, said to have been founded around 2000 years ago. People come here to pray for long life, relationships, pregnancy, and good luck. The head of all Shirahige shrines across Japan, it is also known by the nicknames "Shirahige-san" and "Myojin-san." Creation of the buildings currently in the grounds was overseen by Hideyori Toyotomi during the Momoyama period (1573 - 1603), and the perfectly square main shrine is a designated Important Cultural Asset. The current complicated roof shape came about when the hall of worship was rebuilt during the Meiji period (1868-1912), in order to connect it to the main shrine.
The crimson torii gate that stands out in the waters of Lake Biwa is often called the "Itsukushima of Omi," evoking as it does the World Heritage site of Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.
- Mountain Climbing & Trekking Information! <<Biwako Valley>>
- "Meet the First Drop of Lake Biwa! Water-Source Discovery Trekking" has become such a famous trekking expedition, it has even set up collaborations with big outdoor gear manufacturers. There's also a full range of other outgoing trekking courses, including the Kojorogaike Course that lets you look out over the beauty of Lake Biwa while heading to an ancient pond with 6,000 years of history and legends, and the Hiradake Course that takes you through some glorious forest valleys while bird calls soothe your senses.
If you're looking to take a stroll that's a little more relaxed, the course around Biwako Valley itself comes highly recommended. If you start to feel tired you can even take a rest in a forest hammock.
- Kanou Shoujuan Sunai no Sato Japanese Confection Making Experience
- Kanou Shoujuan Sunai no Sato is a longstanding Japanese style confectioner, now synonymous with Shiga. Along with delicious delicacies, they also offer a chance to make your own confections.
Using ingredients carefully selected by the highly skilled Kanou Shoujuan staff, this classroom provides the opportunity to make Japanese confections that are overflowing with a sense of the seasons.
Under the watchful guidance of skilled craftspeople, enjoy this deliciously creative experience in a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.
[Day Held]Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (*May change depending on the season)
[Time]10:45 - 12:15 (Japanese confection making)
[Participation Charges]2700yen (including tax) per person
[No. of Places]40 people (reservations closed once full)
[Things to Bring ] Nothing in particular (aprons etc. will be provided)
[Applications](Reception 9:00 - 17:00)
*Please make a reservation at least 4 days before the date on which you wish to participate.
- Shigaraki Ceramics Festival
- October each year sees the Shigaraki Ceramics Festival held in Shigaraki, the town of ceramics. Spot sales and exhibitions of Shigaraki-yaki are held, attracting ceramics lovers from around the world. Alongside the ceramics, you'll also find booths selling regional produce and local cuisine.
■Shigaraki Ceramics General Exhibition
The "Shigaraki Ceramics Festival" is a highlight in the calendars of all ceramics fans.
The Shigaraki Ceramics General Exhibition, held in the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park's Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics, provides a wonderful chance to come into contact with the culture of ceramics.
A spot sale is held in a special venue in the vicinity of the Shigaraki Chiiki Shimin Center. Take this opportunity to find a new favorite piece!
[Date]October 7~ 9 2017, 9:00 - 17:00
[Place]Special Venue in the vicinity of Koka City Office Shigaraki Chiiki Shimin Center
Shigaraki Ceramics General Exhibition: Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park's Exhibition Hall of Industrial Ceramics
[Access]3 min. on foot from Shigaraki Kougen Railway Shigaraki Station
- 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
- Ishiyama-dera Temple Fall Moon Festival
- It is said that Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, visited Ishiyama-dera Temple around 1,000 years ago and started to write The Tale of Genji while looking at the full moon reflected in the waters of Lake Biwa. This has led to Ishiyama-dera Temple holding their Fall Moon Festival around the time of the harvest moon each year.
More than 2,000 lanterns create an illusory and ethereal world inside the temple grounds, while the two storied pagoda National Treasure is wonderfully floodlit. A variety of events are also held during the period of the festival, including events related to The Tale of Genji in the main temple.
[Date] September 25, 26, 27 18:00 - 21:00
[Location Held] Ishiyama-dera Temple (1-1-1 Ishiyamadera, Otsu City, Shiga)
[Access] 10 min. on foot from Keihan Ishiyamadera Station
[Admission Charges] 600 JPY
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Higashi Omi Area -
- Namura-jinja Shrine is said to be one and the same with the Namura-jinja Shrine (the same pronunciation, but written using different Japanese characters) that appears in a record of all shrines in Japan that was completed in 927, during the Heian period.
The tower gate is quite overwhelming, elegant and stern with its thatched roof jutting above the countryside, and the glory of the view from here has become one of the Eight Views of Ryuo.
Furthermore, the west main temple, showing a construction often seen among the older temples in Shiga, is a designated National Treasure.
The two curved wooden supports with asymmetrical carvings are especially beautiful, and aptly represent the times from which they come.
With careful attention paid to every detail, as well as the use of a front chamber, this stands as a representative example of shrine construction from the middle ages.