Culture / Tour Spots in Shiga Area

  • MIHO MUSEUM
    rating-image
    4.5
    341 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.

    Excellent museum on a different level. Full of treasures. Must have cost them a fortune to build. And to fill it with all those treasures from around the world. SPECTACULAR

  • Lake Biwa Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    153 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.

    This is a nice place to visit in Shiga. So nicely preserved and displayed the history of Lake Biwa. You can also see most of the species lives in the Lake Biwa in the aquarium part. Even the...

  • Nagahama Castle Historical Museum
    rating-image
    3.5
    197 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
    rating-image
    4.0
    169 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...

  • Genkyu-En
    rating-image
    4.5
    174 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.

    Lovely garden worth visiting. With less crowds than Hikone Castle, I could relax a lot viewing the beautiful garden. You can enjoy Matcha with a sweet named Umoregi. The lady who served told me...

  • Kusatsu City Aquatic Botanical Garden Mizunomori
    rating-image
    4.0
    44 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.

    琵琶湖博物館に来たのだったら、ほんの少し足を伸ばして「みずの森」にも立ち寄ってみることを激しくおススメします。 水生植物だけでなく、さまざまな植物が育てられていて、デートでぶらぶらするのが良いのではないかと… (自分は一人でしたが…)

  • Nagahama Railway Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    108 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...

  • Koka Ninja House
    rating-image
    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...

  • Sagawa Art Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    7 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).

    The restaurant / cafe is not too appealing... Food is o.k, prices are a bit high. Could have been much nicer. It feels too generic for a location like that...

  • Shiga Prefectural Azuchi Castle Archeological Museum
    rating-image
    3.5
    34 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.

    近江八幡駅からレンタサイクルで安土城天守信長の館へ行き、その近くにあり一緒に行きました。湖南遺跡、安土瓢箪山古墳を中心に展示されていて、企画展として『びわ湖と城』も開催されていました○

  • Koka Ninja Village
    rating-image
    4.0
    9 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...

  • Otsumatsuri Exhibition Pavilion
    rating-image
    4.0
    40 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."

    大津の中町通りにあります。大津百町館からすぐのところ。大津の町家めぐりの際に訪問しました。入館は無料です。大津祭の曳山が展示されています。大津にも、京風の祭があることをはじめて知りました。

  • Kawara Museum
    rating-image
    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.

  • Otsu City Museum of History
    rating-image
    3.5
    20 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.

    こちらの常設展示エリアに 《常設展示解説シート 全6種類(A-F)》があり、A 堅田と比良山麓の村々、B 比叡とその山麓、C 大津百町、D 近江八景、E 膳所六万石、F 近江大津宮 となっています(各 A4 1枚...

  • The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga
    rating-image
    3.5
    13 Reviews
    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.

    リニューアルのため長期休館中で、館外イベントの企画・運営を細々とやっているようですね。隣接の県立図書館含め「びわこ文化公園」の一角に位置しますが、公園の規模はそこそこ大きいのに、駐車場は少ないので、公園内を散策する人は多くありません。(図書館のみ大盛況です)

  • Omi Merchant Museum Nakaji Yujin Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    13 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Higashioumishi Gokashoutatsutachou 583 Ebisan no Sato Cultural Learning Center
    A museum located in Gokasho Tatsuta-cho, Higashiomi City. The museum makes use of videos, dioramas, and exhibits to introduce the history and culture of the Higashiomi area, said to be the birthplace of the famous Omi merchants; as well as the activities and ways of life of the Omi merchants. The Nakaji Yujin Museum on the second floor exhibits Japanese paintings donated by Yujin Nakaji, a Japanese painter connected to the area.

    近江商人を紹介しています。訪問時はGWだったので鯉のぼりが吊り下げられていました。駐車場も広いので車でも来れます。

  • Otsu City Science Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    12 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Otsushi Honmaruchou 6-50 Lifelong learning center
    A science museum situated along the Kogan Road in Honmaru-cho, Otsu City. The museum’s exhibits look at themes such as the natural environment of Lake Biwa and the fundamental concepts of science. There’s also a planetarium which uses digital projectors to present the entire night sky, and an astronomy dome equipped with a large refracting telescope. In addition, the museum holds exciting science demonstrations each week on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays which allow visitors to perform experiments and create scientific tools.

    入場料が安く、駐車場も無料なのでお財布に優しいです。安いので展示もこじんまりとしてますが、子供が小さいこともありいろんな実験展示も楽しんでました。 プラネタリウムでは地元成安造形大学とコラボした素人感あふれる「ぎょしゃ座」の神話アニメが見れました。地元密着企画で良いと思います。 が、はやぶさが「M2-A」ロケットでうちあがり、リュウグウの砂を「搾取」して、何「憶」キロもの距離を進んだという誤字だら...

  • Dotaku Museum and Yasu City History and Folk Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Yasushi Tsujimachi 57-1
    This museum is located in Tsujimachi, Yasu City. The museum contains exhibits on the history and casting methods of dotaku Yayoi period bell-shaped bronze vessels, with a focus on the 24 Oiwayama dotaku excavated at Oiwayama in 1881 and 1962. The museum also contains exhibits on the folk customs and history of Yasu, such as a model recreation of the Nagahara Palace (excluding during special exhibitions and exhibition changeover periods).

    銅鐸が展示してあり、特に製造方法などが学べます。古墳好きにはたまりません。近隣の古墳公園とセットで訪れることをおすすめします。

  • "Azai Folklore Museum “Oichi-no-Sato"""
    rating-image
    4.0
    9 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Shiga Pref. Nagahamashi Oyorichou 528
    A museum located in Oyori-cho, Nagahama City. The museum has a local culture hall which focuses on three generations of the Azai clan during the Warring States period and contains exhibits on the clan in general as well as the three famous Azai sisters. There’s also a facility which contains exhibits on the cultivation of silkworms practiced by the Azai as well as Kusano blacksmithing; and the home of a late Edo period village headman moved to the museum site and restored to give viewers a taste of what life looked like back then.

    湖北地方の歴史を学ぶことができる。戦争はやはりつらいものだと痛感させられる。近くを立ち寄ったら是非訪れてほしい。

  • Nagara Crafts Pavilion Mitsuhashi Setsuko Art Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    6 Reviews
    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.

    駅からは小高い丘を登り道なりに辿るとひっそりとした木立に囲まれた美術館に至る。以前梅原猛の「湖の伝説」に誘われた感じでここを訪れたことがあった。開館時間まじかで我々だけだったためか夫の靖将氏からお茶をご馳走になり、節子さんの創作エピソードなどをお聞きすることが出来た。今回は京都から帰宅の途次に十数年ぶりに立ち寄った。群青の色調で描かれた「静謐」な数点の大作。その画布に氏は何を込めていたのか、とりわ...

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.

Shiga Photo Album

Browse Interests