Kunin Yashiki

Living Japanese History in Hikone

Miho Museum

Miraculous Clay

An example of Shigaraki ware The event flyer Oct 3rd Dec 13th An example of Shigaraki ware (Photo: Daderot / CC By SA 1.0) Venue: Shiga Prefectural Ceramics Forest When: Oct 3rd – Dec 13th 2020, 9:30am – 5:00pm A special event at the Shiga Prefectural Ceramic Forest looks into the soil of Shigaraki, which […]

Moomin Comic Strips Exhibition: Shiga

Oct 24th Jan 11th The event banner Venue: Sagawa Art Museum, Shiga When: Oct 24th – Jan 11th 2021, 9:30am – 5:00pm The Moomins are characters in a cartoon series developed by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, and they've become quite popular here in Japan. A special event at Shiga's Sagawa Art Museum looks at over […]

Muddled in Miidera

The 1452 Niemon Gate Forest trail in Miidera Suddenly, Kannon Sprawling grounds Egad, it’s Miidera! Verdant Miidera I was lost in Miidera, a significant temple in Holy Land Otsu, muddled by the map and a few crossroads, unsure which possible turnings to take. A road not taken might mean a shrine not seen! The 14th […]

The Battlefields of Nagahama Castle

As well as being related to the historical figure Kuroda Kanbei, this is one of the filming locations of NHK’s period drama “Gunshi Kanbei”, as well as home to the Kuroda Kanbei Exposition (Photo: Emi Nishiwaki) From the top of the castle, one can see the places listed on this map including the Anegawa battlefield, […]


Okishima, the only inhabted island in Lake Biwa Looking out over Okishimacho Port Okishimacho, the small township on Okishima, Lake Biwa Downtown Okishimacho, Okishima. Lake Biwa from the top of Okishima View of the coastline of Lake Biwa from Okishima Okishima, the only inhabted island in Lake Biwa (Photo: PPF) Lake Biwa is Japan’s largest […]

Omi-jofu Traditional Crafts Center

Hemp, one of the raw materials used at Omi-jofu The skin of hemp is taken from the branches to be made into thread From hemp threads to yarn Hemp, one of the raw materials used at Omi-jofu The Omi-jofu Traditional Crafts Center is located in Notogawa town in Shiga Prefecture. The center prides itself on […]

Omihachiman Roof Tile Museum

Roof ornament such as you might see on a temple The door to a kiln used for baking the tiles View through a kiln Path on one side of the museum Tiles are often recycled in paths and walls. The paths around the museum have tiles laid into them. Broken tiles laid like cobbles, next […]

Otsu Festival

It was possible to enter this float and see the inside Rice paper lanterns light up the streets  The streets were crowded, but not TOO crowded The floats are hung with beautiful and valuable tapestries Flute players sit along the edges of a float   Looking down from the float Mid Oct It was possible […]

Otsu: Oddly Overshadowed

Lake Biwa, Otsu Lake Biwa, Otsu Street scene, Otsu Otsu really has quite a lot going for it. A lake, mountains, shrines, quite the haven of nature and spiritual serenity. But what Otsu doesn’t have going for it is maybe its proximity to Kyoto. It is only about 15 minutes away by train. Otsu seems […]

Plum Blossom at Ishiyamadera

Simply beautiful A temple building stands at the top of a terraced hillside Statue of Murasaki Shikibu on the hillside Pink plum blossoms against a blue sky Steps in the plum orchard Plum blossom beside the path Thatched roof of a tower just visible over plum trees Large rocks at the base of a tower […]

Pottery Kilns at Shigaraki

Cross-draft kiln (noborigama) with many chambers Broom resting on tiles The rounded top of a clay kiln chamber Cracks and scorch marks on the clay of the kiln chambers Bowls in a kiln Looking into a chamber of the kiln You need a lot of wood to fire a kiln! Tall chimney rising from the […]

Prefectural Calligraphy Exhibition

A textured paper (wallpaper?) makes this work more interesting The works on the left hand side all have gold stickers So many different styles A textured paper (wallpaper?) makes this work more interesting Have you ever tried calligraphy? It's a treasured part of Japanese culture, and school children all over Japan experience it as part […]


Waiting for the Emperor The small local train is decorated with tanuki Shigaraki's station master Giant tanuki and public phone outside the JR station Hundreds of small tanuki statues This tanuki looks ready to set off on a journey Statues lining the road This reclining tanuki has a noodle restaurant inside! There is a lot […]

Shirahige Shrine

Torii are supposed to be doors from this world to the spiritual world Approaching the shrine on the lake-side road An ornamental rope hangs from the torii in the shrine grounds The main shrine building Stone lions stand guard in the shrine The bell to get the spirit of the shrine's attention Rope tassels Lantern […]

Tachiki-Kannon Temple in Shiga

Small drum in the courtyard Bamboo spout and stone water basin Tiny statues with red aprons Endless stone steps There were many stone lanterns beside the steps Main hall of the temple Curtained path under a temple corridor Omikuji papers tell visitor's fortunes Statue in the corner of the courtyard Many red lanterns Purple curtain […]

The Hachiman-Bori

Cruise through weeping willows with the historic village in the background Boat captains wait for their passengers An unforgettable trip through Old Edo Cruise through weeping willows with the historic village in the background (Photo: go.biwako / CC BY-SA 2.0) Winding its way through Omihachiman City in Shiga lies the Hachiman-Bori. Lined with steep cobbled […]

Experience Nagahama’s Nature Focused Culture

Aerial view over Nishiazaicho, Nagahama (Photo: JoshuaDaniel / Shutterstock.com) Lake Biwa (Biwako), located in Shiga Prefecture, is one of Japan’s largest freshwater lakes. This ancient lake has nourished animal and human life in the Nagahama region for centuries, creating a local culture deeply attuned to the environment’s blessings. Visitors can experience the Oku Biwako region’s […]

La Collina Omi-Hachiman

Gruu. Gruu. I heard that sound again. It started softly, then harder, then softer and harder again. Was it someone snoring? A bear? Now, buildings are not alive, right? Well at least I didn't think so, until I came here. If plants and trees could breathe, then why can’t buildings which were built from the […]

Shiga Omi Textile Factory

This textile factory in Notogawa is responsible for the further processing of traditional linen after a piece of cloth is initially woven and dyed. For years this factory has been cooperating with Omi-jofu traditional crafts center, the only linen shop in the local region still using traditional production methods. Thanks to this partnership, the factory […]

Three Days in Kyoto & Shiga (day 1)

Fushimi Inari Shrine fox face plaques. Write your wish, draw a face on the plaque, and say your prayer Kiyomizudera – main hall Lake Biwa as seen from Hanakaido Ryokan Fushimi Inari Shrine fox face plaques. Write your wish, draw a face on the plaque, and say your prayer If you can spare three days […]