Hieizan Enryakuji Temple (Copyright)Biwako Visitors Bureau
The Ōtsu Festival (Copyright)Biwako Visitors Bureau
Ōmi Beef (Copyright)Shiga prefecture
Leisure in Lake Biwa (Copyright)Biwako Visitors Bureau
Located almost in the center of Japan, Shiga has an area of approximately 4,017 km2, and a population of about 1,410,000 people. In its center rests the biggest lake in Japan, “Lake Biwa,” surrounded by 1000m-high mountains. Shiga’s climate is relatively warm, but each season is distinctly different. Peaceful and abounding in nature, Shiga’s beautiful scenery is enjoyable throughout the year.
As a historically strategic point for traffic, business, and tourism in Japan, Shiga receives a large number of visitors through the year. This creates a constant flow of people, goods, and information. Shiga is located only 1.5 hours from Kansai Airport, less than 10 minutes from Kyoto, and 2.5 hours from Tokyo by bullet train.
Shiga also features many places of cultural and historical heritage, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hieizan Enryakuji Temple. Today, we people of Shiga continue to treasure our traditional culture and festivals. We have the 1200-year-old Sanno Festival and 400-year-old Nagahama Hikiyama Festival in April. Then, in October we hold the Ōtsu Festival, which dates back to the Edo Period. Known as the “Lake Country’s Big Three”, these festivals captivate many visitors.
Shiga is known for its delicious food, including Ōmi Beef, which has over 400 years of history as Japan’s oldest brand-name beef. The high-quality meat, with its soft texture, melt-in-your-mouth sweetness, and mellow fragrance, is seen by some as a work of art. Along with the locally grown Ōmi Rice, these are just a few of the foods here in the abundant lands of Shiga.
Lake Biwa itself is home to many university sports facilities, special aquatic sports locations, and other exclusive sports establishments.
Visitors from all over Japan come to Lake Biwa to participate in aquatic sports, including rowing and canoeing.
Please come visit Shiga, our land of rich nature, food culture, and charming history!