Trip Ideas #North03

A temple town walking route with beautiful stonework


A village of stonework where clear streams flow.

Sakamoto is a temple town of Hieizan Enryakuji Temple and Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine. The waterways of the clear Omiyagawa River and Fujikigawa River (Gongengawa River) that flow from Mount Hiei, along with the old-fashioned neighborhoods of Baba and Tsukurimichi, create scenery in which time appears to have stopped hundreds of years ago. The area is an alluvial fan created by the rivers, offering splendid views of Lake Biwa from higher ground. This quiet town, which was once popular as a location for the residences and retreats of elderly monks, offers many attractions including the stonework of Anoshu and famous temples and shrines. Along the long, beautiful shoreline of Lake Biwa are the remains of Sakamoto Castle, of which Akechi Mitsuhide was lord as well.

Approx. time required
4-5 hour
Key points
of traveling
・Go by car or rented bicycle to cover a wide area and visit Saikyoji Temple, Karasaki Jinja Shrine, the remains of Sakamoto Castle, and more.
・The famous sights of the Sakamoto-Hieizanguchi Station area are within easy walking distance.
・The entranceway to Hieizan Enryakuji Temple; combine with a trip to Mount Hiei by using the Sakamoto Cableway.

Saikyoji Temple

View gardens and architectural beauty.
The family temple of Akechi Mitsuhide, where Mitsuhide and his family are enshrined.

■ Saikyo-ji Temple
Address Otsu Sakamoto 5-13-1
Parking 50 spaces for normal-size vehicles and limited spaces for large vehicles
Business Hours 9:00 a.m.- 04:30 p.m.
Closed on No holiday
Price 500 yen for adults (450 yen for groups of more than 30 people)

Transit time: 20 min. by foot


Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Stroll through the shrine precincts embraced by a forest of clear streams.

■ Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Address Otsu Sakamoto 5-1-1
Parking 50 spaces for normal-size vehicles
Business Hours 09:00 a.m. - 04:30 p.m.
Closed on No holiday
Price 300 yen (270 yen for groups of more than 30 people)

Transit time: 10 min. by foot


Hiyoshi Toshogu Shrine

Brilliantly colored main shrine building.
The gongen-zukuri structure, which formed the model for the construction of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, is definitely worth seeing. Subordinate shrine of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine.

■ Hiyoshi Toshogu Shrine

Transit time: 10 min. by foot


Tsuruki Soba Main Store

A venerable old soba restaurant.
A soba restaurant that has long rewarded the stomachs of priests breaking their fasts. Also take note of the building, which is designated a tangible cultural property.

■ Tsuruki Soba Main Store
Address Otsu Sakamoto 4-11-40
Parking Parking Lot 1: Fits 8 cars
Parking Lot 2: Fits 16 cars
Business Hours 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (last order at 5:45 p.m.)
Closed on The 3rd Friday of every month
New Years Day
The 3rd Thursday & Friday of January and June
*No holidays August & November

Transit time: 8 min. by foot


Former Chikurin-in Temple

Relax with matcha tea by a famous garden.
A retreat known as a satobo, offered to monks who practiced religious austerities at Mount Hiei.

■ Former Chikurin-in Temple
Address 5-2-13 Sakamoto, Otsu City
Parking 10 cars, 10 large vehicles
Business Hours 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Reception closes at 4:30 p.m.)
Closed on Monday (Open the following day when Monday is a national holiday), New Years
Price 320 yen (Group discount for groups of 15 or more: 250 yen)