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SHIGA Prefecture

Area: 4,017 km2
Population: 1,416 million
Region: Kinki
Capital: Otsu

photo by go.biwako


Shiga Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan, which forms part of the Kansai region in the western part of Honshu island. It encircles Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. The capital is Ōtsu.
it is adjacent to Kyoto and Nara, so there are many historic spots such as temples, shrines, castles and ninja houses. It also has the largest lake and is enclosed by mountain ranges, so it offers breath taking sceneries that change with each season.

OTSU CITY
Ōtsu is the prefectural capital located to the Southwest of Shiga prefecture in the Kansai region.
It is long and thin, curving like a bow. In ancient times, the city used to control important trade routes through the Kansai region. Because of its position as a bridge between the north of the country and the capital, numerous wars were fought for control of the city.
The city offers an abundance of temples and shrines, such as the Ōmi Jingu Shrine , Ishiyama-dera Temple , Mii-dera Temple , Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Saikyoji Temple , Takebe Taisha Shrine.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
Shiga offers and array of interesting destinations to tourist. Some places of interest are:
Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake.

Hikone is the town that has preserved the touch and feel of Edo period and is home to Hikone Castle which has survived to this day and is designated as National Treasure.

Nagahama is a small town with a few attractions as well. Some of these attractions are Nagahama Castle and the Keiunkan Guest House, built in 1887.

Enryakuji Temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)”.

Other destinations include Kusatsu, home to Lake Biwa Museum and Kusatsu Miszunomori Lotus Pound; Miho Museum, Higashiomi where Eigenji Temple and Hyakusaiji Temple are located; and Azuchim, home of the ruins of Azuchi Castle.
GETTING THERE
Otsu does not have its own airport. The nearest airport is Osaka's Itami Airport, but Kansai International Airport is an equally viable option.

By train
The Tokaido Shinkansen connects Maibara to Kyoto to Nagoya. Otsu and the southern Lake Biwa area are easily accessed on local trains from Kyoto.
The Special Rapid Service trains of JR Tokaido line and Hokuriku line connects Osaka, Kyoto, Kusatsu, Maibara, Omi-Shiotsu and Tsuruga.
Kosei Line connects Osaka, Kyoto, Katata, Omi-Maiko, Omi-Shiotsu and Tsuruga
Special Rapid Service trains runs once every half-hour or so.
CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
Shiga has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is somewhat lower in winter. The notes month is august with a ad;li average temperature of 26.6°C, whilst January, the coldest month has a daily average temperature of 3.1°C.
WHAT TO WEAR
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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