News & Events
- Water Sports Experience at J and F Sports
- Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, is the perfect place to experience the latest marine sports fresh from America.
The jetpack and jet blade are propelled into the air by jets of water, provided through a hose connected to them from a jet ski.
With water streaming from your shoulders and legs, experience what it's like to fly freely through the air.
People who aren't strong swimmers or beginners can still easily get up into the air, with additional instruction provided by an experienced instructor, meaning that anyone age 12 and over can give it a go!
Some items available for rental (wetsuit / drysuit: 10,000 yen)
(Lifejacket / helmet: free)
- 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.
Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between July 22 and August 8 (a total of 12 times)
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
- BSC Water Sports Experience
- Amid the lush natural environment provided by Lake Biwa, enjoy lessons and events centered in such thrilling water sports as yachting, kayaking and wind surfing.
They also provide a program intended to awaken in young people the desire to protect the environment and nature, through interaction with the great outdoors.
* Sunrise kayak tour & baking melon bread
* Lake Biwa canoe experience & making sunrise loco moco
* Team challenge corporate training
* Group plans
* Course for acquiring certification as a canoe instructor
* Yacht school
* Wind surfing school
* Boat license school
* Kayak school
- Lotus Flower Cruising
- One of the largest lotus groves in Japan grows on the Karasuma peninsula in Kusatsu, Shiga.
The boat takes you very close to the blooming lotus flowers in summer.
Thrusting into the grove while feeling the summer breeze on Lake Biwa is almost like a jungle cruise and has become a very popular attraction.
The tour is led, in Japanese only, by our beloved tour guide and at certain points the leaves of the lotus will shade the visitor during the cruise. Don’t miss this unique experience.!!
From mid July to mid August
※Reservations accepted from mid May
【Time of Departure】
(1)7：00 (2)8：15 (3)9：30 (4)10：45
※Duration ：About 40 minutes
※Minimum of 4 passengers
Adults￥ 2,000 Children￥ 1,000
【Reservation / Contact】
Kusatsu City Tourism Association
http://kanko-kusatsu.com/ ※Reservations can be made on our website
- Large Shopping Malls in Shiga
- June is the rainy season in Japan.
Here is a list of large shopping malls in Shiga where you can enjoy your day despite the bad weather.
●MITSUI OUTLET PARK Shiga Ryuo●
1178-694 Oaza Kuzushi Aza Sunayama, Ryuo-cho, Gamou-gun
In front of the Ryuo IC on the Meishin Expressway
271-1 Yamashinacho, Nagahama
About 1 min. From Nagahama IC by car
●AEON STYLE Kusatsu●
300 Shinhamacho, Kusatsu
[Car]Turn left at the east end of Omi-ohashi bridge
[Train・Bus]15 to 25 min. bus ride from the Seta, Minami-Kusatsu or Kusatsu sta. (JR Biwako Line)
or the Keihan Hamaotsu sta.
3-7 Takakaichominami, Omihachiman
Directly connected to the Omihachiman sta. (JR Biwako Line)
(Shops and Restaurants)10：00～21：00
2620-5 Imahamacho, Moriyama
[Car] Turn left at the east end of Biwako-ohashi bridge
[Train･Bus] 15 min. bus ride from the JR Katata sta. (Kosei Line) or 30 min. bus ride from the JR Moriyama sta. (Biwako Line)
●AL. PLAZA Kusatsu●
A Square South Area 1-23-1 Nishishibukawa, Kusatsu
In front of the Kusatsu sta. (JR Biwako Line) West Exit.
- June-Strolling among waterside flowers
- In japan, June is the start of summer.
This is a time when the lake shore displays many vividly colored flowers.
●Lake Yogo Hydrangea Garden (Yogoko Ajisai-en)●
As Lake Yogo has a calm surface, it is also known as “Mirror Lake.” About 10,000 hydrangea shrubs grow along the shore. (Hydrangea flowers are at their best from late Jun. to early Jul.)
A 30-min. walk from JR Hokuriku Line [Yogo Sta.].
