Sightseeing in Shiga

Hikone Castle in Shiga prefecture, selected as a National Treasure, which is famous for cherry blossom in Spring and scarlet maple leaves in Autumn! Highlights and history of 400-year old castle!

4 castles are registered as National Treasures in Japan, such as Matsumoto castle, Inuyama castle, Himeji castle and Hikone castle. One of the very popular sightseeing spot in Oumi Province (old name of Shiga) of them is "Hikone Castle".

In Kansai (Western part of Japan's mainland), Hyogo prefecture's Himeji castleand Hikone castle in Shiga prefecture are designated as Japan's National Treasures.

400 years has passed since its construction, and there are a lot to see there actually.

Starting from beautiful 3-story white wall donjon, 5 turrets and horse stable are registered as Important Cultural Assets, and apart from buildings, this place is proud of cherry blossoms in Spring time which represents Shiga prefecture and famous place for scarlet maple leaves in Autumn favoured by many tourists.

Besides these, a Hikone's famous PR mascot character "Hikonyan", who is typical Yuru-chara (which means very relaxing and heartwarming character) appears in the castle and welcome tourists every day.
This edition features such attractive sightseeing spot "Hikone Castle" in Shiga prefecture.

Articles on Hikone Castle -Contents-

1, Basic and useful information of Hikone Castle
2, Map of Hikone Castle precinct
3, Highlights of National Treasure "Hikone Castle"
4, Photos of Hikone Castle's beautiful figures
5, Hikone Castle shown by Google Street View
6, Comments from Enjoy Japan! Editorial dept.
7, Access to "Hikone Castle" in Shiga
8, Recommended places around Hikone Castle

1, Basic and useful information of Hikone Castle

Basic information

Look up Hikone Castle donjon designated as a National Treasure from the ground

Name: Hikone Jo *National Treasure
Prefecture: Shiga
Area: Hikone Area in Shiga prefecture
Postal code: 522-0061
Address: 1-1, Konki-cho, Hikone city, Shiga prefecture
Tel:0749-22-2742 *Hikone Castle administration office
Open all through year
Open Hours: 8:30〜19:00


●Hikone Castle

・Adult/ 600 yen
・Child of primary/junior high school (age from 6 to 15) / 200 yen

●Hikone Castle Museum

・Adult/ 500 yen
・Child of primary/junior high school (age from 6 to 15) / 250 yen

●Combination Ticket for Hikone Castle and the Museum
・Adult/ 1,000 yen
・Child of primary/junior high school (age from 6 to 15) / 350 yen

Parking:Yes *Parking fee is charged.

* There are parkings including metered ones for visitors around Hikone Castle
* During high seasons such as weekends or holidays in Spring and Autumn, the parkings are very crowded.

Official site:


Useful information

Less than 10 minutes walking distance from the nearest station: Yes
Credit Card: Not accepted
Purpose: Friends/Date/Family/Alone
Foreign language speaking staff: Unknown
Free Wifi: Unknown
Average staying time: Approx.1 hour or more
Other useful information:

・It is very crowded in the seasons of cherry blossom in Spring and scarlet maple leaves in Autumn. Please be prepared for traffic jam around the Castle if you come by car.

2, Map of Hikone Castle precinct

Hikone Castle Map
Quote:Hikone Sightseeing Guide site/http://www.hikoneshi.com/jp/castle/map

Download Hikone Castle precinct map PDF

Entrance fee is required to go into internal moat of Hikone Castle. Inside the Castle, National Treasure "Tenshu (donjon)" and many Important Cultural Assets can be seen such as "Nishi no maru sanju yagura (3-story turret of West surrounding wall)", "Taiko mon yakuga (Drum gate turret)", "Tenbin yagura (Scale turret)", "Sawaguchi Tamon yagura (turret)" and "Umaya (Horse stable)" .

3, Highlights of National Treasure "Hikone Castle"

Hikone Castle Donjon designated as a National Treasure

First of all, please look at Tenshu (donjon) which is designated as a National Treasure, one of only four castles in Japan, Matsumoto castle, Inuyama castle, Himeji castle and Hikone castle. In Kansai area (Western part of Japan's mainland), Himeji castle in Hyogo prefecture and Hikone castle in Shiga are National Treasures.

Beautiful white wall of Hikone Castle Donjon

Historic Hikone Castle has been built 400 years ago.The three story Donjon is not huge buildings, but in the process of reconstruction its wall became beautiful white. Please enjoy its figure from various angles for example from outside the precinct or from the bottom of Donjon.

Taiko yagura, Important Cultural Asset of Hikone Castle

Besides the Donjon there are many to see in the precinct.
Buildings registered as Important Cultural Assets are also must-see spots.

