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Spots in Shiga Area

  • Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo
    Shopping
    Shiga Pref. Gamougunryuouchou Kuzushi Sunayama 1178 - 694
    An outlet shopping mall situated along National Route 477 in Oaza Kuzushi Aza Sunayama, Ryuo Town, Gamo County, Shiga Prefecture. The mall is home to a variety of domestic and international brand outlet shops carrying apparel, sports equipment, outdoor equipment, accessories, and more. The mall also has a food court and holds a variety of events.
  • Hikone Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Hikoneshi Konkichou 1-1
    A castle built over a period of some 20 years by Ii Naokatsu, the son of Ii Naomasa, who was counted as one of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s four greatest generals. Many of the structures, including the castle tower; turrets; and the Genkyuen, a garden for the Shimoyashiki villa; look as they did when first constructed and are designated National Treasures. The large horse stable, with its walls built in the early modern period, is a particularly rare example of such a structure and is designated a national Important Cultural Property. The inner moat can be circled in a pleasure boat that belonged to the Ii clan; ride it and you will feel like a daimyo (feudal lord) yourself.
  • Dawn Redwood Avenue
    Travel / Tourism
    Takashima-shi Shiga prefecture Makino Town Hikariguchi - Makino
    An avenue of beautiful trees following Prefectural Route 287 in Hiruguchi Makino-cho, Takashima City. Consisting of some 500 dawn redwoods growing along a 2.4 kilometer stretch of road in front of the Makino Pic-land fruits farm, the Avenue of Dawn Redwoods Festival is held here during the fall foliage season from late November to early December.
  • Taga Taisya Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Inukamiguntagachou Taga 604
    A Shinto shrine located in Taga, Taga Town, Inukami County, Shiga Prefecture. The shrine is dedicated to the gods Izanagi-no-Okami and Izanami-no-Okami. Known locally as “O-Taga-san,” the shrine is believed to grant worshippers long life and luck in love. During the Kugatsu Korei-sai festival on September 9, a “Kochi Kochi” sumo competition is held which predicts whether the year’s harvests will be good or poor.
  • Enryakuji
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    4.0
    4 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Sakamotohonmachi 4220

    早朝訪問の為か、まだ扉が閉まっていました。説明書きを読むと日本中の神仏は勿論のこと世界中の神様の集合させてお祈りしているそうです。そういえば仏教というのは他の宗教の神様を取り入れ、仏教の仏様として受け入れる宗教なので、他の宗教の神も拝むことが出来るのかなと考えてしまいます。

  • Sagawa Art Museum
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    4.0
    2 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Moriyamashi Mizuhochou Kitagawa 2891
    An art museum located in Kitagawa Mizuho-cho, Moriyama City. The museum’s collection consists of pieces by Japanese painter Ikuo Hirayama, sculptor Churyo Sato, and ceramic artist Kichizaemon Raku. The museum has three standing exhibit halls each supervised by one of the artists. The museum also holds special exhibitions of other artists’ works. In addition, the museum owns a Buddhist temple bell designated a National Treasure which was originally cast in 858 to serve as the bell for the Hodoin west bell tower at the Enryaku-ji Temple (note that this bell is not normally put on display).

    佐川美術館のカフェレストランSAM。 企画展を観に来て、帰りのバスに乗るまでの時間つぶしに入った。 その日は土曜で、私同様に田中一村展目当てで来た客が多く、入口の順番待ちリストに名前書いてから待合イスに座って待った。 このリスト、相席可否が書き込めるのがいいね。これって、ありそうでないシステムだ。一人の私は当然、「相席可」。 10分もしないうちに呼ばれて、8人掛けくらいの円形テーブルへ。 その卓...

  • Ishiyama-dera Temple
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    4.5
    296 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Ishiyamadera 1-1-1
    This is a temple of the To-ji Temple Shingon sect which is located in Otsu City. It was founded in 747 at the request of Emperor Shomu. It is known as one of the most famous Kannon temples in Japan, also being the stamp office for temple number 13 of the Saigoku Sanjusansho Kannon Pilgrimage. In addition, it is said that this was the place where Murasaki Shikibu got her inspiration for the idea of the Tale of Genji, and it also appears in literary works such as “Makura no Soshi” (the Pillow Book) and “Sarashina Nikki” (The Sarashina Diary). In the temple, there are many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties such as the oldest Taho-to (a pagoda that enshrines the Buddha) and the oldest main temple building in Japan, so there is no shortage of highlights. It is also a famous place for its autumnal leaves and the illumination in the evening is worth seeing.

    This place is more like a garden with lots of beautiful flowers than a temple. The environment is quiet and peaceful, not like other parks with too many tourists from other places. Be prepared to...

