(Day Trip) Shiga Prefecture with a car.
🍁🍂 This is particularly for the autumn season (alternatives for spring available), but all these places are also very doable in other seasons. 🚙 I highly recommend renting a car. Many of these spots are still somewhat accessible by public transport, but the wait times between trains/buses aren't reliable and you may need to forego some spots.
8 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

Hello! Welcome to this guide where I will take you along the west side of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture and hopefully also experience some nature in the south of lake too if you have time

🕗Starting point: Osaka

This guide assume you will start in Osaka, as many rental places don't open until around 8AM, this means we will not arrive to our first location until around 10AM.

Of course, if you are staying closer to Lake Biwa, you can choose to start a bit later or spend more time in certain areas connected to an attraction!

📍0️⃣ Pokemon Manholes!

These are totally optional, but if you are a fan, I highly suggest stopping at two of these manhole locations as they are quite a ways away from the train station.

Pokelid one:

This lid is by Omi Bridge, but the closest parking is actually by German restaurant called "Wurzburg". Park there (free within 30 minutes) and walk over.

Wurzburg
@kansai
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Pokelid two:

This second lid is by a hotel and a pretty dead shopping mall. There's no free parking around here and the streets here get too busy to just stop on the side, so you will need to eat up a small fee to stop here.

📍1️⃣ Biwako Terrace

Biwako Terrace
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Your first stop will be right beneath a ropeway up to Biwako Terrace, a highly promoted spot in Shiga prefecture for its instagram-worthy infinity "pools" (not swimmable). It is also a ski destination in the winter, but for our purposes, we are here for the autumn colors.

The ropeway up is where most of the fall leaves are. You will want to time this to about mid-November.

The ropeway cost is quite expensive (2500 per person both ways), but parking at the base of the ropeway is free. So you can spend as much time up at the top as you'd like.

At the top, there are some restaurants and some really nice views of Lake Biwa and the surrounding area. On the other side are a bunch of other mountain ranges. All extremely lovely on a clear day.

The picture above is me arriving just as the clouds were breaking. If the weather is bad, you definitely won't be able to see anything so plan wisely!

🍽 Lunch Break

Fantasista
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This place is not too far away from the ropeway. If you want more substantial food before you continue your drive, this cool little pizzeria might be the place for you!

📍2️⃣Shirahige Jinga

Shirahige Shrine Torii
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You might have seen the floating torii in Hiroshima, and you might have even seen the one in the famous onsen town Hakone - but there's one here too in Shiga!

This next location is further up north next to a freeway. There is free parking on site. A south parking which can fit 10 or so cars, and one immediately north that has 4 spaces. The north one is easy to miss as most people coming to this shrine is coming from the south and its easiest to turn into. But if the south parking is full, try the smaller north parking.

Unfortunately, they have stopped allowing people to cross the road to get to the lake's edge and closer to the gate, but there is a viewing/photo platform for you to get photos. It's not that bad! Take a look:

📍3️⃣ Avenue of Metasequoias

Avenue of Metasequoias
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During autumn, the colors of these trees turn into a beautiful yellow color, making this spot a very popular driving destination for locals.

There is a cafe and a roadside stop just before you enter into the tunnel, so you can park for free and take a brisk walk before hopping back into the car and driving through it.

And yes, I recommend driving through the avenue. It stretches quite far and you're here anyway. Why wouldn't you drive it?

This cafe marks the start of the avenue:

And this is where it ends:

The landscape here is pretty spectacular if this is your first time into the Japanese countryside. Definitely take your time and drive around some of the roads here.

Spring Time Alternative:

Kaidzu-Osaki Lakeside Park
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This lakeside park is lined with sakura trees in the spring time and it is not too far away from the Avenue of Metasequoias, so I highly recommend checking this spot out!

📍4️⃣ Ukimido

Ukimido "Floating Temple" of Mangetsu-ji Temple
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This temple is popular for looking like it is floating on Lake Biwa. It is a very beautiful little temple. You can walk out and take a walk around if you'd like. There's a small entry fee to get inside.

