Hikone offers a blend of historical beauty, cultural depth, and delicious cuisine. It’s a must-visit for those exploring Japan’s heritage. The city’s charm lies in its ability to transport visitors back in time.
Hikone Castle: A Must-See Attraction
Built in 1622, Hikone Castle stands as a symbol of Japan’s feudal past. It’s one of only twelve original castles left in Japan. It is also one of five castles selected as National Treasure . Visitors can explore its ancient walls, moats, and scenic gardens.
Gardens and Museums
Hikone’s Genkyuen Garden is a beautiful landscape garden. It’s perfect for a peaceful stroll. The Hikone Castle Museum showcases samurai armor and historical artifacts. It offers insights into the samurai era.
Temples and a castle ruins
Looking east from Hikone Castle, you can see the mountain range. This area is rarely visited by tourists, but offers wonderful hiking and walking opportunities to enjoy history and nature.
On the mountain are the ruins of Sawayama Castle, which is older than Hikone Castle. Sawayama Castle was the castle of Mitsunari Ishida, a general who was defeated in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. The view of the city and Lake Biwa from the ruins of Sawayama Castle is magnificent.
At the foot of the mountain range are temples and shrines built in the Edo period. It would be fun to visit these cultural assets that remain hidden from the public eye.
Festivals and Events:
The Castle Festival in November highlights samurai parades. It’s a fantastic way to experience traditional Japanese culture.
Hikone is easily accessible by train. It’s about 10 minutes from Maibara Station on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Local trains from Kyoto and Osaka also reach Hikone, making it a convenient day trip.
Despite its attractive location, there are no package tours that visit Hikone. Perhaps because of its location between Kyoto and Nagoya, tourists traveling by Shinkansen simply pass through.
If you are from Kyoto or Nagoya and would like to visit Hikone, our guide service is available to you. We can take you on a walking tour to visit the castle and gardens, as well as to visit the ruins and fascinating temples without tourists.
If you are interested in our guide service, please contact us using this form.