Rental bicycles (500 yen per bicycle) are also available at [Yogo Sta.].
Okubiwako Sightseeing Association TEL:0749-82-5909
●Biwako Otsukan （Yanagasaki Kohan Park）●
Biwako Otsukan is an early modern structure facing Lake Biwa. It has a restaurant café, and the adjoining English Garden offers visitors a display of roses and other flowers.
(Roses are at their best from mid-May to early June.)
10-min. by bus from JR Biwako Line [Otsu Sta.]
15-min. walk from JR Kosei Line [Otsukyo Sta.].
【English Garden Admission Fee】
9:00～18:00 The garden is closed from Dec. through Feb..
Biwako Otsukan TEL:077-511-4187
●Kusatsu City Mizunomori Suisei Botanical Park●
The lake waters spread out on three sides of the park. Visit the Lotus Pavilion, which offers an encounter with diverse aquatic plants, and enjoy flowers in each of the four seasons throughout the park. The shore of Lake Biwa, on the edge of the park, has one of the finest lotus fields in Japan.
＜Flowers from spring through summer＞Pond lily, lotus, iris, hydrangea, delphinium, marguerite daisy, and more.
From JR Biwako Line [Kusatsu Sta.] ,25-min. by bus to [Mizunomori Stop].
9:00～17:00（Visitors are admitted until 16:30）
Closed on Mon. / Year end & New Year （Open daily in summer and during Golden Week）
Kusatsu City Mizunomori Suisei Botanical Park TEL:077-568-2332
- Famous Spots For Wisteria in Shiga
- ■Sandai Shrine■
the end of April ～ the beginning of May
It is said that the trees were planted to pray for the prosperity of the Fujiwara family who was serving as Regent. After they burnt down in battle with Oda Nobunaga, they bloomed from the root again. It is a wisteria floribunda and since the ears can be as long as 2m, the trees are called “sand scuffing wisteria”. Once bloomed, beautiful purple flowers attract many visitors. Together with the wisterias at nearby Shina Shrine (Shinacho, Kusatsu) and Soja Shrine (Shinanakacho, Kusatsu), it is also known as three local wisteria groves in Shina.
【Address】 309 Shinacho, Kusatsu
【Access】 10 min. bus ride from the Kusatsu sta. (JR Biwako Line) to “Kitaogaya”.
The Shrine is another 7 min. walk from the bus stop.
【Contact】 Kusatsu City Tourism Association TEL：077-566-3219 FAX：077-566-3219
■Shoho-ji Temple (Wisteria Temple)■
the beginning of May～Mid of May
A dazzling wisteria tree over 300 years old resides by the main hall. The pendulous racemes can be longer than 1 meter and the best season is mid-May. The tree, also known as Gokofuji (Glory Wisteria) has 5 stems and the beautiful flowers fill the trellis in season. It is believed that Zen master, Duzen, who established the temple transplanted the seeding from Kyoto in the Edo period.
【Address】 2145 Kaigake, Hino
【Access】 30 min. bus ride from the Ohmi Railway Hino station to “Kaigake”.
The temple is another 10 min. from the bus stop.
【Contact】 Hino Town Tourist Association TEL：0748-52-6577 FAX：0748-52-6017
- 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
- Ｆｉｒｅｆｌｙ Ｖｉｅｗｉｎｇ Ｓｐｏｔｓ ｉｎ Ｓｈｉｇａ
- ■Moriyama Hotaru Park and Walk■
22 May (Sun)～29 May (Sun)
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
■The 33rd Amano River Firefly Festival■
2016. 3 Jun (Fri)～12 (Sun) 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)
- 2016 Cherry Blossom Viewing in Shiga
- 【Ho Park】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
About 600 Someiyoshino blossoms burst into bloom around Nagahama Castle Historical Museum. It’s been designated one of the “100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan”. You can see a blanket of cherry blossoms from the castle tower. Cherry blossoms are lit up at night during the season. ※Depending on the degree of blooming.
Address：10-10 Koencho, Nagahama City
Access：5min walk from JR Biwako Line Nagahama Sta.
