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Places to Go in Hikone

Places to Go in Hikone

Hikone is a great location for experiencing both traditional Japanese culture (like at Hikone Castle) and modern culture (like at Viva City). Make it a goal to visit all of the areas listed below to get a full sense of your new home at Hikone, Shiga. If you ever need help finding any place, feel free to ask your Japanese friends from nearby universities or our Student Services Coordinator at JCMU.

*Click on images for directions through Google Maps.


hikone castle

hikone museum

Lake Biwa: Biwako, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, is located right next to JCMU facilities. It is beautiful all year round, which means that locals go there to host shore side barbeques, take a dip in the water, or simply to enjoy the view.


Hikone Castle: One of the most famous historical sites in Hikone, Hikone Castle is unique in that it is one of the few Japanese castles left in its original state. This national treasure was in use from 1622 until 1874 and is the best location for experiencing Japanese history firsthand.


Hikone Castle Museum:  Located right next to Hikone Castle, this museum provides an inside tour of the Hikone Castle, including replicas of armor, artifacts, as well as tea rooms and gardens that reflect the history of Hikone.


genkyu-en garden

viva city


Genkyu-en Garden: This garden, located at the foot of Hikone Castle, is a beautiful, sprawling attraction that features the natural beauty of Japan. It also features a local teahouse where you can sip on tea as you look outside at the scenery.


Viva City: Viva City is located one train station away at Minami Hikone train station. It has everything from clothing to accessories, food, sports, a movie theater, etc.


Shiga University: If you’re looking to meet Japanese people your own age, try visiting nearby Shiga University. Less than 10 minutes by bike, it’s close enough that you can join student organizations, meet Japanese college students, and experience Japanese college life.





University of Shiga Prefecture: This university is also a great location to meet friends and attend events. Although it is located further away than Shiga University, there are still many opportunities to hang out with Japanese college students.


Yume-Kyobashi Akarikan: Located on Castle Road (15 minute bike ride) his location has a shop, museum, and café that offer local products from Hikone. You can even make your own personal candle!

AllDays Karaoke: Japanese karaoke is nothing like American karaoke! Featuring private rooms and drink/food service, AllDays is located on Bell Road so it's close enough that you can spend all night singing with your friends.



al plaza

Yonbancho Square: Yobancho Square offers many shops and restaurants that offer locally-made products. It also features performances by local performances in the public square.

Beisia: The local grocery store, Beisia, is where you can find anything from food and drinks to clothes and fresh produce. If you're planning on cooking for yourself at the JCMU apartments, make sure to go to Beisha and try your hand at Japanese ingredients!

Al Plaza: Al Plaza is local department store that carries food, souvenirs, clothing, and more! It is also conveniently located near the Hikone train station if you ever need anything last minute.

For more attractions and things to do, please check out