  • Shirahige-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Takashimashi Ukawa 215
    A Shinto shrine situated along the Nishi-Oumi Highway in Ukawa, Takashima City. Dedicated to Sarutahiko-no-mikoto, the shrine is said to grant worshippers long life. Because of the shrine’s large torii gate standing in the waters of Lake Biwa, the shrine is also known as the “Itsukushima of Omi.”
  • Omi Jingu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Jinguchou 1-1
    A Shinto shrine located in Jingu-cho, Otsu City. The shrine was established in 1940. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Tenji, who implemented various policies and reforms, and accordingly the shrine is believed to grant worshippers better fortunes and guidance; because of the shrine’s large “rokoku” water clock, time is also believed to fall under the shrine’s domain. A poem by Emperor Tenji appears as the first entry in the ancient “Ogura Anthology of 100 Tanka by 100 Poets,” and in turn the shrine is also viewed as a mecca for players of the Japanese game karuta—a card game which involves hearing the first half of a poem and racing to find the correct card inscribed with the second half; a “Karuta Opening Ceremony” is held at the shrine and a national karuta competition is also held here.
  • Ski & Snowboard Okuibuki
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    3.5
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Maibarashi Kouduhara Okubo
    A ski resort situated along Prefectural Route 40 in Okuibuki Kozuhara, Maibara City. The resort has 12 courses and a snow park and here visitors can enjoy the powder snow of Ibuki, an area which holds a record for the greatest amount of snowfall in the world. The resort’s central lodge has facilities such as a food court, pro shop, and kids’ house.

    We were recommended this place as a convenient snow resort to visit. We caught a JR train to Maibara (Kodama shinkansen also stops here) from where we were the day before and stayed at hotel Toyoko...

  • Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga
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    4.0
    2 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Uchidehama 15-1
    This performing arts theater is run by Shiga Prefecture. It has a large hall with a quadruple stage, the largest in Western Japan. Its mid-sized hall is used for theatrical plays, and it has a smaller hall for concerts. It's in a beautiful location with Lake Biwa in the background, and it gets rave reviews from the artists who come to Japan to perform there. It was chosen as one of the country's top 100 venues by the Sound Engineers and Artists Society of Japan. They regularly hold a variety of musical performances including opera, ballet, and classical music concerts.

    平井大さんのワンマンLiveがあり、その際に訪れました。大ホールでもステージに近い印象で非常に良かったです。また、私は2階席で落ち着いていました。

  • Spa Resort Ogoto Agaryanse
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    3.5
    41 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Nouka 3-9-5
    A hot spring resort facility located in 3 Chome Noka, Otsu City. The resort has a variety of baths supplied by two different privately-owned source springs, including outdoor baths and an excursion bath. Other facilities include a sauna with loyly. The adjoining World Performance Castle is a bedrock bath with a variety of spas. There are also four restaurants, including a French dining bar and Japanese-style yakiniku barbecue joint; plus a salon offering massages and other beauty treatments.

    I come here at least 5 times every winter with my Japanese friend. So I know quite well of it. Gotta some overviews: First, this resort is really spacy and has various facilities compared to the...

  • Kibougaoka Cultural Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Gamougunryuouchou Kuzushi 1178
    A public park straddling Ryuo Town in Gamo County and Yasu City, Shiga Prefecture. The park’s spacious grounds extend one kilometer north to south and four kilometers east to west. The park is comprised of a sports zone complete with a baseball field, playground, and other sports and recreation facilities; an outdoor activity zone with a campground and lodges; and a culture zone with a multipurpose field and training facilities which include lodging.
  • Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
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    4.0
    142 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Sakamoto 5-1-1
    A Shinto shrine located in Sakamoto, Otsu City. The shrine was founded some 2,100 years ago. The shrine is also the head shrine of all 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno shrines in Japan. Positioned in the unlucky direction northeast of the ancient capital of Heian-kyo, the shrine is believed to provide protection from misfortune and disaster and even today worshippers come here to receive these benefits. 3,000 maple trees grow on the shrine’s grounds, making it a renowned destination for autumn foliage in the fall as well.

    This shrine locates at the foot of the mountain which accommodates the Enryakuji. We stopped by on our way and find it very relaxing but sorry to say that the Enryakuji overwhelmed us. But I was...

  • Onjo-ji (Mii-dera) Temple
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    4.5
    219 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Onjoujichou 246
    The Onjo-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tendaijimon Buddhist sect and is located in Otsu City. The temple is also known as one of the “Omi Hakkei” (Best 8 scenic spots in Omi) (Mii-no-Bansho lit. the temple’s evening bell). In the main temple structure which is a National Treasure, the principal image of Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya Bodhisattva) is said to be enshrined, but since it is unconditionally a Buddhist image withheld from public view, it is not made public. Kannondo and Shakado, the stamp office for temple number 14 of Saigoku Sanjusansho Kannon Pilgrimage stand lined up within the temple, which possesses a great many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. It is also a well-known spot for its autumnal leaves.

