JAPAN AIRLINES

Special Feature SHIGA JAPAN THE ENJOYABLE WAY

Dominated by Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest, and situated between Kyoto and Tokyo, Shiga Prefecture is rich in history, culture, nature and cuisine. Make use of JAL’s comprehensive three-day travel plan to experience what makes Shiga so special.

DAY 1
11:30

1

Yume Kyobashi Castle Road / Yonbancho Square walk Lunch (Omi beef, Omi champon, etc.) (About 1 hour 20 min required)

Yume Kyobashi Castle Road

Near Kyobashi Bridge, which spans the Hikone Castle moat. The uniform white walls and black latticework of this townscape are reminiscent of an Edo period castle town. Lined with stores selling Japanese-style confectionary, pastries, and unique local products, this area offers a mix of old-fashioned and modern fare.

Access:
15 minutes on foot from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line
Address:
1-Chome and 2-Chome Honmachi, Hikone, Shiga.
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

Yobancho Square

Adjacent to Yume Kyobashi Castle Road. Yobancho Square originates from a Taisho period market. Soak in the Taisho atmosphere while enjoying a meal or some shopping.

Access:
18 minutes on foot from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.
Address:
1-Chome Honmachi, Hikone, Shiga.
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

5 min.

13:00

2

Hikone Castle / Hikonyan(About 1 hour required)

Hikone Castle was completed in 1622, and ranks alongside Himeiji Castle as one of the finest castles in Japan.
The beauty of Hikone Castle bathed in moonlight is one of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa. Walking the grounds gives you a glimpse of the majesty of Hikone Castle, which escaped both the Meiji period ordinance abolishing castles, as well as wartime destruction. It is a nationally-designated special historic site.

Open:
Every day from 8:30 to 17:00
Access:
15 minutes on foot from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line
Address:
1-1, Konkicho, Hikone-shi, Shiga.
Admission:
Adults 600 yen, Children 200 yen
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Hikone Castle is known as one of the 8 scenic sites on Lake Biwa for its beauty in the moonlight. Why not coming to take a look?

25
min.

or

15
min.

14:30

3

Hikone craftwork experience (lacquerware / lacquered chopstick polishing / gold embossing)(About 2 hours required)

Hikone butsudan altars are a local traditional craft said to have begun when artisans that had been involved in the production of weapons and armor in the middle of the Tokugawa period turned their hands to butsudan altar manufacturing in times of peace. You can experience the altar production process under the direct guidance of traditional Hikone butsudan altar artisans certified by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. Genuine gold leaf and natural lacquer are used, and you can take the finished result home as a souvenir.

Open:
13:30 to 15:30 (reservation required) Time needed: About 2 hours Inquire if you would like to reserve a certain time.
Closed:
Every Tuesday, New Year's holidays, Golden Week, and Bon vacation.
Access:
3 minutes by taxi from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.
Address:
50 Serinakamachi, Hikone -shi, Shiga.
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Hikone has been famous for the manufacturing of Hikone Butsudan (Household Buddhist altar) since Edo period. How about an experience of making traditional Japanese crafts?

40 min.

17:30

Dinner(Biwa trout cuisine, grilled mackerel somen noodles, etc. *Duck hot pot in winter)

Lodging in Nagahama

5 min.

DAY 2
10:00

4

Kurokabe Square walk(About 1 hour 15 min required)

Nagahama Kurokabe Square

The junction of the Hokkoku Kaido and Mino-Tanigumi Kaido roads has long been the center of Nagahama. In Meiji 33 (1900), the Nagahama branch of the Hyakusanju Bank (which six years later became the Meiji Bank) was built there. It became known as Kurokabe Bank due to its black walls, and in the first year of Heisei (1989) it opened as Kurokabe 1st Building - the Kurokabe Glass Shop. It has a modern exterior with black stucco and white window frames surrounded by a low iron railing, and the interior features an atrium above the entrance. Inside you can view and purchase glass accessories and housewares, as well as glass products and music boxes that staff have procured from around the world. About 30 stores are clustered around the 1st Building. The 2nd Building, Studio Kurokabe, features a store with a range of original glasswork and a workshop where you can watch glass blowers demonstrating the creation process. The Kurokabe Glass Experience Center provides opportunities for hands-on glasswork creation that even beginners can try their hand at freely.

