News & Events
- The Best Soba Noodles in Shiga!
- An introduction to soba noodles from Shiga, a region blessed with rich nature and water.
■Honke Tsuruki Soba
A soba restaurant with more than 300 years of history, located in the town that flourished as the gateway to Hieizan Enryakuji Temple.
[Access]1 min. on foot from Keihan Sakamoto Station
■Tsuruki Soba Hieizan
A soba restaurant popular with visitors to Hieizan Enryakuji Temple. They opened around 280 years ago, when the founding owner opened a soba restaurant in Sakamoto.
[Access]Immediately on foot from Hieizan Enryakuji Temple
Seriously fundamental soba, passionately created using the spiritually rich waters from the foot of Mt. Ibukiyama and using no artificial additives of any kind.
[Access]15 min. by taxi from JR Omi-Nagaoka Station
■Kenjo Ibuki Soba Tsurukian
Carefully prepared buckwheat soba that uses wheat grown by contracted farms around the foothills of Mt. Ibukiyama, in combination with the famous subsoil water from the mountain.
[Access]8 min. on foot from JR Hikone Station
- Learn About Japanese Technology! Factory Tours!
Here you can view the history of KOKUYO, going back more than 100 years, through a range of rare and valuable materials. This is one of the largest notebook factories in Japan.
[Access]15 min. by taxi from Ohmi Railway Echigawa Station
[Participation Charges]100yen (reservation required)
Take a tour of a Kirin plant, where both soft drinks and beer are made. You can even sample freshly made beverages for yourself.
[Access]15 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Screen Station
Observe toilets being made. You can also experiencing pouring a mold for a miniature toilet.
[Access]10 min. on foot from JR Mikumo Station
[Participation Charges]Free (reservation required)
UCC were the first company in the world to create canned coffee. A concierge will join you in experiencing how their delicious coffee is made.
[Access]15 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Echigawa Station
[Participation Charges]Free (reservation required)
- Hachiman Festival
- The Hachiman Festival is a traditional event with more than a thousand years of history, starting from when Hidetsugu Toyotomi founded the town.
The festival takes place over 2 days, April 14 and 15 each year. April 14 is the eve of the festival, known as the Torch Festival, and has been selected as a national Intangible Folk Culture Asset. More than 30 torches are lit, including one over 10m, and the grandeur of them against the spring night, accompanied by a barrage of fireworks, is truly a sight to behold.
April 15, the main festival, sees a performance by large drums carried into the temple from across the region.
When compared to the grandeur of the Torch Festival from the night before, the main day features a more solemn atmosphere, and is also known as the Drum Festival.
[Day Held]April 14 Fire Offering 20:00 - (until around 23:00), April 15 15:30 - (around 19:00)
[Location Held]Himure Hachimangu Shrine, 257 Miyauchi-cho, Omi-Hachiman City, Shiga
[Access]10 min. on bus from JR Omi-Hachiman Station, alight at the "Osugi-cho" bus stop
- 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
- Three Great Buddha of Koka
- Daichiji Temple is known for its formosa gardens, Rakuyaji Temple is known for the largest seated Eleven-Faced Kannon statue in Japan, and Jurakuji Temple is known for its standing statue of Maya, the mother of Buddha. These three temples have now come together to name their "joroku Buddha" statues (indicating their size) as the "Three Great Buddha of Koka," seeking to bring exposure to these pieces that have generally gone overlooked until now and with the ultimate goal of creating a stable holy region in Koka. Upon viewing all three of them, you can pray for tranquility in the three worlds of the past, present, and future. The Buddha statues in each temple are all designated national and city cultural assets, and having three so close together is rare for anywhere else in modern Japan. How about experiencing this new side to the appeal of Koka city?
10 min. by taxi from JR Mikumo Station
10 min. by taxi from JR Aburahi Station
20 min. by taxi from JR Koka Station
- Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession
- In the Heian Period (794 - 1185), the Saio (Princess) travelled from Heian-kyo (modern Kyoto) to Ise in order to become a priestess at the shrine there.
The Saio made this long journey seated in a palanquin called an "Oyoyo" and accompanied by a couple of hundred retainers, making it more than worthy of the name "procession."
This epic journey is now recreated by the "Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession."
It includes a traditional ceremony performed by the Princess and a dance by her female retainers, and takes place between Ono Elementary School and the remains of Tarumisaiotongu.
[Date] March 19 , 2017 11:30 - 16:00
[Location Held] Tsuchiyama Town, between Ono Elementary School and the remains of Tarumisaiotongu
[Access] 25 min. by bus from JR Kibukawa Station, 3 min. on foot after alighting at "Ono Higashiguchi"
- “Feel the ZEN SPIRIT” Ascetic Training
- Teachings of Zen, the starting point of Japanese culture. Learn about the spirit of Zen Buddhism, practice Zen meditation, transcription of sutras, and other Zen practices at the pilgrims’ lodgings in Enryaku-ji Temple, a World Heritage Site on Mt. Hiei. Try the healthy shojin (vegetarian) meals that are an integral part of Zen.
1person ：¥1,000 (before tax)
Reservation Only (A reservation cannot be made for the same day.)