Important Cultural Assets in Hikone Castle precinct

●3-story turret of West surrounding wall (Nishi no maru sanju yagura)
●Sawa gate Tamon turret (Sawaguchi Tamon yagura)
●Drum gate turret (Taiko mon yagura)
●Scale turret (Tenbin yagura)
●Horse stable (Umaya)

Please check out the other points which should not be missed.

●Time signal bell (Jihosho)
●Basement for God of mercy (Kannon dai)
●Plum tree grove (Bairin)
●Genkyu-en garden
●Flying Phoenix house (Toshodai) * You can enjoy tea in tea house.
●Rakuraku-en garden
●Iroha pine tree
●Yamazaki-gaku Remains

Cherry trees in Hikone Castle moat

Hikone Castle is famous for cherry blossom in Spring and scarlet maple leaves in Autumn. We would recommend that you visit especially during the cherry blossom season as the cherry flowers and trees reflected on the surface of water moat are really beautiful.

Floating around in Hikone Castle moat

After seeing the Hikone Castle precinct, further "Floating around in the moat" is recommended. You can ride on a boat and go through the moat for 50 minutes. Precious experience is guaranteed as it's rare to be able to see the view from the moat!

Finally please take note that in Hikone Castle appears "Hikonyan", a Hikone's PR character which became well known all through Japan as Yuru-chara (relaxing and heartwarming character). It's possible to take photo with "Hikonyan", so check the time schedule of "Hikonyan"'s appearance in Hikone Castle.

Hikonyan's time schedule

As mentioned above, there are numerous highlights in Hikone Castle. Please do not miss them when you visit for sightseeing.

4, Photos of Hikone Castle's beautiful figures

Here we introduce photos of beautiful National Treasure "Hikone Castle" in four seasons.

National Treasure of Hikone Castle "Donjon"

Looking up the Donjon of Hikone Castle, designated as a National Treasure, from the ground
Hikone Castle's National Treasure "Donjon" seen from the bottom.

Hikone Castle Donjon admired from the bottom
Entire figure of Hikone Castle's National Treasure "Donjon"

Appearance of "Donjon", designated as a National Treasure

Figures of "Important Cultural Assets" in Hikone Castle precinct

Drum gate, Important Cultural Asset in Hikone Castle
Hikone Castle Important Cultural Asset, Turret in Drum gate (Taiko mon yagura)

Hikone Castle's Important Cultural Asset, Scale turret
Hikone Castle Important Cultural Asset, Scale turret (Tenbin yagura)

Hikone Castle's Important Cultural Asset, Horse stable
Hikone Castle Important Cultural Asset, Horse stable (Umaya)

Appearance of "Yaguras" and "Horse stable", designated as Important Cultural Assets.

"Cherry blossom in Hikone Castle" well known as a place of scenic beauty in Spring

Beautiful cherry blossom of Hikone Castle reflected on the water moat
The cherry flowers on the surface of water are really beautiful.

Cherry blossom in Hikone Castle moat
Full bloom of cherry flowers toward Hikone Castle moat

A place of scenic beauty, Hikone Castle's cherry at night
Illumination of cherry blossom at night in Hikone Castle.

As Hikone Castle is known as a place of beautiful cherry blossom in Shiga prefecture, the view of cherry flowers around Hikone Castle moat is only one and is very different from those in town.

Stunning "Hikone Castle scarlet maple leaves" also known as a place of scenic beauty in Autumn

Maple leaves in Hikone Castle
Scarlet maple leaves in Hikone Castle in Autumn

"Hikone Castle" in severe cold Winter

Hikone Castle Donjon in Winter
Donjon with snow in Winter

Hikone Castle precinct covered with snow in Winter
The precinct covered with snow

Hikone Castle moat covered with snow in Winter
Hikone Castle moat with falling snow in Winter

Hikone Castle is located in Hikone city of Shiga prefecture, where it snows often in Winter and the snow amount is a lot. Therefore we can see Hikone Castle covered with snow (we call it snow makeup) in Winter.

5, Hikone Castle shown by Google Street View

You can watch the scenery of Hikone Castle precinct, inside the Donjon and view of Hikone Castle town from the Castle.

Scenery inside Hikone Castle Donjon

Inside Hikone Castle Donjon there are many exhibited objects.

Scenery of Hikone Castle precinct

You can watch how Hikone Castle precinct is. Stone walls can be seen closely, as if you were actually there.

View from Hikone Castle

You can watch the view of Hikone town from Hikone Castle.

6, Comments from Enjoy Japan! Editorial dept.

Cherry and ricksha in Hikone Castle

The Castle Donjon is not huge, but Hikone Castle may well be registered as a National Treasure, its brilliant white wall and structure are very beautiful. In addition to sightseeing in the Castle, it's fun to stroll around in Hikone town located on the West side of Biwako lake, as there are various shops. Please find your favorite way to enjoy Hikone Castle sightseeing such as "floating through moat" or "town tour" on ricksha.