Open:
10:00 to 18:00 (April to October) 10:00 to 17:00 (November to March)
No regular closing days (closed for year-end holidays)
Access:
5 minutes on foot from Nagahama Station on the JR Hokuriku Main Line
Address:
12-38 Motohamacho, Nagahama, Shiga.
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

The former Daihyaku Sanjyu Bank building built in Meiji Period was nicknamed “Kurokabe (black wall) Bank” due to the black plaster used on its walls.

15 min.

11:30

Depart Nagahama Port(30 minute cruise)

Address:
Minatocho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga

30 min.

12:00

5

Arrive at Chikubu Island / island walk (Chikubushima Shrine, Hogon-ji Temple)(About 30 min required)

Chikubu Island

A small island about 6 km off the coast with a circumference of a little over 2 km. It is home to Hogon-ji Temple and Tsukubusuma Shrine. Hogon-ji is dedicated to Benzaiten and the Thousand-Armed Kannon. This is one of three major Benzaiten in Japan, along with those on Miyajima Island in Aki, and Enoshima Island in Sagami. It also attracts many visitors as the 30th temple on the 33 temple Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage, which dates back to medieval times.
The Karamon gate of Hogon-ji is said to be the only remnant of Hideyoshi's Osaka Castle, and it is designated a national treasure along with the inner sanctuary of Tsukubusuma Shrine. In recent years it has attracted attention as a focal point for mystical energy in Lake Biwa.

Open:
April to October (9:30 AM to 6:00 PM)
November to March (9:30 AM to 4:30 PM)
Access:
30 minutes from Nagahama Port to Chikubu Island by sightseeing ship (there are ferries from the ports of Nagahama, Imazu, and Hikone)
Address:
1664, Hayazakicho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga
Admission:
Island entrance fee of 400 yen
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Benzaiten shrine is popular for many visitors as it is one of Japan's three largest Benzaiten shrines, together with Miyajima in Aki and Enoshima in Sagami. Hogonji Temple is thought to be the best location to feel the mystical energy of nature in Lake Biwa area.

30 min.

12:30

Depart Imazu Port(30 minute cruise)

Address:
30, Imazucho Imazu, Takashima-shi, Shiga.

20 min.

13:20

6

Ikiiki Mizubunka Kabatakan(About 40 min required)

A restaurant that specializes in home-made cuisine. One of its most famous dishes is the Shoimeshi meal.
Shoimeshi indicates rice cooked with soy sauce, and the name also calls to mind the shouts of "Wasshoi!" at festivals where it was also served long ago. Dishes use fresh local produce and pure groundwater and are cooked with gas in the traditional method of the region.

Access:
10 minutes on foot from Shin-Asahi Station on the JR Kosei Line
Address:
707 Shin-Asahicho Asahi, Takashima, Shiga
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

10 min.

14:15

7

Harie Shozu no Sato (an area with abundant spring water)(About 1 hour 30 min required)

Catch a rare glimpse of village life and the rich natural environment of the Lake Biwa area, such as the waterways that wind through the settlement, and the "kabata" (riverside) areas that make use of them.

Harie Shozu no Sato

Open:
10:00 to 16:00
Access:
15 minutes on foot from Shin-Asahi Station on the JR Kosei Line
Address:
Shin-Asahicho Harie, Takashima, Shiga
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

This area is called The Village of Living Water since it is rich in underground water. You can see the waterside lives and experience the nature of Lake Biwa.

3 min.

15:50

8

Sake brewing tour at Kawashima Sake Brewery(About 1 hour required)

Kosei, where the Kawashima Sake Brewery is situated, is a scenic region that looks out over the Hira mountain range in the distance. The historic brewery has been making sake in this beautiful natural environment for over 140 years.
They sometimes open for tours of the brewery and sampling sessions (advance reservations are recommended for tours), with visitors coming from as far away as Europe and the United States.

