close

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

See a beautifully preserved merchant town and the largest lake in Japan

Sitting on the ancient road from Tokyo to Kyoto, the once bustling commercial hub of Omihachiman retains its merchant town charm. Home to one of the most dangerous festivals in Japan and sitting on the shore of Lake Biwa , Omihachiman has plenty to explore.

Don't Miss

  • A boat tour along Omihachiman's canals
  • One of Japan's most dangerous festivals—The Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival
  • The crimson tunnel of Eigenji Temple's autumn leaves

How to Get There

The area is easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka by rail. Omihachiman Station is serviced by both JR and private lines.

From Kyoto or Osaka, you can catch the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line heading to Nagahama and get off at Omihachiman Station. The trip takes a little over half an hour.

If you're traveling from Tokyo, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen heading to Shin-Osaka and transfer at Maibara Station to the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line bound for to Kakogawa. This trip takes a little under three hours.

A former hub for Lake Biwa trade

Sitting on the shores of Lake Biwa and on the Nakasendo road between Tokyo and Kyoto, Omi was a thriving merchant town for centuries. The impressive Hachiman-bori Canal provided transport, helping to make the city a powerhouse of trade. Later, Hachiman was added to the name of the town in honor of the Shinto god of war, who has a home in town at Himure Hachimangu Shrine.

A merchant city dripping with history

The wealth and generosity of the early Omi traders may be seen in the many temples and other public works housed in the town. Today, the Shin-Machi Dori area gives visitors a well-preserved taste of how the famous Omi merchants lived. The Omihachiman City Museum is a perfect example of a building from Omi's heyday, and houses exhibits on folk materials.

The eternal spring temple

Eigenji Temple's name means eternal source or spring. The clear waters of the Echigawa River are the lifeblood of this temple and its surroundings and nourish the numerous varieties of maple trees that populate the area. These trees blaze with color in the autumn, turning the approach to the temple into a tunnel of red.

Autumn foliage at Eigenji Temple

One of Japan's most dangerous festivals

The Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival is known as one of the most dangerous festivals in Japan. The festival is held in mid-March and includes a fight to see which is the finest among a selection of gigantic sagicho floats. These floats are elaborately crafted from straw, bamboo and paper.

The sagicho are carried through the town by men dressed and made up as women. At the climax of the festival, all the sagicho are burned while locals dance around the fire.

Cruise through the history of Omihachiman

Before the invention of automobiles, the town's canal was a major source of transportation, making the area a bustling commercial hub. This main artery also divided the town until the mid-nineteenth century. On the north side lived samurai, and on the south, commoners. Wander along the canal and feel the influence this waterway has had on the area.

Explore a little deeper

Sitting right on the border of Lake Biwa , the largest lake in Japan, Omihachiman is a great place to set up base for a day or two. Take your time to soak up everything this scenic lake and its surroundings have to offer. Visit the many walking trails that dot the area, take a cruise and appreciate the serenity of this immense body of water.

Popular Events

SEE ALL