Shiga Prefecture (滋賀県 Shiga-ken) is a prefecture of Japan, to the east of Kyoto, within the Kansai region, on the main island of Honshu. Shiga encircles the largest freshwater lake in Japan - Lake Biwa. The capital city is Ōtsu, with the main port of Lake Biwa and notable temples including Enryaku-ji, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities). Along the scenic Lake Biwa you will a few attractive cities such as Hikone and Nagahama, great holiday resorts, historic sites such as the 17th-century Hikone castle, beaches including the wonderful Ōmi-Maiko Beach and hot springs (onsen). The rural city of Koka is considered the homeland of the ninja, and attractions related to the ninja are found here such as Ninja Village and Ninja House. In Koka you will also find Miho Museum, famous for its design and its integration into the outstanding natural surroundings. Although Shiga Prefecture has numerous cities, it is mainly a rural prefecture with 37 % of the total land designated National Parks.
Population: approximately 1.5 million inhabitants
Other major cities: Hikone, Sakamoto, Nagahama, Kusatsu, Maibara, Takashima, Koka, Ōmihachiman, Moriyama, Higashiomi, Yasu, Ritto
Main attractions: Lake Biwa, Mount Ibuki, Hikone Castle, temples of Ishiyama-dera, Enryaku-ji, Mii-dera, Hiyoshi Taisha (Ōtsu), Nagahama Castle, Nagahama Figure Museum, Miho Museum (Koka), Uminobe trail, Sagawa Art Museum (Moriyama), Azuchi Castle ruins
Nearest Airports: Osaka International Airport (ITM - 大阪国際空港 Ōsaka Kokusai Kūkō), Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO - 中部国際空港 Chūbu Kokusai Kūkō), Kansai International Airport (KIX - 関西国際空港 Kansai Kokusai Kūkō)