Open:
10:00 to 16:00
Closed:
Bon vacation, New Year's holidays
Access:
About 2 minutes by East Loop Route Bus from Shin-Asahi Station on the JR Kosei Line, then about 2 minutes on foot from the Shimofuri Bus Stop
Address:
83 Shin-Asahicho Asahi, Takashima, Shiga
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

45 min.

17:45

9

Lodging at Ogoto Hot Springs(Overnight stay required)

Situated to the west of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Ogoto Hot Springs are the closest hot springs to Kyoto. These hot springs were founded by Saicho, Head Priest of the Mount Hiei Enryaku-ji Temple, now a world cultural heritage site. They have a history of over 1,200 years, and full-fledged facilities have been established there since the early 1900s. Now they are enjoyed by many people.
A simple hot spring with strong alkaline properties, the water is effective at relieving nerve pain, muscle pain, poor circulation, and fatigue, and after bathing the skin is left soft and smooth.

Access:
Ogoto-Onsen Station on the JR Kosei Line, and each lodging facility is about 3 to 5 minutes away by free courtesy car.
Address:
1-2-17, Ogoto, Otsu-shi, Shiga
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

10 min.

DAY 3
9:00

10

Hieizan Sakamoto Cable (the longest cable line in Japan)

Japan's longest cable car opened in 1927, and has a total length of 2,025 meters. The journey from the foot of the mountain to Enryaku-ji Station takes 11 minutes. Cars depart every 30 minutes, on every hour and every half an hour. After renovations, it reopened in 1993 with European-style cars and larger windows that offer panoramic views of Lake Biwa.

Access:
Cable Sakamoto Station is 7 minutes by bus or 25 minutes on foot from Hieizan Sakamoto Station on the JR Kosei Line, or 10 minutes on foot from Sakamoto Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line
Address:
4244 Sakamoto-Honmachi, Otsu, Shiga.
Admission:
One way 840 yen / Round trip 1,570 yen
Children: One way 420 yen / Round trip 790 yen
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

The cable car toward Mt. Hiei-zan was launched in 1927. It is the longest cable car in Japan. You may see Lake Biwa at a glance from it.

11 min.

9:20

11

Visit the East Pagoda at Enryaku-ji Temple on Mount Hiei (world cultural heritage site) (About 1 hour required)

The extensive temple grounds on Mount Hiei serve as the head temple of the Tendai Sect. In 1994 they were registered as a world cultural heritage site. The temple was founded when 19 year-old Saicho (767 to 822) climbed Mount Hiei and built a thatch hut there at the end of the Nara period. Since Saicho came back from his sojourn in China and established the Tendai Sect, Mount Hiei has produced many great priests that have furthered Japanese Buddhism. Together with Kongobu-ji, which was founded by Kobo Daishi, it has stood as one of the highest pillars of religion in Japan for around 1,200 years.
The grounds set among the thick cedar groves of Mount Hiei have a dignified atmosphere befitting the site of an ascetic exercise hall of the Tendai Sect. Enryaku-ji is split between the foot and summit of Mount Hiei. The peak is divided into the East Pagoda centered around the Konpon-Chudo, the West Pagoda clustered around Jodo-in, and the Yokokawa area developed by Ennin.

Open:
Every day from 8:30 to 16:30
Access:
10 minutes on foot from Sakamoto Station on the Keihan Keishin Line, or 20 minutes on foot from Hieizan Sakamoto Station on the JR Kosei Line, then take the Sakamoto Cable to the last station
Address:
4220 Sakamoto-Honmachi, Otsu, Shiga
Admission:
Adults 550 yen, Junior and High School Students 350 yen, Elementary School Students and younger free
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

This head temple of the Tendai-shu sect of Buddhism was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1994. Beyond its ancient history of 1,200 years, the temple exercises control over the Tendai sect throughout Japan. The magnificent cedar trees create holly environment for the mountain.

25 min.

10:50

12

Walk through the town of Sakamoto, known for its priests' residences (features include the famous gardens at Kyu Chikurinin) (About 1 hour required)

Kyu Chikurinin

A priests' residence that was one of the most prestigious temples of Enryaku-ji. The Japanese garden there is designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty, and is centered around a meandering stream that takes in the clear water of the Omiya River. It is influenced by the scenery of Mount Hachioji. It also features undulating miniature hills, and many surviving examples of stonework such as five-storied stone lanterns and well foundations. The two tea-ceremony rooms and square gazebo built in the Tensho era are designated cultural properties of Otsu. The grounds are lit up when the leaves change color in fall.