Contact：Nagahama City Planning Division TEL：0749-62-4111 FAX：0749-63-4111
【Kaizuosaki】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
Designated one of the “100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan”, about 800 Someiyoshino blossoms over 70 years old create a 4 km long cherry blossom tunnel at Kaizuosaki by Lake Biwa. It’s a well-known late blooming spot in the Kinki area.
Address：Kaizu, Makino-cho, Takashima City
Access：Take a Makino Community Bus (Makino Kogen Line) from the JR Makino sta. (JR Kosei Line) to Kaizuosaki-guchi. The spot is a 4 min. walk from the bus stop.
Contact：Biwako Takashima Tourist Association TEL：0740-33-7101 FAX：0740-33-7105 Email：email@example.com
【Hikone Castle Cherry Blossom Festival】Apr. 1(Fri)～20(Wed)9:00~18:00
The sight of about 1,200 cherry blossoms all in bloom on the castle ground is breathtaking. Trees inside the moat are lit up at night and a houseboat runs at night on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival. Enjoy the night view of cherry blossoms from the water. ※Light-up: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Depending on the degree of blooming.)
Entrance Fee for Hikone Castle：¥600
Address：1－1 Konkicho Hikone City
Access：15min. Walk from JR Biwako Line Hikone Sta.
Contact：Hikone Castle TEL：0749-22-2742 FAX：0749-22-2905
【Miidera Temple(Onjoji Temple)・Lake Biwa Canal】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
Close to Mii-dera Temple and Lake Biwa Canal, it is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Shiga. The trees are lit up at night in the beginning of April. The illuminated tunnel of cherry blossom is breathtaking.
Opening Hours：8:00～17:00（Lighting Up 18:30～21:30）
Entrance Fee for Mii-dera Temple：¥600
Address：246 Onjojicho, Otsu City
Access：10min. walk From Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line Miidera Sta.
Contact：Onjoji Temple TEL：077-522-2238 FAX：077-522-2221
【MIHO MUSEUM】Mid-Apr. – End of Apr.
About 80 weeping cherry trees are in full bloom along the pass between the Reception Pavilion and the Museum Building.
Address：300 Momodani Tashiro, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City
Access：Take a bus from the south exit of the JR Ishiyama station (Biwako Line), bound for MIHO MUSEUM, for about 50 min. (¥820).
Contact：MIHO MUSEUM TEL：0748-82-3411 FAX：0748-82-3414
- Kaizuosaki Cherry Blossom Viewing Cruise
- Kaizuosaki is one of the “100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan” and known as a late blooming spot in the Kinki area. The 4km row of cherry blossoms can also be seen from the lakeside.
※The schedule may change or be canceled depending on weather conditions.
※Blossom season may not coincide with the cruise schedule.
【Sakura Uraura】Departure and Arrival: Oura Port (Approx. 40min.)
Apr. 2 (Sat)～17 (Sun) (Charter service only from 4/2 to 4/8)
Adult ¥3,000 4-12years old ¥1,500 Under 3 years old Free
Oura Port～Nihonmatsu～Kaizuosaki～Oura Port
①10：00～ ②10：30～ ③11：00～ ④11：30～
⑤12：30～ ⑥13：00～ ⑦13：30～ ⑧14：00～
Access：15 min. walk from JR Kosei Line Nagahara Sta.
Contact / Reservation：Lakewest Kanko TEL：077-572-2114 FAX：077-573-9044
【Kaizuosaki Sakura Cruise】※Reservation required
《Departure and Arrival: Nagahama Port》
・High-speed Boat（2h 30min／Daytime・Round-trip）
Apr. 1 (Fri)～20 (Wed)
Adult ¥3,090 Elementary school student ¥1,540
Nagahama Port～Strolling Kaizuosaki (30min.)～Nagahama Port
①9：20～ ②12：15～ ③15：00～
・Vessel BIANCA（2h 40min.／Daytime・Round-trip）
Apr. 5 (Tue)～19 (Tue)
Adult ¥3,100 Elementary school student ¥1,550
Nagahama Port(14：20)～cruising Kaizuosaki ～ Nagahama Port
※Additional 11:00 am departure on 4/17,18 and 19
Access：10 min. walk from JR Hokuriku Main Line Nagahama Sta.
