ShigaShiga prefecture is part of the quirky and friendly Kansai region. It includes the vast waters of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. The north shore of the lake is a great place to view cherry blossoms in the spring while the western shore has sandy beaches that are popular in summer. The mountains encircling the lake offer extensive hiking trails and lovely views. History and culture buffs should note that Shiga has one of the highest concentrations of national treasures and important cultural properties in Japan, including the World Heritage Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple and the extremely well-preserved Hikone Castle.
Places to visit in Shiga
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Located in Biwako, only 10 minutes from Kyoto. All guest suites feature verandas with lake views. Natural hot springs look out on Biwako.
Former Toyosato Elementary School
This former public elementary school features an interesting architecture, which was designed by William Merrell Vories, an American architect who later in life became a naturalized Japanese citizen. This historic site has become famous among Japanese pop cult
Biwako Valley is best known for its ropeway from which you can take in the views over Lake Biwa. It's also an adventure area for visitors who wish to take part in activities such as skiing in winter, trekking in spring, and also zip line from the top!
The Miho Museum was designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the architect who designed the glass pyramid at the Louvre. This museum contains a collection of over 2000 pieces and artefacts from various time periods and regions.
Sagawa Art Museum
The Sagawa Art Museum was built by the Sagawa Kyubin company and overlooks the Biwa lake. The main exhibitions consist of Japanese artist's work such as paintings, sculptures and ceramic art.
Ogoto Hot Spring Yumotokan
Located in Ogoto Onsen, only 20 minutes from Kyoto Station on the Tokaido-Sanyo line, this hotel offers seven different types of hot spring baths with varying beautifying and healing effects. Overlooking the picturesque scene of Lake Biwa, Yumotokan offers the
Hotel Sunroute Hikone
Just a 1-minute walk from JR Hikone Train Station, Hotel Sunroute Hikone offers free Wi-Fi throughout the property and comfortable rooms featuring a flat-screen TV and an en suite bathroom.
Minakuchi Century Hotel
Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Minakuchi Century Hotel offers accommodation in Koka. Free private parking is available on site. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV.
Offering an outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor hot spring baths and 8 restaurants and bars, Biwako Hotel is located a 5-minute walk from Keihan Hamaotsu Train Station. Free pick-up shuttles are provided from JR Otsu Station, a 5-minute
Royal Oak Hotel Spa & Gardens
Boasting an outdoor pool and spa facilities, Royal Oak Hotel Spa & Gardens is located right next to Lake Biwa in Otsu. Free shuttles are available from JR Ishiyama Station, which is a 15-minute ride away. Free WiFi is provided in
Set in Otsu, 3.7 km from Lake Biwa Museum, Kyo-Ohmi features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking. The rooms come with a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a ke
Seta Urban Hotel
Situated a 2-minute walk from JR Seta Train Station, Seta Urban Hotel offers Western-style rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. It provides 24-hour reception and coin-operated massage and laundry facilities.
Only a 5-minute drive from JR Ogoto Onsen Station with the complimentary shuttle, hotel Yuzanso features Japanese-style rooms with a private open-air hot spring bath and spectacular views of Biwako Lake.
One of Japan's few original castles: Hikone
I had many things on my to-see list for the day so I was in a bit of a hurry to get started. Hikone castle opens at 9am and, being an original castle, can get crowded, so I had to be there by opening time!Famous Ii Naomasa and Hiko-nyan welcome me as I arrive