Japan Travel 旅遊

9D8N Japan Trip:Day 6 Excursion to Shiga Region from Kyoto

Many would visit Nara or Kobe when they came Kyoto. If you are a japan insider, try an excursion to the Shiga region!

Many would visit Nara or Kobe when they came Kyoto. If you are a japan insider, try an excursion to the Shiga region!

Transportation and Spots

From JR Kyoto:
1. Take JR Kosei Line to Omitakashima Station
。Shirahige Shrine。

2. From Omitakashima Station to Omihachiman Station (Interchange from Kosei Line to Biwako Line)
。Omihachiman Canal。
。Omihachiman Cable Car。
。Murakumogosho Zuiryuji Temple。
。まるたけ Murutake Wagyu Restaurant。

1. Shirahige Shrine

The unique ‘Tori’ on the water. Worth a visit despite the inconvenient transportation.

There are about 300 Shirahige shrine all over Japan but this one in Omitakashima is the ‘flagship’ of the Shirahige Shrimes. The shrine worships Sarutahiko Okami, a god that symbolises longevity.

You can’t miss Lake Biwa when you come to Biwako region.

Omitakashima is located in the Biwako region. Lake Biwa is a large freshwater lake in Shiga Prefecture, northeast of Kyoto. A photosque tori on the lake attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Once you arrived Omitakashima station, you could choose between walking, cycling or taking taxi to travel from the station to the Shrine. We recommend you to take taxi, otherwise the 40-minute walk is a bit too much, and indeed dangerous to walk besides a highway, and wasted the precious time.

Cycling will be an option. You could rent a bike in the Visitor Centre but mind that the centre will close at 1pm so if you arrive later than that just like us, go for the taxi option.

The taxi trip cost around $1000 Yen. The duration is less than 10mins.

Be careful of the highway that you need cross before taking pictures of the Lake Biwa as there would be no traffic light. We observed the traffic condition and ran together when there were less traffic.

If you did not pre-order taxi for the return journey, you can ask the staff in the shrine next to the parking lot for taxi. For our case, we met a very nice old lady and she understood the word “taxi”. We waited 15 mins for taxi. We do not recommend to walk to the JR station as you need walk along the highway which is dangerous.

We love Japanese Oden as it is hot and suitable for cold weather in Japan! Oh! Remember to use the ultra-wide camera function for better pictures.

Before our taxi arrive, we spend some time to visit the Shirahige Jinja. It is right beside the parking lot. It didn’t take us many minutes to walk around the whole Jinja.


2. Omihachiman

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

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 location 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.


3. Haichimanyama Ropeway

Must try during red autumnal leaves season!

When we arrived the location, it was already late afternoon. We took the last scheduled ride. The sky goes dark early as it was during winter. The upside is that there were very few people and we two managed to have the space of the whole cable car. We managed to take some pictures of red leaves even though it was not November!

The cable car is a short ride of 4 minutes from bottom to the top of mountain. There would be one cable car per 15 mins. For details, please refer to the official website.

You take picture of the whole Yawata Shi City. It is a peaceful and quiet small town. It is getting late and dark. But let’s look at this romantic scene.


4. Murakumogosho Zuiryu-ji

A quiet temple.

After the cable care ride, you would be able to find a quiet temple called Murakumogosho Zuiryu-ji. When we arrive the temple, the staff were soon leaving and off work. They didn’t stop us from walking around. There were not many people and it was a bit scary for us haha. We didn’t managed to visit the whole mountain as it was already nearly evening. Unlucky!


5. Himure-Hachiman-gu Shrine

It was closed when we arrive.

Himure-Hachiman-gu Shrine is one of the 44,000 Hachiman-gu shrines in Japan. Hachiman-gu Shrines are originally dedicated to the god of fortune in war, but Himure-Hachiman-gu Shrine has flourished through worship by merchants in the Omi area.

The closing time of temple is way too early! However, we did manage to get a few pictures at the front gate with our limited time.

Address:257 Miyauchicho, Omihachiman, Shiga 523-0828 Japan
Opening Hours:08:00 – 17:00
Phone:+81 748-32-3151
Directions 1
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Nagoya to Maibara. (about 27min)
Switch to the JR Tokaido Sanyo Main Line and take the train from Maibara to Omihachiman. (about 26min)
At Omihachiman take the bus heading to Choumeiji and get off at Osugicho. (about 12min)
Directions 2
Take the JR Tokaido Sanyo Main Line at from Shin Osaka to Omihachiman. (about 1h)
At Omihachiman take the bus heading to Choumeiji and get off at Osugichio. (about 12min)


6. Ohmi Beef – まるたけ

Ohmi Beef is a must try!

There are there types of main beef in Japan 1. Tajima Beef 2. Kobe Beef and 3. Ohmi Beef. The previous two types are very common in Hong Kong from hot pot to BBQ restaurants. Ohmi Beef is rare in Hong Kong. Therefore, Ohmi Beef is one of the key highlight among all our meals. While there are many Ohmi Beef options in Omihachiman, we selected this restaurant まるたけ due to the busy season and budget price consideration.

There were also fresh beef slices, chips and cooking seasoning for sold inside the restaurant.

The restaurant まるたけ put high emphasis on the quality of beef. All cattle are raised on their own farms and only “Tajima” pedigree cattle are used for breeding and rearing. Tajima beef meat is tender.

We ordered Omi Beef Sukiyaki Gozen and Omi Wagyu Bento. We were disappointed that the beef fat was not well distributed, and it was not as fantastic as the Wagyu Sukiyaki eaten at Yufuin Hot Spring Hotel. The meat is fairly tender and has a strong flavor, but I can’t eat the sweetness of the fat!

We didn’t take pictures of the Japanese beef bento. On the contrary, there is a pleasant surprise. The steak has an even distribution of fat, and you can also try the beef sashimi sushi. Only fresh beef can be eaten as a raw sushi!

Address:〒523-0862 Shiga, Omihachiman, Suwaicho, 17 Japan
Phone no.: +81 748-32-2336
Opening Hours:
Weekdays 11:00 – 15:30 ; 17:00 – 20:00
Weekend 11:00 – 20:00
Closed on every Tuesday


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