Shiga Prefecture

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Shiga Prefecture (滋賀県) is a Japanese prefecture in the Kinki region of Honshu. The capital of Shiga Prefecture is Otsu.



Before the prefectural system was established following the abolition of the Han System in 1871, Shiga Prefecture was known as Omi Province.


The prefecture of Shiga is bordered on the north by Fukui Prefecture, on the east by Gifu Prefecture, on the southeast by Mie Prefecture, and on the west by Kyoto Prefecture.

Shiga Prefecture is also home to Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan and the center of the prefecture. Taking up slightly more than 1/6 of the total are of Shiga, the lake is also a designation for regions within Shiga, with Kohoku, Kosei, Koto, and Konan – each named for their directional relation to the lake. The Seta River flows directly from Lake Biwa through Kyoto and into Osaka Bay, the only river flowing from the lake.


Cities currently located in Shiga Prefecture include:

Districts and Towns

The districts and towns currently located in Shiga Prefecture include:

Sources of Income

Major companies such as IBM, Canon, Toray, and Yanmar all operate out of Shiga Prefecture along with companies like C.Itoh, and a number of other prominent merchant companies.


Shiga Prefecture is full of a number of tourist attractions, including its large number of temples, shrines, and castles, as well as annual festivals, and natural landmarks.

Most popular and well known is Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, which is extremely popular in the humid summer months. Along the western shore are white sand beaches, and along the east shore, the cities of Nagahama, Omi-hachiman, and Hikone.

Festivals include the likes of the Hikiyama Festival in Nagahama, held each April which consists of floats with stages on which young children act out Kabuki plays. The Giant Kite Festival is held each May as well in Higashiomi.

Another major attraction in Shiga Prefecture is Hikone Castle – a well persevered Edo Period castle that housed Ii Naosuke, a well known Tokugawa politician who was instrumental in opening Japan to the west in the 19th Century.

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