#1. Lake Biwa
The scenery surrounding Lake Biwa is sure to be a beautiful place to take pictures and enjoy Japanese nature. The signature torii gate sits triumphantly in Lake Biwa as the lake was designated a Japanese Heritage Site in 2015. Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater lake in Japan which gives Shiga an abundance of natural resources. Many nearby cities ad to the charm of Lake Biwa as they are situated along the shores and admire the beauty of the lake.
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#2. Koga Ninja Village
This is the place for anyone wanting to make their lifelong dream of becoming a ninja come true. You can practice your ninja star throwing skills and learn the history of ninjas in the museum here. Koga is the birthplace of Koga-ryu Ninjutsu. Here, visitors can experience the hidden traps and tricks that decorate this deceptively ordinary looking Ninjitsu village. Visitors are also able to take part in a ninja training course where they can sharpen their ninja skills.
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Koga Ninja Village
Address: 394 Kokacho Oki, Koka, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes by car from Koka Station
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Weekdays)
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Weekends)
Website: Koga Ninja Village (Japanese)
#3. Hachimanbori Canal
The Hachimanbori Canal is a picture taken right out of the Edo period. Cobblestone roads lead visitors through time as they take in the beautiful surroundings of the canal and historical architecture. The Hachimanbori Canal is especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season as cherry blossom trees will line the streets giving Hachimanbori that unique feeling of magic. The surrounding shops and restaurants allow visitors to blend themselves into the picture perfect surroundings.
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Address: Miyauchi-cho, Omi-Hachiman City, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 10 minutes by car from Omi-Hachiman Station
Website: Hachiman-bori Canal (Japanese)
#4. Tonda Puppet Hall
Bunraku is a form of a classic puppet play performed for over hundreds of years. The sizes of these puppets can sometimes be almost life size which take up to three people to control the puppet. Tonda Traditional Bunroku Puppet Troupe is located in the town of Biwa which is one of the oldest and most famous puppet theaters in Japan. Taking a trip down to this puppet theater and watching a play is a great way to learn about Japanese history.
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Tonda Puppet Hall
Address: 758 Tondacho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 10 minutes by car from Kawake Station
Facebook: Tonda Puppet Hall (Japanese)
#5. Hikone Castle
Under the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu, this castle was built as a result of the Battle of Sekigahara in the Edo period. This castle is recorded as a national treasure as the views from this 17th century castle overlooking the city of Hikone and Lake Biwa are amazing. Visitors can walk along inside the castle and look upon ancient battle armor, weapons, and a timeline of the decorated history of Hikone Castle.
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Address: 1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 18 minute walk from Hikone Station
Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Hikone Castle (Japanese)
#6. Omi Beef
Omi Beef is one Japan’s top three wagyu. This beef has the longest history of production of the three and is popular because it is richly marbled with fat. It is often enjoyed as steak, sukiyaki, and shabu-shabu. Travelers are spoiled by the amount of delicious restaurants specializing in the delectable delight. Make sure not to leave the Shiga prefecture without sinking your teeth into one of the many delicious options you will find.
#7. Sagawa Art Museum
Also known as the “floating” museum, the Sagawa Art Museum is surrounded by water and rests along Lake Biwa where visitors are treated to a great view. Here, you can find a great selection of temporary exhibitions along with a beautiful array of bronze works including a bell that dates back to the year 858. Visitors can not only enjoy the amazing artworks within the Sagawa Art Museum but they can also enjoy the beauty and nature surrounding nearby Lake Biwa.
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Sagawa Art Museum
Address: 2891 Mizuho-machi Kitagawa, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 12 minutes by car from Katata Station
Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Sagawa Art Museum (Japanese)
#8. Enyakuji Temple
Located on the Hieizan and Enryakuji mountain range in eastern Kyoto, Enryakuji Temple is not your typical temple in Japan. Enryakuji Temple is the home of the Tendai sect of Buddhism introduced from China hundreds of years ago. Founded by Saicho, the man who introduced Tandai Buddhism to Japan in 788, this temple is very large in scale. Three man visiting areas; Todo, Saito, and Yokawa, offer visitors a endless list of historical buildings to visit and a beautiful walk through the surrounding nature trails. This historical site has been attracting visitors from around the world with its immense beauty and cultural significance.
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Address: 4220 Sakamotohonmachi, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 15 minute walk from Cable Car Enryakuji Station
Hours: 24 Hours
Website: Enyakuji Temple (Japanese)
#9. Azuchi Castle
Azuchi Castle was built and favored by Lord Oda Nobunaga during his reign in 1579. It was a favorite of Nobunaga as it offered an escape from the capital city of Kyoto but was close enough to protect it in case anything were to arise. What truly sets Azuchi Castle from the others is its octagon shape and vivid colors that were quite a contrast to the conventional white or black castles of their time. Walk around the gardens outside to take in a full glimpse of Azuchi Castles unique beauty and splendor.
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Address: Azuchi-machi Shimotoyoura, Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 20 minute walk from Azuchi Station
Admission Fee: 700 yen
Website: Azuchi Castle (Japanese)
#10. Genkyuen Garden
Located within the grounds of the Hikone Castle, Genkyuen Garden is a beautiful garden with winding paths that takes visitors along the pond centered in the middle of it all. Wood buildings are scattered about the garden where visitors can relax and drink tea. There are four main viewing areas that are all connected by picture perfect bridges leading you from one are to the next. The Hikone Castle overlooks the Genkyen Garden which offers visitors a perfect opportunity for pictures and to relax in the same garden as those of the past.
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Address: 3 Konkicho, Konki-machi, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture
Access: 18 minute walk from Hikone Station
Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Genkyuen Garden (Japanese)