15 Things To Do in Shiga

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


Things To Do in Shiga
Source: 戍冬 甘

Shiga, located to the east of Kyoto, is known for its temples and large freshwater lake. It is also an area in Japan that has some quirky attractions and others that have unforgettable views. Here are our top picks for what you should do and see in Shiga.

1. Hikone Castle

The most known attraction in Shiga is the Hikone Castle.  This castle has its original design and it is listed as a national treasure. Not only do you get to take a tour, but you also get a great view of the famous lake in Shiga.


  • Name: Hikone Castle
  • Address: 1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture 522-0061
  • Price: 600 yen
  • Hours: 830am-5pm
  • Website: http://www.city.hikone.shiga.jp/0000001036.html

2. Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple

The Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple is a Buddhist monastery that dates back all the way to the 7th century. You take a cable car ride to the temple for about 25 minutes which is only half of the adventure. The main area of this temple is called Todo. Don’t miss the pleasant walk around the grounds.


  • Name: Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
  • Address: 4220 Sakamotohonmachi, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture 520-0116
  • Price: 700 yen
  • Hours: 830am-430pm
  • Website: http://www.hieizan.or.jp/

3. Ishiyama-dera Temple

You cannot get enough of temples in Shiga. Ishiyama-dera Temple is different in that it is a Shingon temple and is part of a historic pilgrimage. There are many sub-temples and a nice riverside to walk by. Legend has it one of the oldest novels in the world was written here.


  • Name:  Ishiyama-dera Temple
  • Address: 1-1-1 Ishiyamadera, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture 520-0861,
  • Price: 500 yen
  • Hours: 830am-430pm
  • Website: http://www.ishiyamadera.or.jp/

4. Miho Museum

To view a mix of art and nature, visit Miho Museum. Special exhibits are held throughout the year and visitors report the architecture is incredible. You can take an electric car ride to the main building. Miho Museum is based at a mountain and you might feel like you are in a James Bond movie.


  • Name: Miho Museum
  • Address: 300 Shigarakicho Tashiro, Koka, Shiga Prefecture 529-1814,
  • Price: 1,100 yen
  • Hours: 10am-5pm
  • Website: http://www.miho.or.jp/

5. Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa is one of the most known landmarks of Shiga. It is a great freshwater lake, the largest in Japan, and is near many attractions. It is a great place for picnics, bird watching, and camping. Other water sports include scuba diving, boating, and fishing.


  • Name: Lake Biwa
  • Address: Shingaicho, Hikone 522-0001, Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://www.suigou-meguri.com/#_=_

6. Kurokabe Square

You must visit Kurokabe Square, even if it is just to pass through. Kurokabe actually means “black wall”. The square is made up of a former bank building and other shops. You will feel the history just by seeing it. Try the local snacks that vendors sell while you are there.


  • Name: Kurokabe Square
  • Address: 12-38 Motohamacho, Nagahama 526-0059,Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://www.kurokabe.co.jp/#_=_

7. Hachiman-bori

in Shiba, you will find the pleasant nature walk at Hachiman-bori. It is a channel that runs through a city named Omihachiman City. It connects to Lake Biwa. You can opt to walk or enjoy a boat ride down the canal.


  • Name: Hachiman-bori
  • Address: Miyauchicho, Omihachiman 523-0828, Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://www.omi8.com/annai/hachimanb#_=_

8. Ruins of Azuchi Castle

Something one might not come across often are ruins. At the Ruins of Azuchi Castle, you will be able to explore exactly that. Many ruins have been rebuilt to offer access to visitors. Some are still intact from the past and not accessible. Take in the views and get as high as you can within the castle.


  • Name: Ruins of Azuchi Castle
  • Address: 〒521-1311 Shiga Prefecture, Omihachiman, 安土町下
  • Price: 500 yen
  • Hours: 7am-5pm
  • Website: http://www.jcastle.info/castle/profile/22-Azuchi-Castle

9. Lake Biwa Museum

Lake Biwa Museum is more than just worth a visit. You can spend an entire day here and learn a lot about geology, history, sociology, and even marine life. There are an aquarium and many other galleries. Do not miss the Discovery Room, which is a hit.


  • Name: Lake Biwa Museum
  • Address: 1091 Oroshimocho, Kusatsu 525-0001, Shiga Prefecture
  • Price: 750 yen
  • Hours: 930am-5pm
  • Holiday: Closed Mondays
  • Website: http://www.lbm.go.jp/english/

10. Chikubushima

If you are wondering Chikubushima is, let us tell you. It is an anonymous Noh play and it celebrates a sacred volcanic island. The island is located off of Lake Biwa. Be prepared, little or no English is spoken there when you arrive. Enjoy the many temples on site.


  • Name: Chikubushima
  • Address: Hayazakicho, Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://www.gojapango.com/travel/shiga_chikubushima_island.htm

11. Biwako Valley Ski Resort

If you are visiting in the winter season, make sure to try skiing or go for a mountain activity. Biwake Valley Ski Resort is the only ski resort in the area. The next closest would not be until you reach Osaka. Take a lesson and socialize with others.


  • Name: Biwake Valley Ski Resort
  • Address: 1547-1 Kido, Otsu 520-0514, Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://snow.gurunavi.com/guide/htm/r0254ens.htm

12. Mt. Ibuki

One of the great sites, whether you are on the mountain or not, is Mt. Ibuki. If you enjoy climbing, it will take you about 3 hours to climb this mountain. In the summer, look for flowers that bloom and fill the mountain side.


  • Name: Mt. Ibuki
  • Address: Ueno, Maibara 521-0312, Shiga Prefecture
  • Website: http://www.ibukiyama-driveway.jp/index.html#_=_

13. Daitsuji

If you think you have visited all the temples in Shiga, you have not. Daitsuji is a Buddhist temple that is larger than it appears to be. Many gardens, artwork, and panels. It is rated one of the most interesting temples in Shiga.


  • Name:  Daitsuji
  • Address: 32-9 Motohamacho, Nagahama 526-0059,Shiga Prefecture
  • Price: 500 yen
  • Website: http://travel.mapfan.com/lang/en/spot/83286

14. Nagahama Hikiyama Museum

The Nagahama Hikiyama Museum is located on the eastern side of Kurokabe Square. It has more than a dozen floats which change throughout the year and is a festival museum. It has been running for over 400 years.


  • Name: Nagahama Hikiyama Museum
  • Address: 14-8 Motohamacho, Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture 526-0059
  • Website: http://www.nagahama-hikiyama.or.jp/

15. Koka Ninja Mansion

Shiga is famous for its ninja clan and no better place to see ninjas than at the Koka Ninja Mansion. You will discover secrets of the ninja world, explore the estate of a ninja leader, and you can even try to throw a throwing star weapon.


  • Name: Koka Ninja Mansion
  • Address: Nagahama , Japan
  • Price: 600 yen
  • Hours: 9am-5pm
  • Website: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7029.html

Shiga truly has so much to offer which goes beyond our fifteen recommendations. Whichever attraction you choose, you will have an authentic and unique time during your visit to Shiga.

Have a good trip and travel!

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends

Asia, Japan, Kansai Region, Shiga Prefecture