Positioned on the shore of Lake Biwa, Nagahama is a storied town with revered temples, fascinating historical museums and the prominent Nagahama Castle. Along with an array of natural wonders, Nagahama features waterfront Japanese and international restaurants, art centres and old-time stores.
Things to do in Nagahama
Nature lovers shouldn’t miss exploring Lake Biwa, which reveals a wealth of migratory birds, an abundance of fish and tranquil beaches and parks scattered around its shoreline. You’ll find Chikuba Island near the middle of the lake, a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site. It’s home to the revered Hogon-ji Temple and Tsukubusuma Shrine, along with verdant native trees.
You can admire Lake Biwa from Hō Park in Nagahama, a peaceful parkland with walking paths, cherry blossom trees and traditional huts. It’s also home to the Nagahama City Tennis Centre and the Nagahama Castle. The latter is a recreation of the 16th-century castle built here that is now home to the Nagahama Castle Historical Museum, which showcases archaeological finds from Japan’s ancient Jomon people.
Venture into the centre of the city to admire local artwork at Kurokabe Square, a fascinating museum housing paintings and sculptures. It’s a short walk from The Art Center Nagahama and the Kaiyodo Figure Museum Kurokabe. The latter features impressive hand-painted figurines from some of Japan’s most recognised fables and anime movies.
A scenic canal courses through the centre of Nagahama, lending its setting to a number of fine-dining restaurants. Enjoy traditional soba noodles and sake at Handmade Soba Mitani, dine by the water’s edge at Chimoto or embrace the local drinking culture at the Kuraya izakaya.
Getting around Nagahama
Nagahama is about 125 kilometres from Chubu Centrair International Airport, which takes just under two hours in a car and about 2.5 hours via train. Nagahama has a central train station and taxis, while the city centre can be explored on foot.