Approx. 1Hour *Preliminary explanation takes around 20 minutes, and the actual experience lasts about 40 minutes.
1person ：¥1,000（before tax）
Approx. 90min. Transcribe the Hannya Sutra.
¥1,650～¥3,300 *Reservations should be made at least three days in advance.
*An additional Enryaku-ji Temple Pilgrimage fee is required.
Inquiry ： Enryaku-ji Kaikan Hall, within Enryaku-ji Temple
（4220 Sakamoto Honmachi, Otsu City） 9:00～17:00 TEL:077-578-0047 URL:http://syukubo.jp
【Access】JR Kosei Line to [Hieizan Sakamoto Station], or Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line to [Sakamoto Station].
Then take the Kojak Bus displaying [Sakamoto Cable-iki] to the bus stop [Cable Sakamoto-eki]. From there, take the cable car to the cable car stop [Enryakuji-eki], and walk about 10 minutes to the temple.
- Ikehara Soba Dojo Soba Making Experience
- "The Ikehara Soba Dojo is located in a village at the foot of the mountains, overflowing with nature along with beautiful water from Lake Yogo.
All of the instructors and staff for the soba making experience are local men and women aged 60 or more, and the proceedings have a very at-home and relaxed atmosphere.
Experience making soba noodles while enjoying warm interaction with the locals, all amid the rich natural scenery of the Kohoku region. This is a valuable opportunity to come into contact with authentic Japanese culture.
Furthermore, the experience takes place in a home built more than 100 years ago, letting you take a trip back in time.
It goes without saying that you can also eat your delicious, freshly cut buckwheat soba right there on the spot. (Requires a separate charge of \500)"
■Soba Making Experience■
Weekdays 10:00 - 16:00 (Reservation required at least 3 days in advance)
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays 10:00 - 15:00 (reservation required)
- Yoshibuki Gallery Yuraku Japanese Tea Brewing Classroom
- Yoshibuki Gallery Yuraku, located in a 250-year-old house, also holds a regular "Japanese Tea Brewing Classroom." Led by a Japanese tea instructor, the intent is to allow tourists who love Japan to experience more of traditional Japanese culture for themselves.
The classroom has proven popular not only with those visiting from overseas but also Japanese people, and brings satisfaction to both those visiting Japan for the first time and those have been here many times.
After the class you will be given an original tea cup made by the ceramics studio in which the class is held, along with some carefully selected Japanese tea leaves, allowing you to relive this wonderful experience and also drink some healthy Japanese tea even after returning home.
Take this opportunity to experience Japanese culture for yourself.
■Charges： Starting from 48,000yen (Including souvenirs such as original tea cup, tea leaves etc.)
■Required Time： 1 hour 30 minutes
■Other Details： Classroom times: 13:00 - 14:30 (separate from Gallery opening times)
- Taga Taisha Shrine Okinahajimeshiki
- "The ""Okinahajime"" is held on January 3 each year at Taga Taisha Shrine. It marks the first time in the new year that Noh is performed on the shrine's stage, with Noh and Kyogen performances wishing for peace and a good harvest.
The music danced to is called ""Okina,"" and this has led to the ceremony being called ""Okinahajime"" or ""first Okina"" at Taga Taisha Shrine since ancient times.
Dedicatory performances are made by the Shigeyama Group in the Okura style of Kyogen, and the Katayama Group in the Kanze style of Noh, with masks used from the Taga Taisha Shrine collection.
On the day, a variety of other performances are also dedicated from the Noh stages in the grounds."
Date： January 3, from 11:00
Address： 604 Taga, Taga Town, Inukami District, Shiga
Access： 10 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Taga Taisha Mae Station
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Koto 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 castle and two temples in the Koto region.
Work started on Hikone-jo Castle in 1604, and took around 20 years to complete. The castle tower itself used materials brought from the five storey Otsu-jo Castle, and is said to have been completed in 1607. The tower is a designated National Treasure, with a combination of different roofing styles that is truly breathtaking.
One of Shiga Prefecture's representative examples of Kamakura period (1192 to 1333) construction, the main temple is designated as the first National Treasure. Constructed in a stunningly beautiful, highly Japanese style, it features a low gradient cypress bark roof and highly decorative curved wooden supports on all the front-facing latticed shutters and the tops of pillars.
"The elegant main temple was created during the Kamakura period (1192 to 1333) to commemorate victory in the Mongol invasions of Japan. It is a National Treasure, while the three storey pagoda in the upper left and the gate in front are Important Cultural Assets.
The ten pieces inside the main temple, including a standing statue of Acala, are all also from the Kamakura period (1192 to 1333) and are Important Cultural Assets, providing a wonderful opportunity to see real history up close."
- Hot Spring Day Trips
- An introduction to hot springs that you can just visit for the day, providing healing for body and mind while you take in the sights!
A hot spring that can be visited for the day, located right in front of Eigenji Temple and allowing you to enjoy outdoor bathing in natural hot spring water, surrounded by incredible nature.
One of the largest hot spring resorts in Kansai, with one of the largest stone saunas in Keiji. The outside baths have a stunning view over Lake Biwa.
-Shiga's Onsen Information-