    We visited this place at the sakura (cherry blossoms) season but it was not crowded with tourists as expected. Actually we could walk quite leisurely around and enjoy the beautiful view. There was a...

  • MIHO MUSEUM
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    4.5
    284 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Koukashi Shigarakichoutashiro Momotani 300
    This unique design of this art museum in Koka City, Shiga was created by famous architect, I. M. Pei who was also responsible for designing the glass pyramid at the Musee de Louvre. Built to evoke the image of Shangri-La, 80% of the building is underground allowing it to assimilate into the beautiful natural surroundings. Over 3,000 pieces of art are on display in four exhibition rooms which cover Egypt, Western-Asia, Southern-Asia, and the Western Regions of China and special themed exhibits are also held. * The museum is closed for the winter until March 20th, 2019.

    The architecture of this museum is of course gorgeous as it was designed by IM Pei but the museum itself is quite small. I was shocked to see that the largest exhibits were Chinese art. I would have...

  • Genkyu-En
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    4.0
    126 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Hikoneshi Konkichou 3
    This is a garden with a large central pond and a circular walking trail located northeast of Hikone Castle. It was said to have been built by Ii Naooki, the fourth feudal lord of Hikone domain. This is a famous garden built with every luxury imaginable from the Edo culture—it is designed after a palace garden from the Chinese Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. Buildings such as Rinchikaku, artificial hills of Houshoudai are built as if they project out into the large lake, and trees, shrubs and rocks are cleverly arranged to imitate “Omi Hakkei” (Eight Views of Omi). The illumination is also well worth seeing, which is held in November during the season for autumnal leaves.

    This garden is quite pleasant, with a big pond and several bridges. The Hikone Castle can be sighted from several places around the pond. However I would only recommend this place for autumn...

  • Kurokabe Square
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    4.0
    301 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Motohamachou 12-38
    Long known by the nickname “the Kurokabe Bank (Black Wall Bank),” this remodeled former bank building houses the Kurokabe Glass Shop as well as a gallery and restaurant, and has come to be known as the largest space exhibiting glass crafts in western Japan. In addition to glass and porcelain, visitors can also enjoy trying their hand at making a diorama in the popular Kaiyodo Figure Museum.

    Went there mainly to visit Kaiyodo Museum but we found lots of good food! Try the sweet potato sweets, they're worth it!

  • Hikiyama Museum
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    3.5
    39 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Motohamachou 14-8
    It is a museum concerning one of the three largest float festivals in Japan, the “Nagahama Hikiyama Festival” which is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, and is held in April every year in Nagahama City. There are four festival floats in the collection, two of which are exhibited in the museum. These luxurious and gorgeous ornaments with gold engraving, wood carving and lacquer coating are a must see. There are also an exhibition of stage dummies and a “Kid’s Kabuki” (Japanese classical drama) video show, which is performed on one of the stage floats that is a highlight of the festival. There is also a coffee shop at the museum.

    Small museum located in Kurobe Square - 10 minutes walk from station. Displays showcase the Hikiyama Matsuri which takes place in April, highlighting the role children play in the performance...

  • Nagahama Betsuin Daitsuji Temple (Gobou-san)
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    3.5
    66 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Motohamachou 32-9
    This is a temple of the Otani sect of Shinshu that has long been fondly known by the nickname of “Gobo-san”, whose origins lie in its establishment on the site of Nagahama Castle in 1602. Thereafter, it was moved to its current location in 1652. You can catch a glimpse of the splendid Momoyama culture in the main hall and the banquet hall which are said to be the remains of Fushimi castle and have been designated as National Important Cultural Properties. Within the temple grounds, there is also Ganzanken Japanese Garden, a kanshoshiki kare-sansui (“dry landscape”) garden, and there is also the Rantei Japanese Garden which is a National Place of Scenic Beauty. The temple is famous for having a great number of cultural properties such as paintings on paper sliding doors and screens.

    It was not in my plan, however, I am glad that I did pay a visit. The temple was big (the section which you had to pay to enter). They had a plant that stated at least 250 years old. The garden...

Shiga Main Areas

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Visitors to Shiga prefecture are almost always hopping east across the prefectural border from Kyoto, and they are almost certainly Lake Biwa-bound. Covering an area of 670 square kilometers, Lake Biwa makes up the bulk of Shiga prefecture, with beautiful lakeside paths that offer myriad walking and cycling opportunities, connecting a string of museums, shrines, and picturesque views that finally lead you to Hikone Castle on the eastern side of the lake.

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