This landscaped garden, inspired by an ancient Chinese garden and criss-crossed by waterways and wooden bridges, was created in the 17th century by the fourth lord of Hikone-jō. The central pond is fed by Biwa-ko. Stop at the teahouse for matcha (powdered green tea) and a traditional Japanese sweet (¥500).

The garden can be accessed directly from Hikone-jō, but it's a little confusing; look for signs in Japanese or ask for directions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kansai attractions

1. Hikone-jō

0.18 MILES

Completed in 1622, this diminutive castle of the Ii family of daimyō (domain lords) is rightly considered a National Treasure; much of it remains in its…

2. Nagahama Hikiyama Museum

7.11 MILES

Two of the hikiyama (festival floats) used during Nagahama's famous Hikiyama Matsuri are on display here, along with video footage of the festival.

3. Kurokabe Square

7.14 MILES

Kurokabe means 'black walls' and many of the stucco shopfronts in this historic district are charcoal grey. The shops themselves sell craft and takeaway…

4. Giant Kaleidoscope

7.17 MILES

At this very retro attraction, stand underneath the tower, hand-crank the wheel and watch what happens above.

5. Daitsū-ji

7.25 MILES

Temples are great repositories of artwork, though most only allow visitors in a few times a year (if at all) to see them. This isn't the case at Daitsū-ji…

6. Miho Museum

24.33 MILES

Secluded amid hills and valleys near the village of Shigaraki, this knockout museum houses the Koyama family collection of Japanese, Middle Eastern,…

7. Enryaku-ji

24.72 MILES

Located atop 848m-high Hiei-zan (the mountain that dominates the skyline in the northeast of the city), the Enryaku-ji complex is an entire world of…

8. Shōrin-in

26.02 MILES

This temple near Sanzen-in is worth a look, even if only through its admission gate, to admire the thatched roof of the main hall. It’s a good option if…