News & Events
- A Sea of Clouds at Mysterious Onyudani-toge
- The “sea of clouds” is a phenomena you can only see on cold, early mornings during November, at the start of winter. Onyudani-toge in Takashima City, Shiga is known as a particularly mysterious spot to view the sea of clouds.
If you get lucky you may even be able to capture the perfect photo of this incredible sight.
All due care should be taken as cold mornings from November onward can cause the road surface to freeze.
Address: Kutsuki Onyudani, Takashima shi, Shiga Prefecture, 520-1443
Access: Approx. 90 mins by car from JR Adogawa Station, approx. 60 mins by car from Roadside Station Kutsuki Shin-Honjin
- 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.
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Otsu 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 and two temples in the Otsu region.
■Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the head shrine of approximately 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie and Sanno shrines throughout Japan, and has developed into the local deity of Mt. Hieizan.
(2 National Treasures, 16 Important Cultural Assets)
Mii-dera Temple features National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets of overwhelming quality, even when considered nationally.
(10 National Treasures (64 items), 42 Important Cultural Assets (720 items))
Home to a large number of National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets, including a two storied pagoda and a variety of religious texts, Buddhist statues and scrolls, not to mention the wooden main temple itself which is the oldest of its kind in Shiga.
The east side of the main temple also includes the room in which Murasaki Shikibu is said to have stayed while writing The Tale of Genji.
- 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!
- National Treasures and Cultural Assets of Shiga - Kohoku 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 two temples and a shrine in the Kohoku region.
The gabled "karamon" gate was originally the Gokuraku-mon gate at Osaka-jo Castle, as built by feudal warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and still garners much attention as the only remnant of that castle. With its cypress bark roof, obsidian black lacquered structure and liberal scattering of gold played ornaments, this is construction highly representative of the Momoyama period (1573 - 1603).
The main temple was transferred from Hideyoshi Toyotomi's Fushimi-Momoyama-jo Castle 450 years ago, and is a designated National Treasure. It is decorated inside with elegant and gorgeous décor representative of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573 - 1603).
Many of the structures here are national or city Important Cultural Assets, including the main temple and reception hall that are said to have been taken from Fushimi-Momoyama-jo Castle, and the side gate said to have been transferred from Nagahama-jo Castle. There is also a Nanboku-cho period (1334 to 1392) temple bell with an inscription, a prefectural Cultural Asset.
- 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.
- Karasuma Peninsula Hot Air Balloon Flight Experience
- This thrilling event allows you to take to the skies in an elegant hot air balloon and look out across all of Lake Biwa.
The balloon will rise to a height of 20m - 25m, giving you a 360 degree panoramic view of the lake and its environs.
After coming back down to earth you can also enjoy the delightful sights of one of the largest lotus growing operations in Japan.
July 27～29、August 3～5
From 6am to 9am (flight lasts about 5 minutes)
Karasuma Peninsula, Kusatsu City, Shiga
[Number of Places]
Approx. 250 on Fridays and Mondays / 350 on Saturdays and Sundays * Some spaces set aside for people without reservations
With Reservation: Adult (Junior High and older) 2,000 yen, children (4 and older) 1,000 yen
Without Reservation: Adult (Junior High and older) 2,500 yen, children (4 and older) 1,500 yen
Kusatsu City Tourist Association TEL: +81-77-566-3219
- 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.
- Lake Biwa Great Fireworks Festival
- Enjoy 10,000 fireworks launched into the air over Lake Biwa, a stunning display of light that plays out in harmony with jets of fountain water. As 350,000 people throng the banks of the lake every year, incredible fireworks such as star mines are launched against a backdrop of verdant nature. The venue also offers paid seating, from which you can get the best possible view of all the action. If you wish to use them then you will need to purchase a Ticket for Paid Seating. Please see the website for more details. http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/hanabi/
Date : August 8 ,2019 7:30pm-8:30pm
- SHIGA BIWAKO Tourist Information
- The Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto provides appealing tourism information on the history, culture, rich nature, and varied activities boasted by Shiga Prefecture. Shiga and Lake Biwa can be reached in around 10 minutes by train from Kyoto, so why not drop by!
Address: Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto, Kyoto Tower 3F, 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shichijo-sagaru Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (closed Dec 30 - Jan 3)
Telephone Number: +81-75-341-0280
- 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.