Leisure / Outdoors Spots in Shiga Area

  • Lake Biwa Museum
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    4.5
    159 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Kusatsushi Oroshimochou 1091
    Focusing on Lake Biwa, this museum explores the relationship between people and the lake. The museum’s aquarium exhibit, displaying the freshwater animals in general and particularly those found in Lake Biwa, is one of the largest in Japan. Some of the museum’s numerous points of note include an exhibit of endemic species such as the Lake Biwa catfish and a 10-meter-long tunnel aquarium which allows visitors to walk under the water and enjoy freshwater fish from around the world. There are also dioramas presenting the history of Lake Biwa and exhibits presenting items once used by people living in the areas. The museum restaurant’s black bass dishes are popular with visitors. Take the bus from JR Kusatsu Station and get off at Biwako Hakubutsukan-mae.

    We started with the aquarium, which is one of the best Ive seen (and Ive seen a lot of them). Really great exhibits --we spent about 2 hours there. The restaurant was also good and the other areas...

  • Sagawa Art Museum
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    4.5
    168 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).

    Lovely experience. Came here when it was raining and basically had nowhere else to go. But the museum is a surprise. The architecture is amazing both the inside and the outside. Exhibits are lovely...

  • Nagahama Castle Historical Museum
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    3.5
    200 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Kouenchou 10-10
    A museum located on the site of the Nagahama Castle Ruins in Koen-cho, Nagahama City. The museum operates out of a restoration of the castle based on how it would have looked in the distant Azuchi-Momoyama period. The museum’s standing exhibition looks at the history of the northern Lake Biwa area and Nagahama; the mighty samurai lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who built Nagahama Castle; and other themes relating to Nagahama. The museum also holds special exhibitions on the Nagahama area and historical figures like Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

    This small castle is a short walk from the Nagahama JR station and has a great view out over Lake Biwa. It was one of Hideyoshi Toyotomis first castles and the museum explains some of the history of...

  • Hikone Castle Museum
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    4.0
    176 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Hikoneshi Konkichou 1-1
    A museum located in Konki-cho, Hikone City. The museum is located on the site of Hikone Castle’s front palace and operates out of a recreation of that now destroyed structure. The museum contains some 45,000 pieces of valuable works of art, handicrafts, and ancient documents handed down for generations in the Ii clan, who once ruled ancient Hikone domain; as well as over 91,000 items relating to Hikone.

    It is a museum of Hikone Castle. When you buy a combination ticket, you can visit the castle, garden and this museum. I strongly recommend you to buy it and visit this museum. There are interesting...

  • Himure Village, Omihachiman
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    4.0
    160 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Omihachiman-shi Miyauchicho Hi

    [日牟禮ヴィレッジ]は 《洋菓子・クラフ ハリエ日牟禮館》と《和菓子・たねや 日牟禮乃舎》の 夫々 別の建物で構成されており、今回は《洋菓子・クラフ ハリエ日牟禮館》のカフェで《淡雪モンフラン と 飲物:ふわふわアールクレイラテ...

  • Genkyu-En
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    4.5
    184 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.

    Originally, I was going to pass on the gardens but it came included with the castle so I decided to come. I am glad I visited the garden because it was beautiful and there were amazing views of the...

  • "Azuchi Castle Museum “The House of Nobunaga"""
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    4.0
    104 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Oumihachimanshi Aduchichoukuwanomiji 800
    A museum located in Kuwanomiji Azuchi-cho, Omihachiman City. Inside the museum is a life-sized recreation of the tower of Azuchi Castle originally built for Seville Expo ’92 in Spain. The structure includes recreations of the tower’s artistic touches, as well, such as a room partition painting of the powerful samurai lord Oda Nobunaga created by the renowned Japanese painter Kano Eitoku; and the tower exterior itself, which is decorated with 100 thousand sheets of gold leaf.

    館内に入るなりいきなり ドドーンと安土城の復元天守があり圧巻! 大変煌びやかで、圧倒的な存在感です。 朱色と黄金がまた輝かしさが半端なくて 見とれてしまいます。 織田信長ファンならずとも 歴史ファンには必見のスポットですね!

  • Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park
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    4.0
    63 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Koukashi Shigarakichouchokushi 2188-7
    A public park located in Chokushi Shigaraki-cho, Koka City. The park is dotted with outdoor art exhibits and also encloses such facilities as a ceramics art gallery, training hall where ceramics arts can stay, and a Shigaraki ware museum with a shop and café. The park also has ceramics arts hold workshops and demonstrational lectures as well as artist markets.

    There are three main bulidings set in a large landscaped park. The weather on the day we visited was good and there were some families having picnics and playing on the (patchy) grass. One building...

  • MIHO MUSEUM
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    4.0
    12 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.

    Nice food, quite delicious. Self service is a bit surprising with the not so cheap prices... Chairs are not so comfortable.

  • Yanmar Museum
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    4.5
    85 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Nagahama-shi Sanwacho 6-50

    Yanmar is a well-known diesel engine and machines manufacturer Japan-wide and worldwide. It was the first company that invented and commercialised the worlds first smallest diesel engine since the...

  • Nagahama Railway Museum
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    4.0
    112 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Kitafunachou 1-41
    A railroad museum located in Kitafuna-cho, Nagahama City. The museum consists of the former Nagahama Station building, constructed in 1882 and the oldest extant station building in Japan; the Nagahama Railway Culture Hall, and the Hokuriku Line Electrification Memorial Hall. Visitors can tour areas of the station building such as the old waiting area and stationmaster’s office as well as view relevant exhibits. In addition, the museum has train models, a D51 steam locomotive which visitors are allowed to sit in the driver’s seat, and an ED70 ac electric locomotive. The museum’s observation deck offers a super close view of the trains running on the Hokuriku Line track.

    The building sits nicely on its site. It is said to be the oldest existing railroad station building in the country. We were here for autumn foliage and the trees in front of the building were at...

  • Kaiyodo Figure Museum Kurokabe Ryuyukan
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    4.0
    96 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Motohamachou 8-22 Nagahama Art Center
    A museum dedicated to figurines and models situated along the Hokkoku Highway in Motohama-cho, Nagahama City. Kaiyodo is a company known around the world for its figurines, and this museum displays some of the company’s most renowned pieces as well as over 2,000 snack prize figurines, dioramas, and more. The museum also holds workshops on figurine painting and diorama making. Be sure to stop by the museum shop situated on the Nagahama Otemon Shopping Street in Motohama -cho.

    They had a special exibition in another building but I really wanted to see the real one... At least I got to see the life sized figures I wanted.

  • Koka Ninja House
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    4.0
    64 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Koukashi Kounanchouryuboushi 2331
    A sort of real ninja theme park filled with secret ninja tricks located in Ryuboshi Konan-cho, Koka City. The residence was built around 1700, during the Edo period, by the Mochizuki Koka ninja clan. Preparing for the unexpected, the house was filled with tricks and traps, including trick windows, rotating walls, and drop pits. Items used as part of daily ninja life are also on display here.

    Although it is a guided tour conducted in Japanese, we were able to follow the tour as the staff passed us a folder with English description and she helped us along the way. It is amazing to...

  • Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Garden Mizunomori
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    4.0
    47 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Kusatsushi Oroshimochou 1091
    A public park located on the Karasuma Peninsula in Oroshimo-cho, Kusatsu City. Designed around the theme of “contact between plants and people and water and people,” visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of flowers throughout the year. The park’s Lotus Hall is filled with lotuses, water lilies, and other aquatic plants; the hall also has a store and a restaurant serving dishes such as soft serve ice cream and udon noodles made with lotus.

    琵琶湖博物館との共通券を買っていたので、博物館の後にこちらへ向かいました。地図では隣のように見えますが、歩くと5-10分程度かかります。 その名の通り、水路や池を配した美しい庭園でした。 テーマごとに植栽されていて、植物名もきちんと記載されています。ロータス館には温室があり、睡蓮の花が咲いていました。 11月だったので、オオオニバスが見れず残念でした。

  • Koka Ninja Village
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Koukashi Koukachouoki 394
    A theme park located in Oki Koka-cho, Koka City. Facilities include a museum with exhibits on Koka ninja, a ninja funhouse, a ninja dojo with nine training grounds, a shuriken dojo, a craft dojo where you can pain raku ware and do other crafts, and a Shinobi-jinja Shrine dedicated to ninja. There’s also a restaurant where you can enjoy “ninja barbecue,” a store selling ninja goods, and a costume rental shop.

