News & Events
- 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.
- Lantern Festival
- The Manto-sai, or Lantern Festival, is held on the three days from August 3 to August 5 each year at Taga Taisha Shrine. During the festival the shrine grounds are decorated with more than 10,000 lanterns sent from the faithful all across Japan, giving thanks to the goddess Izanami-no-Mikoto.
The sight of these lanterns raised high on poles is breathtaking indeed, and has become a staple of summer in the Lakeland region.
During the period of the festival live music and many performances take place beneath the lanterns, and the shrine throngs with visitors for all three days. Experience a perfect summer night beneath the brilliant sky.
[Date] August 3 - August 5 19:00 - 21:30
[Location Held] Taga Taisha Shrine
[Access] 10 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Taga Taisha Mae Station
- Experience Japanese Crafts
- ■Teori no Sato" Kongoen Handweaving Center
Here you can observe fabrics being dyed using bluegrass grown in the grounds, and participants can then actually dye fabric themselves or sew some hatasho tsumugi (made from leftover silk).
[Opening Hours] 9:00 to 17:00
[Charges]Entry Fee: Adults ￥310, Elementary and Junior High School Students ￥160, Groups (25 or more) Adults ￥260
Experience Fee: Hemp Handkerchief from ￥1500
"Kawara" means "tile", and here's your chance to make something related to them! Use some clay to freely make whatever original piece you like, including a nameplate or memorial plaque.
[Opening Hours] 9:00 - 16:30 (Making requires approx. 90 min.)
[Charges] ￥1000 (standard clay 600g) / ￥1500 (nameplate clay sheet 1000g)
*Postage will be charged separately.
[Other Details] 5 or more people require a reservation. Capacity for 30-40 people per session.
- Friendship Adventures Water Sports Experience
- At Friendship Adventures you can enjoy leisure water sports throughout the year.
Particularly popular are the water sports on the Setagawa River during summer!
■Setagawa River Rafting: Shiga is excellently located for access from across the Kansai region, making this rafting course on the Setagawa River the perfect way to enjoy a thrill ride with family and friends!
■Water Tubing: The explosively popular number one attraction! A heart-stopping adventure that takes you over waves and between rocks! This is the only place in all of Kansai to experience it!
■River Bugging: A new river sport fresh from New Zealand. Having first arrived in Japan in 2012, this is still the only place in the entire country to experience it!
- Beauty Spots in Shiga
- An introduction to some of the best beauty spots in Shiga, where the sunrise and sunset across Lake Biwa are the most beautiful beyound doubt.
■Kohoku Mizudori Station
Kohoku Mizudori Station is located in a water bird park visited by a whole variety of wild birds throughout the year. The illusory sunset across the waters of the lake here is so stunning, it has even been placed among the top 100 in Japan. Once winter comes, birds that have travelled down from the north will also provide lively accompaniment to the sunset.
A shrine devoted to a god said to have seen the waters of Lake Biwa become a reed bed seven times while living on Hira for more than 60,000 years. With a large torii gate in the waters of the lake, it is often also called the "Itsukushima of Omi." Featured in poems by Basho Matsuo and Akiko Yosano, the scenery here continues to inspire people to this day.
- Enjoy Shiga Sightseeing from a Boat!
- Shiga Prefecture is often called "the land of water." How about enjoying some sightseeing from one of a selection of cruise boats?
Experience a cruise down the Setagawa River from a roofed boat while enjoying a meal made using the finest Shiga ingredients.
Hop aboard a retro paddle steamer and enjoy a range of historic and cultural spots, including Ishiyama-dera Temple and Seta no Karahashi Bridge.
Offers a variety of cruise plans, including the Michigan Cruise around the south of Lake Biwa, a complete circuit of the lake, and a cruise to Chikubushima island.
Take a cruise around the mysterious islands of Lake Biwa, including Chikubushima and Takeshima.
Explore Kohoku and the lake from an amphibious bus. A cheerful guide will lead the tour and point out places of interest.
- 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.
- 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
- Japanese Confections from Shiga
- An introduction to uniquely Japanese confections that have remained popular in Shiga for generations.
They also make excellent gifts!
Watayo's decchi yokan (thick jellied sweets made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar), for which Omi-Hachiman is famous, are a long-standing confection with ties to the land of the renowned Omi merchants. Their uiro mochi (steamed cake made of rice flour and sugar), made with delicious Shiga-grown Omi rice, is also very highly regarded for its perfectly sticky texture.
■Ubaga Mochi Main Store
Ubaga mochi is a local confection representative of Shiga, created using traditional methods that have been passed down for more than 400 years. These innately Japanese confections feature mochi made with locally grown Kusatsu rice, wrapped around a reservedly sweet bean-paste center and then topped with white bean and yam decorations.
■Miidera Chikara Mochi Honke
Miidera Chikara Mochi is a rice-based confection created using traditional methods passed down since the founding of the company in 1869, and is now one of the most famous confections hailing from Shiga. The mochi is served on skewers with a sweet sauce and soy flour unique to the store, meaning you can only get a taste of it right here!
- O'pal Water Sports Experience
- A sports facility located on the shores of the lake at Ogoto. Here you can enjoy a wide range of lake-based marine sports, under the skilled and watchful eye of an instructor.
[Use by Schools for School Trips etc.]
Offers Lake Biwa Experience Courses aimed at school trips, out of school learning, and integrated learning. All sorts of courses are available, including learning about the environment along the shores of Lake Biwa or experiencing water sports. Plans can be tailored to suit the requirements of each school. * Capacity for 20 - 300 participants.
[Use by Families and Friends]
A marine sports school that caters to all, even beginners. Skilled instructors lead you safely through a range of possible experiences, including canoes, SUPs and yachts.