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Nagahama Castle

Explore Japan

Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Shiga Prefecture is located in the Kinki region and is famous for Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. The area is rich in nature and offers beautiful scenery from season to season, and waterside recreation and fishing are especially popular.

Where is Shiga?

Otsu Area

About 10 minutes from Kyoto Station by trains.

Enryaku-ji Temple

Enryakuji Temple is an old temple located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, on top of a mountain. This temple is the head temple of the Tendai sect, one of Japan's Buddhist sects. In other words, it is the most important temple of the Tendai sect. Enryakuji Temple is surrounded by beautiful nature and attracts many visitors, especially during the season of autumn leaves. The temple also has a history of over 1,200 years and is registered as a World Heritage site. Visitors can experience the ancient history and culture of Japan as well as the beauty of nature in this place.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan. The lake is known for its beautiful natural scenery, waterside recreational activities, and rich ecosystem. Highlights include water sports, boating, fishing, and other activities. There are also beautiful parks and beaches around the lake, perfect for families and friends to relax and enjoy. In the fall, the lake is decorated with autumn leaves, and in the spring, cherry blossoms adorn the shores of the lake. In addition, there are historical temples and castles near Lake Biwa, making it a great place to enjoy a cultural tour. Lake Biwa is a place where visitors can enjoy natural beauty, fun activities, and cultural experiences all at once.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Ogoto Hot Spring

Ogoto Hot Spring located on the shore of Lake Biwa, visitors can soak in the hot springs while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the lake. This hot spring is a sodium-calcium - chloride spring that is considered gentle on the skin and effective in relieving fatigue. In addition, Ogoto Hot Spring offers a wide variety of lodging facilities and is popular with a wide range of guests, from families to couples. One of the attractions is the open-air baths with a view of the lake and the cuisine prepared with local ingredients. This place is recommended for those who want to relax in a quiet environment surrounded by nature.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Nagahama Area

About 40 minutes from Kyoto Station by trains.

Nagahama Castle

Nagahama castle was built in the 16th century and is one of the most historic sites of Japan's Warring States period. Originally built for battle, it is now known for its beautiful scenery and historical value. The view from its keep and learning at the historical museum are also highlights. Visitors can enjoy its various beauties throughout the four seasons, especially during the cherry blossom season in spring.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Kurokabe Square

Renovated from a former warehouse district, it is now lined with trendy stores, galleries, and cafes that offer visitors a pleasant experience. The area's fusion of history and modernity is one of its charms, with new culture and art coming to life in the old townscape. With many seasonal events, it is a favorite destination for locals and visitors from far and wide. It is especially recommended for those interested in glass crafts and those who want to enjoy the stylish cafes and stores.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle was built in the early 17th century and is a designated Japanese National Treasure. The castle is especially famous for its keep, which remains in its nearly original condition. Hikone Castle's keep is one of the few remaining old castle towers in Japan, and it preserves the beauty of Japanese history and architecture. There is also a historical museum inside the castle, with exhibits on the history, culture, and life of the Hikone clan.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Koka Area

About 1 hour from Kyoto Station by trains.

Koka Ninja Village

Explore the secretive world of Shinobi at Koka Ninja Village in Shiga, once home to the Koka ninja clan. This interactive museum lets visitors dive into ninja history, explore houses with secret passages, and try ninja skills firsthand. It's an adventure into the mystical world of Japan's ancient warriors.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

Miho Museum

Designed by I.M. Pei, the Miho Museum is an architectural gem set in Shiga’s mountains, showcasing a stunning collection of ancient art from Japan and beyond. The journey there is part of the experience, leading through tunnels and over bridges to a place where art and nature merge beautifully.

Explore Shiga: Lakeside Serenity and Historic Wonders

In Shiga Prefecture, history and nature blend harmoniously. From Lake Biwa's serene waters to the majestic Nagahama Castle and the sacred Enryakuji Temple, Shiga provides a peaceful journey into Japan's heart. Here, each corner tells a story, offering a tranquil retreat into Japan’s cultural and natural splendor. Whether exploring ancient sites or enjoying seasonal landscapes, Shiga invites you to discover its unique charm and timeless beauty.