Open:
9:00 to 17:00 (reception open until 16:30)
Closed:
Monday (open if this is a public holiday, closed the next day), the day following public holidays, and year-end (December 25 to 31)
Access:
10 minutes on foot from Sakamoto Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, or 20 minutes on foot from Hieizan Sakamoto Station on the JR Kosei Line
Address:
5-2-13 Sakamoto, Otsu, Shiga.
Admission:
Adults 320 yen, Elementary School Students or younger 160 yen
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

Walk through the town of Sakamoto, known for its priests' residences (The remains of Shigain-Mon)

Hosho-ji, once situated at Kitashirakawa in Kyoto, was moved to its current location in the early Edo period. It was later given the name Shigain by Emperor Go-Mizunoo. Until the end of the Edo period, it had prestige as the residence of successive generations of imperial family members that served as head priests of the Tendai Sect. It is now known as the remains of the Shigain-Mon. Many priests' residences still stand in the town of Sakamoto, with splendid examples of stone walls built in the Ano style. However, the remains of the Shigain-Mon are surrounded by particularly high stone and whitewashed walls, lending them a grand outward appearance fitting for the head priest of Enryaku-ji. The vast grounds sprawl out over around 20,000 square meters, and feature structures such as an inner Buddhist sanctum, ceremonial hall, drawing room, head priest's quarters, and storehouse. The drawing room has many room partitions painted in the Kano school style from the early Edo period on display, and you can view a renowned Japanese garden from the verandah of the ceremonial hall. *The Japanese garden at Shigain is said to have been developed by famed garden designer Kobori Enshu.

Access:
5 minutes on foot from Sakamoto Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, or 20 minutes on foot from Hieizan Sakamoto Station on the JR Kosei Line
Address:
4-6-1 Sakamoto, Otsu, Shiga.
Admission:
Adults 450 yen (400 yen per person for groups of 30 or more)
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

Ano-Shu Guild Masonry of Sakamoto

Sakamoto thrived as the temple town for Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, and has around 50 priests' residences. These priests' residences were bestowed upon older priests who had finished their studies up on the mountain, and natural stone was used in the construction of each. They feature beautiful, elaborately-designed gardens that make use of the surrounding landscape. In 1997 the area was selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
Sakamoto is also the birthplace of the Ano-Shu guild of masons that built the stone walls of castles and other buildings. The stone walls of the priests' residences are very strong and make clever use of stacked natural stone, creating a tranquil atmosphere in harmony with the whitewashed walls.

Access:
A quick walk from Sakamoto Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, or about 11 minutes on foot from Hieizan Sakamoto
Address:
6-1-13 Sakamoto, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport

20 min.

12:30

Lunch at Nagisa no Terrace or the Old Otsu Public Hall

3 min.

13:40

13

Michigan Cruise(About 90 min required)

The Michigan is a pleasant paddle-wheel steamer that cruises the south part of the lake. Aboard you can enjoy music and other events, and sample a variety of food from snacks to buffets and course meals. The top deck offers a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view from the Michigan's Sky Deck.

Access:
15 minutes on foot from Otsu Station on the JR Biwako Line, or 3 minutes on foot from Hamaotsu Station on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line
Address:
5-1-1 Hamaotsu, Otsu, Shiga
Admission:
[Michigan Morning / Michigan 90] Adults 2,700 yen, Students 2,200 yen, Children 1,350 yen (Winter fares: Adults 2,200 yen, Students 1,800 yen, Children 1,100 yen)
[Michigan 60] Adults 2,200 yen, Students 1,800 yen, Children 1,100 yen
[Michigan Night] Adults 2,900 yen, Students 2,400 yen, Children 1,450 yen
Airport:
This page will open in a new windowChubu Airport
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Provided by Jun Watanabe
"Japan Project" Coordinator
Planing Group, Product & Service Strategy Development
Marketing & Branding Division

Shiga Area Map
To Page top