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Hikone is in the central-eastern part of Shiga and is a center for economy and culture on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa-ko.

The town has been an important traffic point since early times and developed as a castle town of the Ii family.

Hikone Castle has a backdrop of Lake Biwa-ko and Kinki-zan Hill, and is regarded as one of four national heritage castles, along with Inuyama Castle in Aichi, Himeji Castle in Hyogo, and Matsumoto Castle in Nagano.

Its three-layered chalk castle tower still maintains its noble and heroic appearance as a symbol of the city.

Besides the castle tower designated as a national treasure, there are other towers of important cultural properties, such as Tenbin-yagura, Taikomon-yagura, and Nishinomaru-sanju-yagura; other historical spots include Genkyu-en, the old garden of a feudal lord, which recreates the nostalgic atmosphere of those ancient days.

Set in the rich, natural surroundings of Lake Biwa-ko, Hikone is a superlative place for you to enjoy the atmosphere of a castle town, full of historical and cultural interest that revolves around the castle itself.


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