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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

KANSAI Shiga Culture and calm around Japan's largest lake

A stone's throw from Kyoto and surrounding Japan’s largest lake, Shiga is full of ancient festivals, outdoor fun and a stately castle

For centuries, Shiga Prefecture has benefitted from its strategic position between Tokyo and Kyoto. Wealthy merchants and powerful leaders built stunning temples, shrines and castles, and celebrated their prosperity with raucous festivals that continue today. Blessed with Lake Biwa and mountains that enjoy snow in winter, it’s a great place to get away from the crowds and get outdoors in any season.

How to Get There

Shiga is easily accessible by shinkansen from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and beyond. Destinations on the south and western sides of Lake Biwa can be reached quickly on local trains and commuter lines from Kyoto.

Maibara Station on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line is your transport hub for destinations on the eastern side of Lake Biwa. The journey from Tokyo to Maibara takes between two and three hours. The JR Tokaido Main Line—or Biwako Line as it is nicknamed in this section—whisks visitors from Kyoto to Otsu and Koka on the south side of the lake. Alternative transport options from Kyoto include the JR Kosei Line and the Tozai Subway-Keihan Keishin Line.

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Don't Miss

    Hikone Castle, one of the few fully intact, original Japanese castles
    Boisterous festivals in Nagahama and Omihachiman
    A taste of lake life on and around Lake Biwa
    Uncrowded art spaces like the Miho Museum and Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Cherry blossom fever sweeps Shiga throughout the month of April while festival season gets into full swing, with several of the biggest and best taking place in the same month.

  • Summer

    Fireworks flood the summer sky and watersports on Lake Biwa help beat the heat. Summer is also a time for forest bathing in the vivid green grounds of Shiga's temples.

  • Autumn

    Enjoy fall foliage throughout November, witness the Otsu Matsuri festival and search out the autumn moon that inspired the world’s first novel.

  • Winter

    Bring your skis and boards to Biwako Valley, or escape the chill in the area's onsen. Warm up with tasty treats and hot local sake.

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