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Museum / Science Museum Spots in Shiga Area

  • 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...

  • Lake Biwa Museum
    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.
  • Otsumatsuri Exhibition Pavilion
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    4.0
    32 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."

    丸屋町アーケード商店街にある展示館です。大津祭の原寸大の曳山模型や装飾品などを展示しています。また、からくりに様子を映像で見ることができます。館内にはお囃子が流れ、祭気分を味わうことができます。

  • Shiga Prefectural Azuchi Castle Archeological Museum
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    4.0
    25 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.

    百名城スタンプラリーのついでにこちらにも立ち寄りました。外観だけでも楽しめる場所ですが、歴史の勉強にもなったのでよかったです。

  • Omihachiman City Roof Tile Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Oumihachimanshi Tagachou 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.
  • Koka Ninja Village
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    4.0
    11 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...

  • Otsu City Museum of History
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    3.5
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Goryouchou 2-2
    A museum located in Goryo-cho, Otsu City. The museum’s collection spans 82,000 items relating to the history and culture of Shiga and Omi, eight of which have been designated Important Cultural Properties. The museum has a standing exhibit which includes a model showing what the ancient capital of Otsu no Miya once looked like, displays covering the eight picturesque sights of Omi, and a chronology of the history of Omi City; the museum also holds special exhibits on themes such as Buddhist culture.

    三井寺の参拝を終えて近くにあったので入館しました。精巧に再現された大津の町のミニチュアなど楽しめる展示が豊富です。そして2階のテラス席からの琵琶湖が一望できます。絶景です。

  • Kaiyodo Figure Museum Kurokabe Ryuyukan
    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.
  • Hikone Castle Museum
    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.
  • Clock Museum Treasure Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Jinguchou 1-1 Omi Jingu Shrine premises
    A museum located on the grounds of Omi Shrine in Jingu-cho, Otsu City. The first museum in Japan dedicated to timepieces, the establishment of the museum was inspired by Emperor Tenji, to whom Omi Shrine is dedicated; Emperor Tenji had a water clock known as a “rokoku” built and establishment a system of announcing the time during his reign. The museum displays ancient and pre-modern Japanese clocks and timepieces from around the world, including one of the oldest pocket watches in Japan and valuable treasures presented to Omi Shrine.
  • Dotaku Museum and Yasu City History and Folk Museum
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    4.0
    8 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Yasushi Tsujimachi 57-1
    A museum located in Tsuji-machi, Yasu City. The museum contains exhibits on the history and casting methods used to create ancient dotaku bells, with a focus on the 24 Oiwayama dotaku bells discovered on Mt. Oiwa in 1881 and 1962, as well as exhibits on the history and folklore of Yasu such as the reconstructed model of Nagahara Goten (palace).

    野洲駅からバスで20分くらい乗ったところにあります。近江富士が近いこともあり、自然の中にあります。入場料は200円です。野洲市民の方は無料。 中は1階に銅鐸の展示が2室に分けてあり、実物大の銅鐸のレプリカは実際に叩いてみることもできます。ビデオを使用し、銅鐸の発見の様子などわかりやすいです。 2階は企画展示です。行ったときは、野洲の古社、兵主大社の展示でした。なかなか珍しいものが残っており...

  • Ritto Historical Folk Museum
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    3.5
    4 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Rittoushi Ono 223-8
    A museum located in Ono, Ritto City. The museum contains some 40,000 items, including 22 designated Important Cultural Properties, relating to the folk customs, history, and arts and crafts of Ritto. The museum’s standing exhibit covers the history and customs of the area and the facility also holds related special exhibitions.

    図書館の隣にある博物館で古くからの教育の展示や発掘物の展示、地元の寺の仏像などの他地元にある磨崖仏のレプリカや敷地内には茅葺の古民家を移築したものがありました。新しく明るい博物館でした。

  • Koka Ninja House
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    4.0
    57 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...

  • "Azuchi Castle Museum “The House of Nobunaga"""
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    4.0
    82 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.

    当時の安土城の壮大さ、豪華さ、信長の権勢を学べます。ストーリー、映像ともよくできています。まあ、ひとつの説であって、真偽は不明ですが、イメージが膨らみ、楽しめます。

  • World Kite Museum Higashiomi Oodako Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Higashioumishi Youkaichihigashihonmachi 3-5
    A museum dedicated to kites located in Yokkaichi-higashihonmachi, Higashiomi City. The museum contains exhibits on the giant kites of Higashiomi, including miniature replicas of particularly outstanding past examples and the actual 100 Tatamijiki Higashiomi Odako, the largest kite in Japan. Other exhibits include some 500 kites from around Japan and 100 from around the world.
  • Eizaburo Nishibori Memorial Explorer Museum
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    4.5
    4 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Higashioumishi Yokomizochou 419
    A memorial museum located in Yokomizo-cho, Higashiomi City. The museum contains exhibits honoring Japanese explorers, with a focus on Eizaburo Nishibori, an explorer and scientist who served as the captain of Japan Antarctic Research Expedition. The museum also offers science experiments and craft making classes for groups and others (interested parties should contact the museum in advance).

    See an outstanding film on Eizaburo Nishibori and exhibits related to his long career. Also a well curated art exhibit of works from Higashiomi and Shiga prefecture during my visit. Leaves me wanting...

  • Dynic Astropark Observatory
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Inukamiguntagachou Taga 283-1
    An astronomical observatory situated along National Route 306 in Taga, Taga Town, Inukami County, Shiga Prefecture. Japan’s first privately owned and operated astronomical observatory, facilities include a 60 cm main reflecting telescope, a variety of smaller telescopes, and a Schmidt camera. The facility also has displays containing meteorites, celestial globes, and a star map from China dating back to the Southern Song dynasty. The facility also holds regular events such as stargazing meets.
  • Nagahama Castle Historical Museum
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    3.5
    170 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.

    The Castle was not big and was easily missed (from main road) as it was blocked by trees. Good view of surrounding area from the top. Good sunset view on the lakeside area of Ho Park.

  • Nagahama Railway Museum
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    4.0
    91 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.

    A small, but very well set-out museum. Being a steam train enthusiast, we took our time to check-out the exhibits.

  • Higashi Asia Koryu House Amenomori Hoshuan
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Takatsukichouamenomori 1166
    A museum located in Amenomori Takatsuki-cho, Nagahama City. The site of the birth home of mid-Edo period Confucian scholar Amenomori Hoshu, the museum honors and presents the life and achievements of the man through personal possessions and items relating to Korean delegations to Japan.

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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