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Shiga | 8.0h
Enjoy All of the Treasures of Shiga on this Tour

An ancient capital, a city of water, a place of religion—explore these different faces to Otsu all at once!

Otsu City in Shiga is one of the ancient capitals of Japan, with a long history of over 1,300 years. It is also a city of water, located next to Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, as well as a place of religion, with its shrines and temples.
With its many faces, and how it is 10 minutes by train from Kyoto, it is sure to garner much attention from now on.
This tour will take you to all of Otsu's famous spots, where you can experience all of its sights and wonders!

From Otsu Station, we will head for Mii-dera, a temple representative of Otsu. Along the way, enjoy scenes that can only be found in this city of water as we pass by the Lake Biwa Waterway. 
We will also visit Omi Shrine, where you can learn more about the ancient capital's history.
Afterwards, ride the Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line to Sakamoto. There, visit Hieizan Enryakuji, a sacred spot in Japanese Buddhism, and immerse yourself in its solemn atmosphere.

Come join us, and experience all that can be found only in Otsu!


Tour Otsu in one day and enjoy all of its charms!
Enjoy taking pictures at photogenic spots showcasing traditional townscapes and beautiful gardens we will visit during this tour.
Visit old religious buildings such as Omi Jingu, Mii-dera and Enryakuji, and learn more about traditional Japanese architecture, as well as architecture related to such religious structures.
Be amazed by beautiful views of Lake Biwa from the funicular line, as well as the summit of Mt. Hiei.
Get a glimpse into the world of Shinto and Buddhism, and learn more about Japanese religious customs from your guide.


Lake Biwa Waterway
This waterway was built over 100 years ago in order to bring water from Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, to neighbouring Kyoto City. Built using stones and bricks and with the most advanced technology at that time, scenes of the waterway interwoven with nature are now considered to be some of the most representative views of Lake Biwa.
Mii-dera is one of the most important temples in Buddhism in Japan, ranking alonside Hieizan Enryakuji, also in Shiga and a World Heritage Site. It is also called the Phoenix Temple due to the many trials and tribulations it overcame after it was built, and has also been featured in many movies as a location site due to its solemn atmosphere as a place of worship. Enjoy taking photographs within the grounds of the temple while admiring the countless beautiful scenes within.
Omi Jingu
This shrine enshrine Emperor Tenchi, who was in power when the capital of Japan was shifted from Asuka in Nara to Otsu in Shiga, some 1400 years ago. Emperor Tenchi is also revered as a god of time in Japan, as he was the one who created a water clock, and was the first person to sound time tones in Japan. There are many clocks on display within the shrine grounds, so have a look and compare all of them.
Hiyoshi Soba
This soba restaurant sits along the main street of Sakamoto, and retains an atmosphere of the past. The unique wooden store building, as well as its interior, are charming, and you can enjoy a bowl of buckwheat noodles loved by locals while you take a breather here.
The Former Chikurin-in
This spot, designated as a national scenic place, is known for its beautiful Japanese gardens that incorporate clear streams and borrowed landscapes. It is also unique in that its gardens have many miniature hills with lots of undulations, as well as man-made structures like five-storied pagodas. Enjoy gazing at all the different gardens with their varied views.
Sakamoto Cable
This funicular line, built in 1924, boasts a length of 2025m, and is the longest of all funicular lines currently operated in Japan. As the car makes its way to the top of the hill, the magnificent view of Lake Biwa unfolds before your eyes.
Hieizan Enryakuji
Hieizan Enryakuji is the head temple of all temples belonging to the Tendai school of Buddhism, and its grounds cover the entirety of Mt. Hiei, at 848m high. Ever since the temple opened here, it has been one of the cornerstones of Buddhism in Japan, and many famous monks completed their training here. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto", this temple still plays a prominent role in Buddhism in Japan today.


In the event of inclement weather on the day of the tour, the mode of transportation, the spots visited, and the route of the tour itself are subject to change without notice.
The end point of the tour differs from the start point. If you wish to change the end point to another spot, please let your tour guide know on the day itself when you meet up with them.
As this tour involves a lot of walking, please come in comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to walk in.

Safety Measures

Expenses Not Included

・Included in the fee: Payment for the guide, tour insurance
・NOT included in the fee: Transport costs, admission fees, costs for food and drinks/souvenirs/experiences
(Minimum required amount of cash: 4,000 yen/pax (excluding food and drinks))

Meeting Point

JR Otsu Station North Exit Ticket Gates

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