Shiga Prefecture is located almost directly in the middle of Japan's chain of islands. With Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, dominating around 1/6th of the prefecture, visitors can experience beautiful natural scenery in every season.
From castles to traditional villages, there are many unique Shiga tourist spots. Shiga also has long had a highly developed economy and culture, and to this day, many historic landmarks and city districts remain. This extends to its cuisine: Shiga is famous for carp and sweetfish, and its "freshwater fish cuisine" is unlike that of any other prefecture.

What Kind of Place is Shiga Prefecture?

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Shiga Prefecture is home to Lake Biwa, a precious water resource to those living in the Kinki Region. Excluding Lake Biwa, half of the remaining land area is taken up by mountains, making Shiga a region of abundant nature, where you can enjoy seasonal recreational activities.
This includes picnics under the cherry blossom trees in summer, boat rides on the lake in summer, viewing colorful foliage in fall, and skiing in winter.
With activities such as touring the Omihachiman lakeside district via rowboat down the canal, the landscape's unique culture and atmosphere which developed along with Lake Biwa are a selling point of the prefecture.
Historic landmarks also abound, including Hikone Castle and its popular character "Hikonyan", the Azuchi castle ruins, and Enryaku-ji Temple on Mount Hiei. Shiga is also known for its cuisine, such as one of Japan's top wagyu brand Omi beef, the freshwater fish cuisine made with fish caught in Lake Biwa, and traditional Japanese sweets.

For Sightseeing in Shiga, Go Here First!

While there are many sightseeing spots surrounding Lake Biwa, these are the ones we recommend topping your list with first.

1. Biwako Valley / Biwako Terrace

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At an altitude of 1100 meters, Biwako Valley is 10 minutes by bus from JR Shiga Station and then a ropeway ride from Sanroku Station up to the peak of the mountain.
Here you can enjoy a walk at a higher altitude, looking down over the spring cherry blossoms and fall colorful leaves that cover the entire mountainside.
Biwako Valley is a bustling ski resort in winter, and the zipline and skywalk activities are also popular among young people. You won't want to miss the panoramic view of Lake Biwa from the Biwako Terrace.

The Biwako Terrace
1547-1, Kido, Otsu-shi, Shiga

2. Hikone Castle

(C)Hikone city

Hikone Castle was built nearly 400 years ago and is designated a national treasure along with Himeji, Matsumoto, Inuyama, and Matsue Castles. The beauty of Hikone Castle is so beautiful illuminated in the moonl…

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