Contact / Reservation：Biwako Kisen Nagahama Branch TEL：0749-62-3390
【Departure and Arrival: Imazu Port】Apr. 1 (Fri)～20 (Wed)
・Landing Course【1h 45min.】(Daytime・Round-trip)
Adult ¥2,880 Elementary school student ¥1,440
Imazu Port～Strolling Kaizuosaki (30min.)～ Imazu Port
・Excursion Course【1h 20min.】(Daytime・Round-trip)
Adult ¥2,670 Elementary school student ¥1,340
Imazu Port ～Cruising Kaizuosaki～ Imazu Port
①11：30～ ②13：15～ ③15：30
Access：5 min. walk from JR Kosei Line Ohmi-imazu Sta.
Contact / Reservation：Biwako Kisen Imazu Branch TEL：0740-22-1747
【Kaizuosaki Cherry Blossom Viewing Boat】
Departure and Arrival: Hikone Port (2h 40min.)
Apr. 1 (Fri)～20 (Wed)
(Round-trip) Adult ¥3,500 Under 12years old ¥1,750
Hikone port～Viewing from the boat～Strolling Kaizuosaki(30min.)～Hikone port
①10：00～ ②13：00～ ③15：15～
Access：Approx. 12 min. taxi ride from the JR Maibara sta. (Tokaido Shinkansen)
Or 5 min. taxi ride from the JR Biwako Line Hikone sta. west gate
Contact / Reservation：Ohmi Marine Hikone Port
- Spring Festivals in Shiga
- 【Sanno Festival】Apr. 12 (Tue) ～ 14 (Thu)
Sanno Festival, one of the three big festivals of Shiga, takes place at Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine for over a month and half, beginning on March 1st. The main attraction runs from April 12 to 14. The Umanojinji ritual, in which two portable shrines, representing the marriage between two gods, are brought down from Mt. Ushio on the 12th. The Yoimiya Otoshi ritual, where portable shrines are rocked vigorously to simulate gods being born is on the 13th. The Awazu-no-Goku ritual, in which seven portable shrines are loaded onto a boat to cross a portion of Lake Biwa is on the 14th. This Shinto festival is both dynamic and spectacular.
Place：Around Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine 5-1-1 Sakamoto, Otsu City
Access：20 min. walk from JR Kosei Line Hieizan-sakamoto Sta. or,5 min. from Keihan Sakamoto Sta.
Contact：Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine TEL：077−578−0009
【Nagahama Hikiyama Festival】Apr 13 (Wed) ～ 16 (Sat)
Nagahama Hikiyama Festival is one of the three largest float festivals in Japan as well as one of the three big festivals of Shiga, and has been designated one of the nation's intangible folklore cultural assets. The children’s kabuki theater, performed by 5 to 12 years old boys on the night of the 13th, morning of the 14th and throughout the days of the 15th and 16th, astounds adults and captivates entire audiences. The parade of the child actors in costume on the night of the 14th and all the four Hikiyama floats illuminated by lanterns on the night of the 15th are a sight to see.
Place：Around Nagahama City 10 min. walk from JR Biwako Line Nagahama Sta.
Contact：Nagahama city Tourism Promotion Division
【48th Kusatsu Post Town Festival】Apr 24 (Sun) around 10：00～19：30
Kusatsu Post Town Festival is one of the main spring events in Shiga. It is the 48th festival this year and nearly 80,000 people visit every year. The main attraction is the Procession of the Age where people in exquisite costumes strolls through the beautiful historic town. With local gourmet foods, stage performances by local participants and more, the festival continues to expand.
Place：Near 1 Kusatsu, Kusatsu City
Along previous Tokaido and Nakasendo routes, and around Kusatsu City Office.
Access：10 min. walk from JR Biwako Line Kusatsu Sta.
Contact：Kusatsu Post Town Festival Executive Committee（Kusatsu City Tourism Association）