7, Access to "Hikone Castle" in Shiga

Postal code: 522-0061
Address: 1-1, Konki-cho, Hikone city, Shiga prefecture
Tel: 0749-22-2742

(By train)
10 min. walking from "Hikone" Station of JR Tokaido line
*From Osaka 1H30min. by new-express(Shinkaisoku) train

8, Recommended information around Hikone Castle

* To be prepared.

 Send this article by e-mail
EnjoyJapan! Japan Travel Guide and Popular Information
Hashtag in this artcle
Date created:2016/07/08

Last update:2016/09/01

Most Recent Sightseeing category spots

Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Arashiyama, Takao)
Tenryuji Temple (Rinzaishu Tenryujiha Shomu Hon-in)
The MOMIJI in the garden is a must-see! World Heritage Site "Tenryuji Temple" in beautiful Saga-Arashiyama! Intoducing highlights of Tenryuji Temple including the spectacular "Unryu-zu," Goshuin stamp, and "Shojin Ryori (vegetarian cuisine). "
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Arashiyama, Takao)
SUZUMUSHI TEMPLE (Myotokuzan Kegon Temple)
"SUZUMUSHI TEMPLE" is said to have a special power for making a "true-love knot" ! Listen to interesting and entertaining sermons, purchase popular Happiness OMAMORI (Japanese amulet), and make one special wish to the OJIZO-san wearing WARAJI (straw sandals)!
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto Other areas
"HEIAN JINGU" is a famous shrine for "JIDAI MATSURI," one of the Three Major Festivals of Kyoto, wedding ceremonies, and SHICHIGOSAN! It is told to be a sacred spot for special prayers, many visitors come to pray to make their wishes come true. Also, there are many things to see such as the SHIDAREZAKURA (weeping cherry tree) that blooms beautifully in spring.
Sightseeing   Shiga  Otsu
ISHIYAMA TEMPLE (Ishiyama-dera)
"ISHIYAMA TEMPLE" is a "temple of flowers" noted in connection with MURASAKI SHIKIBU! A famous sacred spot where people visit to pray for safe childbirth, warding off of evil, good fortune, and good marriage! During the MOMIJI season, there will be an illumination event and evening concerts are held during the event as well. Enjoy the illusional atomosphere!
Sightseeing   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
A new Art Space "NIFREL," a collabortion of an aquarium and a zoo, with artistic presentations! Once you step in, you wil find a new sensation! Introducing here is the very popular spot where you will enjoy seeing animals living in various ways!
Sightseeing   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kyoto Station area)
World Heritage "Toji Temple"
World Heritage Site "Toji Temple" is known for the tallest wodden Five-story Pagoda in the nation! Introducing the highlights of the temple including the information regarding its amazingly beautiful night illumination events during the seasons of cherry blossoms and autumnal leaves, and the information of antique market held every month.

TOP 10 Popular Spots

Restaurants   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
Their specialty "Tuna" is served in a variety of exquisite dishes from raw Sashimi to Aburi roast. Unveiling the amazing Tachinomi bar "IZAKAYA TOYO" that a long waiting line is always formed, even right after its opening.
Restaurants   Osaka
¥100 Sushi! "KURA sushi" is cheap and delicious conveyor belt sushi restaurant.
Restaurants   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kibune, Kurama, Ohara)
Kifune, a popular Summer resort in Kyoto! Enjoy cool breeze in "Hirobun", where Nagashi Somen (Flowing cold noodles) and Kawadoko ryori are local specialty!
Featured   Osaka
Intruducing the most recommended & popular "Super Sento (deluxe public bath)" in Osaka! Exclusively chosen by Onsen-lovers!
Introducing the most recommended and most popular "Super Sento" in Osaka. These are the choices made by onsen lovers, a listing of best "Supser Sento" from each of the three areas of Osaka City area, Northern Osaka area, and Southern Osaka area. Also introduced are the latest information of Osaka's "Super Sento."
Activity   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
"Niji no Yu Osaka Sayama"! Enjoy the open-air bath with fine view that you can look at the waterfall!
Activity   Kyoto  Kyoto city(Kibune, Kurama, Ohara)
Popular Day Trip Spa in Kyoto "Kurama Onsen"! Enjoy and have a luxury time in the outdoor hot spring surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Activity   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
Paradise on the top floor of the building? Take the bath under the sky! Super Sento "Natural Hot Spring Naniwa no Yu".
Activity   Osaka  South of Osaka(Sakai, KIX Airport)
"RINKU NO YU" The popular Super Sento near from Kansai airport! Take the open-air bath and feel the sea breeze!
Restaurants   Osaka  Osaka Other areas
It's worth while waitting! "Harukoma Sushi". Freshness, big size topping, delicious and reasonable sushi restaurant in Osaka.
Sightseeing   Hyogo  Kobe city(Harborland area)
Let's see night view of Kobe port from "Mosaic Big Ferris Wheel" located in "Harborland", a popular date spot in Kobe!