    The 25- or 30-year-old buildings and equipment are showing their age, and in need of maintenance in some cases, but our family of 4 had great fun climbing walls, skimming across the muddy pond...

  • Shiga Prefectural Azuchi Castle Archeological Museum
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    3.5
    37 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Oumihachimanshi Aduchichoushimotoira 6678
    A museum located in Shimotoira Azuchi-cho, Omihachiman City. The museum contains exhibits on artifacts excavated from ancient burial mounds and historic sites such as the Dainaka-no-ko Konan Iseki ruins; fortresses and castles from the medieval to the modern period such as and the Kannonji Castle Ruins and the Azuchi Castle Ruins; and Oda Nobunaga, the mighty samurai lord who built Azuchi Castle. The museum also holds special exhibitions.

    If you do not read Japanese, be sure to pick up a leaflet at the museum which describes the three rooms. Two of the rooms are permanent exhibits and one has temporary exhibits. I enjoyed learning...

  • Hikiyama Museum
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    4.0
    48 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.

    長浜市曳山博物館は、平成12年(2000年)10月1日にオープンしました。本物の曳山が展示されていたり、修理を行う修理ドックや曳山の文化の普及を担っている施設です。見学には約40分かかりました。

  • Shiga Agricultural Park Blumen Hügel
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Gamo-gun Hino Cho Nishioji 843
    About 20 minutes from the Youkaichi Interchange off the Meishin Expressway, this park, designed to look like a medieval German farming village spreads across the Kitayama hill region. The extensive flower fields are filled with rape seed blossoms in the spring, sunflowers in the summer, and cosmos blooms in the autumn. They are bursting with wonderful blooms in each season. The hot houses have small rose and herb gardens. The park has a petting zoo with sheep, horses, and cows, a grass tobogganing area, and an air jumper. The alpine gym is also popular, along with the gigantic athletic course which includes 72 different kinds of climbing attractions. Sausage making workshops are also offered.
  • Otsumatsuri Exhibition Pavilion
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    4.0
    41 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Chuou 1-2-27
    "The Otsumatsuri Exhibition Pavilion is located around five minutes' drive from the Otsu Interchange on the Meishin Expressway. The exhibits displayed in the Pavilion include artifacts and materials relating to the Otsu Matsuri (Otsu Festival), which is held in Otsu City, to the southwest of Lake Biwa, and which has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property, as well as life-size replicas of the Hikiyama floats used in the festival. The emphasis in the displays within the Pavilion is on ""enabling visitors to experience the fun and excitement of the Otsu Matsuri,"" and visitors can view video footage of the actual festival. The ""Ohayashi Experience"" area, in which visitors can try their hand at playing ohayashi festival music using such traditional instruments as gongs and Taiko big drums and so on, is very popular with children."

    無料で見られる大津祭の展示館です。大津祭の写真や山車なども館内に有りました。写真から祭りの熱気も感じられます。スタッフの方も親切ですよ。尚館内は撮影OKです。

  • Kawara Museum
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    3.5
    46 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Omihachiman-shi Tagacho 738-2
    This museum, located in Taga-cho, Omihachiman City, contains exhibits on Hachiman roof tiles, a local industry which developed with the building of Hachimanyama Castle in 1585 by Toyotomi Hidetsugu. Here visitors can view gold leaf and eave-end roof tiles excavated from the ruins of Hidetsugu’s residence, decorative ridge-end gargoyle roof tiles and tile figures from the Edo period, and gargoyle roof tiles from studios and workshops situated along the Hachiman-bori Canal.

    Very expensive entry fee ($10 / 1,000 yen) to see some roof-tiles. If it was more friendly fee, I think you would have seen more visitors.

Shiga Areas

around-area-map

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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