Free parking is available directly outside the temple, but there is also free parking here if you don't want to chance it with the street getting narrower as you get close to the temple:

📍5️⃣ Eigen-ji Temple

Eigen-ji Temple
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This is only available during autumn!

It should be around or past sunset on an autumn's day by the time you leave the last location. This next temple will be a good hour's drive southeast, away from the lake.

(if you need to return the car by early evening, this will not work for you)

During autumn colors, Eigen-ji does night illuminations. It is a fairly huge temple complex in the middle of Shiga's countryside, and I loved this spot. You can enjoy the autumn colors lit up without all the crowds.

If you can return the car later, I highly recommend visiting this place. Parking is also free here!

Thank you for reading!

If this guide helped you, please considering giving me a tip! I write these in my own free time with no compensation, so anything you can spare really helps me out.

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello! 👋 I'm Jenny and I lived in Osaka, Japan (the Kansai area) for 10 years. I've traveled to all 47 prefectures in Japan since 2019, and I've got plenty of tips & tricks on my blog website http://kansaibeyond.com on how to travel. I would love to share my travels of the Kansai area, Japan and beyond with all of you. My travel style: I'm a solo female traveller with experience driving around Japan, but can also give you tons of tips of using public transport. My friends and my partner tags along on my travels plans too! I love hot springs ♨️, and travelling to off the beaten path areas in Japan with a car. Important things when travelling in Japan for me: Food 🍝, cafes 🍵, castles 🏯, temples ⛩️, hot springs ♨️ and nice brisk hikes wherever possible. A bonus if we catch some 🌸cherry blossoms and 🍁 fall colours too! Also a seasoned Pokemon manhole hunter, anime enthusiast and concert goer so ask me about those too!
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(Day Trip) Shiga Prefecture with a car.
🍁🍂 This is particularly for the autumn season (alternatives for spring available), but all these places are also very doable in other seasons. 🚙 I highly recommend renting a car. Many of these spots are still somewhat accessible by public transport, but the wait times between trains/buses aren't reliable and you may need to forego some spots.
8 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

Hello! Welcome to this guide where I will take you along the west side of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture and hopefully also experience some nature in the south of lake too if you have time

🕗Starting point: Osaka

This guide assume you will start in Osaka, as many rental places don't open until around 8AM, this means we will not arrive to our first location until around 10AM.

Of course, if you are staying closer to Lake Biwa, you can choose to start a bit later or spend more time in certain areas connected to an attraction!

📍0️⃣ Pokemon Manholes!

These are totally optional, but if you are a fan, I highly suggest stopping at two of these manhole locations as they are quite a ways away from the train station.

Pokelid one:

This lid is by Omi Bridge, but the closest parking is actually by German restaurant called "Wurzburg". Park there (free within 30 minutes) and walk over.

Wurzburg
@kansai
Add to
Details

Pokelid two:

This second lid is by a hotel and a pretty dead shopping mall. There's no free parking around here and the streets here get too busy to just stop on the side, so you will need to eat up a small fee to stop here.

📍1️⃣ Biwako Terrace

Biwako Terrace
@kansai
Add to
Details

Your first stop will be right beneath a ropeway up to Biwako Terrace, a highly promoted spot in Shiga prefecture for its instagram-worthy infinity "pools" (not swimmable). It is also a ski destination in the winter, but for our purposes, we are here for the autumn colors.

The ropeway up is where most of the fall leaves are. You will want to time this to about mid-November.

The ropeway cost is quite expensive (2500 per person both ways), but parking at the base of the ropeway is free. So you can spend as much time up at the top as you'd like.

At the top, there are some restaurants and some really nice views of Lake Biwa and the surrounding area. On the other side are a bunch of other mountain ranges. All extremely lovely on a clear day.

The picture above is me arriving just as the clouds were breaking. If the weather is bad, you definitely won't be able to see anything so plan wisely!

