Tokyo tourist map: Exploring Hikone


Hikone, the 2d largest metropolis inward Shiga Prefecture, is dominated past times the imposing presence of its fine castle, a magnificent construction that, faring somewhat improve than a lot of its counterparts, somehow managed to escape the wholesale devastation of castles at the kickoff of the Meiji Period. Although Hikone is justly famous every bit a castle city, Hikone Castle is past times no agency the exclusively attraction that the metropolis has to offer.

 the 2d largest metropolis inward Shiga Prefecture TokyoTouristMap: Exploring Hikone

Since the middle of the seventeenth century, when peaceful times forced armor in addition to weapon makers to plough their skills inward some other direction, Hikone has been a major pump for the production of Buddhist menage unit of measurement altars known every bit butsudan. The street that runs parallel to the Seri River is lined on both sides alongside shops selling these elaborate structures, in addition to Hikone butsudan are reputed to locomote the amid the best inward the country.

Perhaps the most interesting of Hikone's many temples is Ryotan-ji, popularly known every bit Niwa-no-Tera, or the garden temple, because of its 3 beautiful gardens. This calendar month (November), the russets in addition to reds of the maple trees that business the approach should locomote especially spectacular. Of detail involvement are the paintings past times Kyoriku Morikawa, a disciple of the famous poet Matsuo Basho, that adorn many of the temple's sliding wooden doors. Ryotan-ji is close a twenty-minute walk from Hikone Castle. Ryotan-ji is opened upward daily from nine am to five pm, in addition to admission is 300 yen.

Northeast of the castle is the beautiful garden of Genkyu-en. Laid out inward 1677 past times Ii Nao'oki, the 4th lord of Hikone, the garden features a serial of meandering paths that current of air their way some a large primal pond. Reminiscent of Kanazawa's famous Kenroku-en, this peaceful garden is to a greater extent than intimate in addition to compact than its illustrious counterpart. Beautiful inward whatsoever season, Genkyu-en should locomote especially spectacular this month, when tumble colors are at their best. Sit inward the teahouse overlooking the pond, in addition to savor a sugariness followed past times a bowl of bracingly-bitter light-green tea. The garden is opened upward from 8:30 am to five pm. Tea in addition to a sugariness are available for 500 yen.

 the 2d largest metropolis inward Shiga Prefecture TokyoTouristMap: Exploring Hikone

At the pes of the castle stands the Castle Museum, an accurate reconstruction of the Omote Goten hall, 1 of the primary castle buildings. The extensive collection includes arms in addition to armor, folding screens, tea utensils, traditional musical instruments, in addition to a breathtaking array of Noh masks in addition to costumes, some of which engagement dorsum to the sixteenth century. The museum too has a magnificent Edo Period (1603-1868) Noh stage, where performances of Noh in addition to Kyogen are periodically given. The museum is opened upward daily from nine am to five pm. Admission is 500 yen.

The highlight of a 24-hour interval inward Hikone is a catch to the castle. The broad steps that Pb upward to it current of air eccentrically this way in addition to that, slowing downwardly the progress of the uninvited, in addition to making it hard to brand it unannounced. The approach is lined alongside trees, planted to furnish sustenance inward the forms of both nutrient in addition to medicine inward the final result of siege. Built past times the Ii menage unit of measurement inward the early on seventeenth century, Hikone Castle commands a spectacular sentiment of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake. From the upper reaches, the isle of Chikubu-jima, abode to Chikubu-jima Hogon-ji, the thirtieth temple on the thirty-three temple pilgrimage of western Japan, is clearly visible, every bit is the tiny unpopulated isle of Take-shima.

The castle interior is a celebration of wood. Walking on wooden boards that millions of feet convey rendered wonderfully smooth, 1 looks upward to respect a ceiling of magnificent wooden beams. Cleverly-concealed rectangular in addition to triangular openings, through which arrows in addition to bullets could convey been dispatched, are too inward evidence. The heady odor of perfectly-seasoned timber which permeates the castle is to a greater extent than inward keeping alongside a rustic retreat than a bastion of defence, in addition to reminds the visitor that this is a castle that was never attacked. The castle is opened upward from 8:30 am to five pm. Admission is 500 yen.

Getting there: Hikone is a 48 infinitesimal ride from JR Kyoto Station. Trains are frequent, in addition to the trip costs 1,140 yen each way.

Municipal Office, Sightseeing Department: (0749) 22 1411
Traditional Industry Exhibition Hall: (0749) 22 4551
Hikone Community Hall: (0749) 22 3013
Hikone Swimming Center: (0749) 23 4911
Tourist Information Center: (0749) 22 954


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