Japan: Shiga

Shiga Prefecture is about 30 minutes east of Kyoto Prefecture. It surrounds Lake Biwa, which is Japan’s largest freshwater lake. It’s an off the beaten path small town that doesn’t see too many foreign tourist. This is a good place to get an authentic look at what simple life in Japan is really like.

My good friend and I went to Shiga to check out Lake Biwa and see about a fall-time festival going on. We spent the majority of the day here and had a pretty good time.

There’s a collection of shrines and temples in the area, this one in particular is Hiyoshi-Taisha. We weren’t here for the temples and shrines, but it was still nice to see some traditional sites anyway. If you are interested in seeing a famous temple and castle then I suggest checking out: Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple and Hikone Castle.

You can catch a cable car that goes up to Biwako Valley, from there you can find some great viewpoints, walking paths and the Keisoku-ji Temple. I highly recommend visiting this area during the fall foliage. November is said to be prime time to come see the bright red autumn leaves which cover the pathways from the abundance of trees in the area.

Hachiman-bori is a beautiful canal that flows through the north-side of Omihachiman city. This place is great to just sit and relax or go for a light stroll through the walking path to take in the sights of the canal surrounded by traditional Japanese homes. Hachiman-bori canal was definitely a highlight to this trip.

There were boat rides going on during the fall festival. Festival stalls always have some tasty goodies to try, don’t ever pass up a chance! The main event was the lantern lighting alongside the canal. The canal looked really magical with all those pretty lights at night!

If you are in the Kansai Prefecture area and looking to fill up a single day with some  leisure travel then Shiga Prefecture might be a place to consider. There are some nice sights to take in. Happy travels!

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