(C)JNTO
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Lake Biwa, the crossroads of natural beauty and living history
Short trip from Kyoto to Lake Biwa

I recommend this course!

Benjamin John McCracken / I'm from Durand, USA / I have lived in Japan for 5 years.

Profile

I arrived in Japan almost 19 years ago as a student and fell in love with the culture and beauty of the country. Over the next 18 years I found myself coming back to Japan frequently and finally decided to move to Japan full time to assume the role of the Resident Director for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. I enjoy cycling around Japan, especially around Lake Biwa.

Lake Biwa, located in Shiga Prefecture (just 10 minutes from Kyoto by train), is Japan's largest freshwater lake. The lake dominates the landscape, much as it has dominated Shiga's history and culture. Lake Biwa, together with the Nakasendo, formed the main trade route for goods and people in ancient Japan, making Shiga an important trading and cultural hub. The strategic importance of Shiga was not lost on Japan's famous samurai. Oda Nobunaga built his castle in Shiga, and from there set out to conquer Japan. To this day, Shiga is dotted with the remains of castles, shrines, and temples built by famous samurai. Shiga also boasts one of the last remaining original castles in Hikone. Because of the rich trade and commerce traversing Lake Biwa, Shiga is also famous for its merchant class, which is still strong to this day.

  • Day Trip

Kyoto Station

Car rental office (20min)
Rental fee ¥6,000 (Excluding gasoline fee)

Rental car (1hr 10min)
Expressway fees ¥1,900

Meishin Expressway

Hikone Castle parking area
Parking fee ¥400

Walk (3min)

Hikone Castle

  • Estimated time:1hr
  • Estimated cost:¥600

One of Japan's last original castles with a stunning view of Lake Biwa and the chance to walk the path of the samurai

Look at details

Walk (3min)

Hikone Castle parking area

Rental car (1hr 10min)
Toll gate fees ¥150

via Biwako Ohashi

Parking area

Walk (3min)

(公社)びわこビジターズビューロー

Ukimido (Mangetsuji Temple)

  • Estimated time:30min
  • Estimated cost:¥300

The Floating Temple, a place and a feeling you will never forget

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Walk (3min)

Parking area

Rental car (10min)

Lunch

  • Estimated time:1hr

Omi-Beef, a meal you will savor for years

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Rental car (5min)

Parking area

Walk (3min)

(C)JNTO

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

  • Estimated time:1hr
  • Estimated cost:¥300

Hiyoshi Taisha, a unique Shinto experience with a rich historical context

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Walk (3min)

Parking area

Rental car (30min)
Toll gate fees ¥1,670

Hieizan Driveway

Parking area

Walk (3min)

(公社)びわこビジターズビューロー

Hieizan Enryakuji

  • Estimated time:1hr
  • Estimated cost:¥700

An unforgettable journey to the temple complex that consists of over 150 temples and shrines

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Walk (3min)

Parking area

Rental car (25min)

Parking area

Walk (3min)

(公社)びわこビジターズビューロー

Omi Jingu

  • Estimated time:1hr
  • Estimated cost:¥300

Showa era construction with the timeless beauty of Lake Biwa

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Walk (3min)

Parking area

Rental car (35min)

Car rental office (Return rental car) (10min)

Kyoto Station

Look at map