Shiga Prefecture, which has the largest ancient lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, is actually dotted with cute and stylish Instagrammable spots. Now, let's set out on a journey to find Instagrammable spots in Shiga Prefecture.
Biwako Valley: Lots of photogenic spots in the sky!
"Biwako Valley" stretches from Mt. Uchimi (1,108m above sea level) to Mt. Horai (1,174m above sea level) on the shores of Lake Biwa. Get a majestic view from "Biwako Terrace" with its terraces located across both summits. You can travel from one mountaintop to another while enjoying the scenery on the ropeway with full glass windows.
One of the terraces of the vast "The Main" area on the summit of Mt. Uchimi is the "Grand Terrace" with a spacious three-tiered wooden deck and a water basin. Depending on the location, you can take Instagram-worthy photos of Lake Biwa and landscapes that change with the seasons. It's a great place to showcase your cameraman's skills!
Another terrace of The Main is "North Terrace". There is a paid seat area "Infinity Lounge", where you can relax elegantly on sofas and chairs while looking at Lake Biwa integrated with the basin and the mountain ridges spreading under your feet.
The Main also has a cafe and dining area, and an artistic bar counter serving photo-worthy cocktails.
It takes about 30 minutes on foot to the "Café 360" area on the mountaintop of Mt. Horai, or about 20 minutes by lift while enjoying the magnificent scenery.
On the wooden deck, you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of magnificent scenery such as the ridgeline of the mountains as well as Lake Biwa that spreads out below. On sunny days, you can relax on the sofa with a shell-shaped shade and enjoy the view. Each of the three terraces offers a spectacular view.
Biwako Valley (びわ湖バレイ)
- Address: Map
- Access: About 10 minutes by bus from JR Shiga Station
- Homepage: https://www.biwako-valley.com/en/
Biwako Hakodateyama: A jewel box-like destination full of colorful spots
"Biwako Hakodateyama" is a busy ski resort in winter, but during the green season it transforms into a colorful Instagrammable spot. First of all, we would like to recommend “Furin no Yoshikomichi” on “Biwako no Mieru Oka” hill. The reed path decorated with 882 colorful wind chimes and calming sounds is the best place for a getaway.
At the end of the tunnel of the path is the "Rainbow Curtain". The colorful curtains of "Takashima Chijimi", a fabric with a history of over 200 years, flutter in the wind, creating a dreamlike atmosphere.
All curtains are arranged in rainbow colors as if a giant rainbow! Once you pass through the rainbow curtain, you will be greeted by a vast panorama of the world. The scenery of Lake Biwa and the lakeside spreads out right before your very eyes.
A must-see in the flower fields, which show different expressions in summer and autumn, is kochia that dyes the entire surface red in autumn. Here various flowers bloom in every season, and you will never see the same scenery!
The cafe has a lot of nice menus. Our best pick is the parfait from "Specialty Cafe of Parfait - LAMP" where you can enjoy sparkling parfait sets served in lamps. Of course, the taste is excellent. The illuminated interior is also romantic.
In addition, there are many spots that cannot be missed, such as the sky swing that swings toward the sky and four observation decks. The park itself is truly like a jewel box full of magnificent views!
Biwako Hakodateyama (びわこ箱館山)
- Address: Map
- Access: About 20 minutes by bus from JR Omi-Imazu Station
- Homepage: https://www.hakodateyama.com/green/
ENGLISH GARDEN ROSA&BERRY Tawada: Immerse yourself in roses and seasonal flowers in an English garden
"ENGLISH GARDEN ROSA&BERRY Tawada" boasts a vast site of 13ha in mountains rich in nature. Once you step into the park, you will feel like you are in England. In the English-style garden, more than 1,000 roses of about 400 kinds and colorful seasonal flowers can be viewed throughout the year in collaboration with the surrounding trees and buildings. You can take photogenic pictures while being soothed by nature.
In the park, there is the "Sheep Petting Farm" where you can interact with sheep grazing on a hill with a great view, and the "Fairy Garden, a Village where Fairies Live". A sheep-feeding experience is available in a limited spots at the Sheep Petting Farm, while at the "Waku Waku Farm" (Sheep & Pony Farm), you ca meet the " Valais Blacknose Sheep". Is it s species with a white body and a black face that looks like a stuffed toy and is said to be "the cutest in the world".
Take the 1km-long Rosen Railway's steam locomotive "Milky Way" to admire the park's beautiful scenery . Every year from mid-May to early June is the best chance to take camera-happy photos as steam locomotives slowly pass under a tunnel of roses.
Cafes are where you can take great photos too. At the "TEA PASTRIES" that opened in 2023 spring and the cafe in the courtyard, you can enjoy English tea and baked goods that have been around for 200 years in the English Lake District. There is even a London bus that resembles the atmosphere of good old England!
ENGLISH GARDEN ROSA&BERRY Tawada (English Garden ローザンベリー多和田)
- Address: Map
- Access: About 30 minutes by bus from JR Maibara Station
- Homepage: https://www.rb-tawada.com/en/index-raw.html
Metasequoia Namiki: Enveloped in the beauty of the four seasons
Metasequoia trees line up along the prefectural road running through Takashima City's "Makino Pic-land Agricultural Park" for about 2.4km. Postcard views of lush green trees from spring to summer and vivid red leaves in autumn await. The place is most picturesque during winter, when the leaves fall and become artistic bare trees with delicate branches growing from the thick trunks.
The snow-covered branches look great like a noble lady. Fact is, the road is hyper-seasonal, with it looking very different in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Metasequoia Namiki (メタセコイア並木)
- Address: Map
- Access: About 10 to 20 minutes by bus from JR Makino Station to "Makino Pic-land" bus stop
MIHO MUSEUM: From a fantasy approach to the world of art
"MIHO MUSEUM" has a collection of approximately 3,000 items from a wide range of regions, including ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, West Asia, China, and Japan. The approach from the reception building to the museum building is based on the motif of the Utopia, "Tougenkyo," depicted in "Tao hua yuan ji" by the Chinese poet Tao Yuanming. The path from the reception building to the museum building, passing through the weeping cherry blossom-lined avenue, tunnel, and suspension bridge, also creates a fantastic atmosphere.
- Address: Map
- Access: About 50 minutes by bus from JR Ishiyama Station to MIHO MUSEUM bus stop
- Biwako Valley: Lots of photogenic spots in the sky!
- Biwako Hakodateyama: A jewel box-like destination full of colorful spots
- ENGLISH GARDEN ROSA&BERRY Tawada: Immerse yourself in roses and seasonal flowers in an English garden
- Metasequoia Namiki: Enveloped in the beauty of the four seasons
- MIHO MUSEUM: From a fantasy approach to the world of art