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!
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.
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.
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
Kusatsu Now Resort Hotel
Boasting 4 dining options, tennis courts and beautiful natural hot spring baths, Kusatsu Now Resort is a 5-minute drive from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. Rooms have large windows with nature views. Free WiFi is available throughout
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.
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.
Kusatsu Onsen 326 Yamanoyu Hotel
Situated in Kusatsu, 200 metres from Yubatake, Kusatsu Onsen 326 Yamanoyu Hotel features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The rooms include a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms include a seating area to relax in after a busy day.
Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya
Kusatsu Onsen Eidaya is located in Kusatsu, 100 metres from Kusatsu Onsen. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms include a flat-screen TV.
Only a 8-minute walk from JR Kusatsu Train Station, and a 21-minute express train ride from Kyoto Station, Hotel 21 offers property-wide free WiFi access. Hanamizuki Restaurant serves Japanese and Western dishes for breakfast.
Located steps from Biwa Lake, Pension BBC features rooms with peaceful lake views, free Wi-Fi at the lobby and a café with a terrace. The non-smoking property offers bicycle rentals, and free meditation lessons are available upon
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
Shiga Access Guide
Photo Cred: Flickr user hans-johnson [email protected]/36663699240/Shiga Prefecture is great in that it is incredibly close to Kyoto and other tourist destinations in the Kansai Area. Not only is it close to other prefectures, it is also very easy to get around th