Welcome to Shiga Prefecture

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Shiga Prefecture activities

$183.49 Cultural & Theme Tours

Takashima Biwa Lake, Rice Terraces Private Cycling Tour, Lunch

After a 1 hour scenic train ride from JR Kyoto station, you will arrive at JR Omi-Takashima station (Kosei-Line). Enjoy the lovely countryside and lake views.The almost perfectly flat Lakeside road is ideal for a memorable bicycle ride. Feel the refreshing breeze from Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. You will be visiting Shirahige Shrine, the oldest in Shiga prefecture, with its impressive view of a Torii gate standing in the water and a center of devotion for many local people. With many water springs, this part of the lake around the shrine appears particularly serene, creating an even more unforgettable impression for those who visit. *From December to March (in case of bad weather conditions), you will take a taxi to Shirahige Shrine instead of bicycling, due to the cold weather and snow. You can still enjoy the beautiful scenery passing by through the car window. After enjoying the bicycle ride, you will be taking taxi to the mountain village nestled in a narrow valley in the northern Hata District. The Tanada of Hata are authentic terraced rice fields where humans and nature have co-existed together over the centuries, and is a valuable heritage that has fortunately remained to this day. They are arranged like steps on the hillside between altitudes of 300m and 400m. When you look at the landscape with the old traditional mud-walled warehouse and old-fashioned thatched houses, you will feel a nostalgic longing for the tranquility of the old days. You can enjoy taking a walk to explore this neighborhood area after lunch. For lunch, you will experience making country-style food with a friendly "Obaachan," elderly lady, and have lunch in her private house. Filled with locally-grown natural ingredients, this healthy meal is the kind she has prepared every day. You can enjoy talking with her about Japanese country life. After slowly savoring each dish of the lunch you helped prepare, take a leisurely stroll down through the quaint country village, where life seems a bit slower and a bit more robust many miles from the nearest convenience store.-Returning to Kyoto with fond memories.You will get a local bus to JR Omi-Takashima station. The tour conductor will accompany you to the JR Omi-Takashima train station for your return journey to Kyoto.

$81.27 Day Trips & Excursions

Biwako Valley and Keisoku-ji Temple Autumn Tour from Osaka

Depending on your tour day, gather at either JR Osaka (07:05) or Namba OCAT (07:20 or 07:35) for the early morning journey to Shiga Prefecture. The first destination is Biwako Valley in Otsu city which is reached by ropeway. Enjoy the ascent on the fastest cable car in Japan climbing 12 meters per second. The cars on all sides are made from glass giving passengers a sensation of floating in the air and provides magnificent 360 degree views of the fiery autumn colors on either side of the valley. Once at the top, take in the epic panoramic views of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, from Biwako Terrace. After an hour at Biwako Valley, the bus takes a scenic route via a road lined on both sides with metasequoia trees also known as Dawn Redwood Avenue. The 500 or so trees form a gorgeous crimson colored avenue over 2.4km which you can enjoy as the bus passes through. The bus then stops at Kita Omi resort for an all-you-can-eat lunch. The afternoon is spent at Keisokuji Temple, known in the autumn for its beautiful 'red carpet' approach created by the falling crimson maple leaves resting on the stone paved path. This is one of the most magical sights in Japan yet is often unfairly overlooked by tourists who are next door in Kyoto. Immerse yourself in the wonderful surroundings for an ample 90 minutes before boarding the bus to return to Osaka. Expect to arrive back in Osaka between 19:30~21:00 depending on traffic.

$98.69 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Trip to Biwako Valley and Keisoku-ji Temple from Nagoya

Meet the rest of the tour party at Nagoya Station at 7:20am ahead of the journey west to Shiga Prefecture. The tour kicks off in style by visiting Keisokuji Temple in Nagahama City which is not only one of the best autumn leaves viewing spots in Shiga, but arguably in the whole of Japan. Receive a 'red carpet' treatment upon arrival as the stone steps leading to the temple is covered in red leaves that have fallen off the 200 or so maple trees that line the temple's approach. Spend 40 minutes wandering through this gorgeous setting that has been preserved and maintained by local residents after the temple's abandonment at the end of the Edo Period. En route to Biwako Valley, the bus will drive through Metasequoia Namiki Avenue, a 2.4km road lined with 500 stunning Metasequoia trees which turn brown and crimson in autumn and forming a wonderful tunnel-like effect as you drive through. A bento box will be served during the bus journey to save more time for sightseeing rather than stopping off for lunch. After arriving at Biwako Valley, while taking the ropeway up to the mountain top, enjoy the stunning autumn leaves scenery around you. The four sides of the ropeway cars are made from glass to feel as though you are actually walking on air! At the top, admire the extraordinary scenery where the colorful valley and Lake Biwa below provide an unforgettable backdrop. Spend an hour or so at the top where you can relax at the Biwako Terrace Resort 1,100m above sea level and do some shopping, eat & drink and of course sit back and take in the scenery. Return to the bus and head back to Nagoya station with scheduled arrival at 18:40.

$3799 Classic

Backroads of Japan

Wander off the beaten path away from Japan's big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that takes you to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, and explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, there's time before and after to explore Tokyo and Kyoto, making this trip a well-rounded glimpse into Japan's past and present.

Shiga Prefecture in detail