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Culture / Tour Spots in Shiga Area

  • 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...

  • 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.
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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。

  • Hino Dahlia Garden
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    4.5
    3 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Gamougunhinochou Kaigake 2198-1
    A botanical garden located in Kaigake, Hino Town, Gamo County, Shiga Prefecture. More than 12,000 dahlia plants spanning 150 varieties are grown on the garden’s grounds, and they bloom from early summer through fall. In addition to dahlias, tree peonies, Chinese peonies, and clematis are grown in the garden and visitors can also enjoy strawberry picking in a greenhouse from late February to late May.

    5月の連休前、4月下旬連休前に伺いました。 「日野ダリア園」のダリアの花は、夏から秋にかけての花で、その時期のダリアはパンフレットにも載る位、大変綺麗だそうです。 春は「芍薬」「牡丹」の花が咲いてたいそう綺麗だと言う事で、期待して伺いました。伺ったのは、4月の下旬連休直前でしたが、牡丹が数株咲いているだけで、芍薬牡丹とも満開には程遠い状態でした。一寸残念! 5月の中頃が見ごろか?それらの株数は...

  • 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...

  • Biwako Hakodateyama Lily Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Takashimashi Imaduchouhiokimae 4201-4
    A botanical garden located in Hiokimae Imazu-cho, Takashima City. The largest lily garden in the Kansai region, some 2.5 million lily plants are grown on the grounds. The garden has a lift from which riders can get a bird’s eye view of the flowers, a train from which you can enjoy the picturesque lilies and Lake Biwa in the distance, and play equipment for children. There’s also a restaurant serving dishes made with lily bulbs, a light meal stand, and a lily plant shop.
  • Hakodateyama Kokia Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Takashimashi Imaduchouhiokimae 4201-4
    A botanical garden located in Hiokimae Imazu-cho, Takashima City. Spread among four locations inside Biwako Hakodateyama Lily Garden, the largest lily garden in the Kansai area, visitors can enjoy the summer light green and fall crimson of some 2,000 burningbush plants. The Biwako Hakodateyama Lily Garden has facilities such as a lift; train; children’s play equipment; restaurant serving dishes made with lily bulbs; light meal stand; and lily shop.
  • Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Garden Mizunomori
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    4.0
    41 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.

    The official website provides a calendar of plants good to see in different months. I visited in March. There were not much to see except the greenhouse and the flowers near the entrance. The garden...

  • 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。

  • The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Setaminamiogayachou 1740-1
    An art museum located in Biwako Culture Park in Setaminamiogaya-cho, Otsu City. The museum’s collection and standing exhibition consists of modern Nihonga Japanese paintings, works of art by Nihonga painter Yuki Ogura and other artists connected to the local area, and other works of post-WWII American and Japanese modern art. The museum also holds permanent exhibitions and workshops and rents out exhibition spaces to city residents.
  • 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.
  • Nagara Crafts Pavilion Mitsuhashi Setsuko Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Kozekichou 1-1
    An art museum located on the grounds of Nagara Park in Kozeki-cho, Otsu City. Adjoined by a studio, the museum contains works by Japanese painter Setsuko Mitsuhashi, who died prematurely at the age of 35 in 1975. The museum also has a creation space for making paintings and crafts.
  • 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.
  • Zeze-yaki Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Nakashou 1-22-28
    A ceramics art museum located in 1 Chome Nakasho, Otsu City. The museum displays Zeze ware pieces. Zeze ware is a ceramic art counted among the “Seven Kilns,” the favorite pottery varieties of the tea ceremony master Kobori Masakazu. The museum also has a tearoom and garden and holds tea ceremonies and tea ceremony classes as well as treating visitors to matcha powdered green tea and Japanese sweets.

Shiga Main 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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