🍽 Lunch Break

Fantasista
@kansai
Add to
Details

This place is not too far away from the ropeway. If you want more substantial food before you continue your drive, this cool little pizzeria might be the place for you!

📍2️⃣Shirahige Jinga

Shirahige Shrine Torii
@kansai
Add to
Details

You might have seen the floating torii in Hiroshima, and you might have even seen the one in the famous onsen town Hakone - but there's one here too in Shiga!

This next location is further up north next to a freeway. There is free parking on site. A south parking which can fit 10 or so cars, and one immediately north that has 4 spaces. The north one is easy to miss as most people coming to this shrine is coming from the south and its easiest to turn into. But if the south parking is full, try the smaller north parking.

Unfortunately, they have stopped allowing people to cross the road to get to the lake's edge and closer to the gate, but there is a viewing/photo platform for you to get photos. It's not that bad! Take a look:

📍3️⃣ Avenue of Metasequoias

Avenue of Metasequoias
@kansai
Add to
Details

During autumn, the colors of these trees turn into a beautiful yellow color, making this spot a very popular driving destination for locals.

There is a cafe and a roadside stop just before you enter into the tunnel, so you can park for free and take a brisk walk before hopping back into the car and driving through it.

And yes, I recommend driving through the avenue. It stretches quite far and you're here anyway. Why wouldn't you drive it?

This cafe marks the start of the avenue:

And this is where it ends:

The landscape here is pretty spectacular if this is your first time into the Japanese countryside. Definitely take your time and drive around some of the roads here.

Spring Time Alternative:

Kaidzu-Osaki Lakeside Park
@kansai
Add to
Details

This lakeside park is lined with sakura trees in the spring time and it is not too far away from the Avenue of Metasequoias, so I highly recommend checking this spot out!

📍4️⃣ Ukimido

Ukimido "Floating Temple" of Mangetsu-ji Temple
@kansai
Add to
Details

This temple is popular for looking like it is floating on Lake Biwa. It is a very beautiful little temple. You can walk out and take a walk around if you'd like. There's a small entry fee to get inside.

Free parking is available directly outside the temple, but there is also free parking here if you don't want to chance it with the street getting narrower as you get close to the temple:

📍5️⃣ Eigen-ji Temple

Eigen-ji Temple
@kansai
Add to
Details

This is only available during autumn!

It should be around or past sunset on an autumn's day by the time you leave the last location. This next temple will be a good hour's drive southeast, away from the lake.

(if you need to return the car by early evening, this will not work for you)

During autumn colors, Eigen-ji does night illuminations. It is a fairly huge temple complex in the middle of Shiga's countryside, and I loved this spot. You can enjoy the autumn colors lit up without all the crowds.

If you can return the car later, I highly recommend visiting this place. Parking is also free here!

Thank you for reading!

If this guide helped you, please considering giving me a tip! I write these in my own free time with no compensation, so anything you can spare really helps me out.

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello! 👋 I'm Jenny and I lived in Osaka, Japan (the Kansai area) for 10 years. I've traveled to all 47 prefectures in Japan since 2019, and I've got plenty of tips & tricks on my blog website http://kansaibeyond.com on how to travel. I would love to share my travels of the Kansai area, Japan and beyond with all of you. My travel style: I'm a solo female traveller with experience driving around Japan, but can also give you tons of tips of using public transport. My friends and my partner tags along on my travels plans too! I love hot springs ♨️, and travelling to off the beaten path areas in Japan with a car. Important things when travelling in Japan for me: Food 🍝, cafes 🍵, castles 🏯, temples ⛩️, hot springs ♨️ and nice brisk hikes wherever possible. A bonus if we catch some 🌸cherry blossoms and 🍁 fall colours too! Also a seasoned Pokemon manhole hunter, anime enthusiast and concert goer so ask me about those too!
Send A Tip
Support Kansai & Beyond 💻’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Kansai & Beyond 💻 • Privacy • Terms