One of the perfect places to relax at is located in the middle of Japan. The prefecture of Shiga (滋賀県) is where you can find Lake Biwa (琵琶湖), the largest lake in the country. Shiga is a mountainous place as it is surrounded by Mt. Ibuki (伊吹山) to the east, Mt. Hira-san (比良山) and Mt. Hiei-zan (比叡山) to the east, and Suzuka Mountains (鈴鹿山脈) to the south. Aside from these, there are other several places considered as picture-perfect spots. Here are 4 of the places worth traveling to in Shiga Prefecture!
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In Otsu City (大津市) of Shiga Prefecture is Biwako Valley. It is regarded as the nearest ski hill to the city. It is about 35 kilometers or so from the center of Kyoto (京都). It started operating in 1965 and has since been entertaining visitors. The valley has a fast ropeway which takes people from the base carparks to the slopes. It boasts 8 trails and is located in the number one place for snowfall as the snow has very good quality.
Aside from the sledding trail, there is a Snow Park which is well equipped with items, as well as a slalom trail and a mogul trail suitable for everyone from children to the aged. The Snow Park is located near the top of the resort as well as a half-pipe and a Rookies Park. There is also Snow Land which is for children and is located by the exit at the top of the ropeway. This is free for those with valid tickets, otherwise, it is 500 yen on weekdays and 1,000 yen on weekends and holidays.
Biwako Valley has a ski school and a snowboard school which are available at Asahi Prime. This is great for those who are sincerely willing to learn how to ski and snowboard. A ski course is available for both adults and kids.
The view of the whole lake is also spectacular at a glance from the place. Please be reminded that if you would like to do both skiing and snowboarding, you have to prepare a certain fee for the lifting as you will be needing it for getting back up on top of the hill. There’s also a zipline and a skywalk on trees that are about 5 meters in height which are both popular activities in the area.
Omihachiman is Lake Biwa’s miniature Venice. It is an Edo period town which beautifully intertwines with the natural environment. It is home to the Omi merchants who became famous in Japan through their base in jute and other commercial crops. On a regular basis, these merchants were seen in small and large communities.
Omihachiman is located about 30 minutes away from Kyoto by train. It consists of many places of interest such as the Himure Hachimangu Shrine (日牟禮八幡宮), Mt. Hachiman (八幡山), Shinmachi-dori (新町通り), and the Hachiman-bori Canal (八幡堀). These are located close to each other and can be visited in a just a whole day. You may ride along the popular canal using a traditional rowboat which gives a great feeling of traveling through time. The canal is said to have been built to provide an easy access between the castle and Lake Biwa during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
Also in Biwako Valley but deserves its own spot on the list, the Biwako Terrace is a wide terrace with a splendid view that has just recently opened in 2016. It is a wonderful place and its peak can be reached in 5 minutes by the ropeway. Once you reach the top, stunning panoramic views await. You may also relax on the open terrace in all four seasons. You may use a wood stove if the weather is chilly. The Terrace Cafe uses high-quality tables and sofas on its wooden deck that faces the lake. Items on the menu feature local ingredients.
Though you may carry your dogs in Biwako Valley, you are not allowed to do so at the Terrace Cafe and the First Terrace. You have to keep them in cages while you are on the ropeway or in Biwako Terrace. The number of rental cages is very limited so you have to bring your own.
The ropeway is wheelchair accessible but Biwako Terrace doesn’t have a ramp for wheelchairs. If you are using one, you may ask the cafe staff for assistance. If there’s a bad weather condition, ropeway service may be suspended.
If you are searching particularly for a place to look out over the lake, then Biwako Terrace is the perfect spot for you.
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Located in the northernmost part of Lake Biwa is Kaizu-Osaki. This is a place which is popular for cherry blossoms and is also famous for its scenic beauty in the Biwako Quasi-National Park (琵琶湖国定公園). Yoshino cherry blossom trees bloom during springtime which looks glorious across a 4-kilometer area.
This is one of the perfect places for you to enjoy driving courses and nature walks, as well as taking beautiful pictures. It is quite a dreamy place with the blue water as a perfect backdrop for the pink delicate cherry blossoms.
At certain times of the year, you may also see colorful lanterns hanging from the trees. If you come here during the spring season, it is pretty crowded on weekends. If you don’t like the crowd, you may opt to come on weekdays instead. The place is said to be beautiful all-year-round, but spring is the loveliest of all so visit it some time in April. You may also join a cruising tour of the lake to have a splendid view.
Make your day trip perfect with these 4 picture-perfect spots within Shiga Prefecture. With the gorgeous nature surrounding the place, you’ll surely enjoy breathtaking moments of fun with your family and friends. This is an opportunity for you to have a lovely experience focusing on nature, shrines, and other historical places. Enjoy the Japanese countryside scenes with these spots as you establish good friendships with the local people and other tourists.
Though overshadowed by its much more famous neighbor, Kyoto, Shiga still boasts of its tourism resources.