Two Castles’ Tour in Hikone and Nagahama

 

彦根城、长滨城一日远足

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle, a national treasure was completed in 1607, just after that decisive battle at SEKIGAHARA (関ケ原合戦), when many building materials were transported from Otsu castle where the early skirmish was fought. It is said that the castle has not only a perfect beauty of the external appearance but also deep ingenuity on the military matters.
There are 4 valuable Yaguras, all of which are important cultural properties. (Yagura refers to a turret, built in the castle, as a guard tower or a watchtower.) A stable in a castle is very rare, and has remained only in this castle. Twenty-one horses used to be kept here for the domain’s head and chief retainers under that neat shake roof.
The gorgeous cherry blossoms at Hikone Castle is chosen as one of the top 100 sites in Japan. Guests can meet the cutest mascot Hikonyan at the Castle.

Genkyu-en (玄宮園)is an attached circuit style garden to the castle, built in 1677. The path is skillfully laid for leading guests to 4 teahouses, which reminds us that the garden used to be a social arena those days for Daimyos.

Guests can visit and take a walk along “Yumekyobashi Castle Road”, after enjoying Hikone castle. It is said dividing and distributing the town started from this area when the castle began to be built. The street is unified like merchant houses in Edo Period with white board and black grating, so that guests can feel as if they were walking in the castle town in those days. There are many Japanese-style and western restaurants and confection stores, and locally produced goods as well.

Hikonyan, the CUTEST Mascot of Hikone Castle

Nagahama Castle

Old Nagahama area used to be under the Azai’s up to 1573, when Nobunaga beat Nagamasa at the War of Ane River. Hideyoshi, who contributed a lot during the war too, was given the KOHOKU area, and built his own castle here in 1576. The castle was built just in front of Lake Biwa, so a part of the stone-walls were founded from the shore so boats were able to go in and out from the water gate in the castle.
For the hero of the Provincial war era, it was the first castle built by his own power. Though Hideyoshi had been almost away from home, going into battles even to the Korean Peninsula, he was said to have been able to acquire management skills for people from his first domain. (Hideyoshi became Kanpaku, a chief advisor to the Emperor in 1585, building Osaka-jyo castle.)
After Hideyoshi, several warlords had lived in the castle, but it was abolished at last in 1615.

Nagahama Castle of today was reconstructed at Ho-koen Park (豊公園) in 1983, and has been managed as “Nagahama Castle Hisorical Museum” and also become the symbol of the main city of KOHOKU.
The elegant cherry blossoms in the Park is chosen as one of the top 100 sites in Japan, too.

After Nagahama castle, guests can enjoy walking excursion in central Nagahama, such as Kurokabe and Hikiyama Museum.

At Ho-koen Park

 

Overview

  • Shiga
  • 18,000 JPY
  • 7Hours
  • 1 ~ 5people
 

Itinerary

  • Meeting Point

    JR Hikone Station
  • Hikone Castle
  • "Yumekyobashi Castle Road"
  • JR Nagahama Station
  • Ho-koen Park
  • Nagahama Castle (& "Nagahama Castle Hisorical Museum")
  • Old Nagahama Railroad Station
  • Keiun-kan Guest House
  • Kurokabe
  • Hikiyama Museum
  • Ending Point

    JR Nagahama Station

What to Expect

【Hikone Castle】
1. Sophisticated and Artistic Appearance and Military Ingenuity of the Castle Designated as a National Treasure
2. Four Valuable Yaguras, All of Which are Important Cultural Properties
3. To Meet with the Cutest Mascot, Hikonyan
4. To Walk along “Yumekyobashi Castle Road” and Enjoy Shopping

【Nagahama Castle】
1. To Walk around Ho-koen Park, Remembering the Days when the Basis of the Castle Town was Founded
2. To Learn More about Nagahama, Visiting to “Nagahama Castle Hisorical Museum”
3. To Actually See and Experience the Deep Culture that the Town People have Created so far

Inclusions & Exclusions

[Inclusions]

Guide Fee

[Exclusions]

1) Admission / Entrance Fee (For Tourists): Approximately 2,000 (Two Thousand) JPY Each at a Maximum for One Day.

2) Transportation (For Tourists): Less than 800 (Eight Hundred) JPY Each at a Maximum for One Day.

3) Lunch and/or Dinner (For Tourists): Less than 1,500 (One Thousand and Five Hundred) JPY Each at a Maximum.

4) Any Unexpected Cost (For Tourists): Less than 1,000 (One Thousand) JPY Each at a Maximum.

   

Important Information

1) The tour consists of 7 hours walking excursion, basically starting from 9:30 AM to 16:30 (4:30 PM), including 1 hour lunch.

2) Meeting & “Good-bye” Place:

9:30 AM at JR Hikone Station (Tour start)
4:30 PM at JR Nagahama Station (Tour end)

3) Lunch: A Set Menu of Local Foods from 12:00 AM to 1:00 PM

4) Peak Season: The destination spots may slightly change due to seasonal situation, after getting an approval from the guests

5) Longer or shorter Excursion time and other specific regions are available, on your request.

Remark

[Cancellation Policy]
1) Free cancellation – 10 days prior to meeting time
2) 50% Refund – 9 to 3 days prior to meeting time
3) No Refund – Within 2 day(s) prior to meeting time

Book Now!  

Reviews

 by Nancy on KOHOKU Tour
Thank you, Yoshi san!

Dear Yoshi san,

No words can convey to you how much we appreciate all the work you have put in the tour you gave us of your home country Kyoto, Japan. We most grateful for your guidance in imparting all your knowledge of the places we visited.

We are glad that you enjoyed our most humble gifts. The NY Yankee hat and the tote bag was selected because it was a reminder from your friends from New York. And the tote bag was selected because the pictures depicts some of the most iconic buildings around NY. And of course, the New York Times items were related to Lindsey san’s work place. Since we have little knowledge of sake, we hope you will enjoy the home brew one you unwittingly helped us select 😉.

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts ❤️ for the most wonderful tour of your home country, and all the time and effort you have put in for us. We will not forget the wonderful time we had together and please stay in touch!

Most sincerely,
Nancy Mui Chew



[clink url="Re: The Warmest Thank-You Message from the American Family (先日、“古都巡り”にご一緒したご米国人ご家族からの温かい御礼メール) - KOHOKU Tour"]

I got the message this evening from one of the family members.It might be true that we were really lucky not to encounter any troubles and fully enjoyed ourselves during the 2 days' tour, but I haven't expected it at all to get such a heart-felt mail to this amateurish tour guide.I'm now thinking that a person who has to show an attitude of gratitude is I, not the guests....I mean, thanks to this nice opportunity, I was able to study a lot about the destinations and / or delve into the historical background, which must become useful knowledge for my guiding skill in the future. Thank you for your nice souvenirs to me from NYC, too. I will use all of them with deep care...I'd be really happy if your first visit to this Far Eastern country this time will become a good inspiration to have more interest in its history and culture.

 by Joan To san on KOHOKU Tour
It’s very nice of you to capture our family memories!!

Hi Yoshi

Thank you for everything. It’s very nice of you to capture our family memories. We really appreciate it.

Thank you very much for the pictures and yes go ahead and use as you please.





Hi, all the To san's family members.I strongly hope that all of your days in Japan this time will be unforgettable good memories.I was so glad to be able to meet all of you.I'll never forget the handsome families.From YoshiApr., 02 (Tue.), 2024

 by Mark san & Chison san on KOHOKU Tour
An amazing and very memorable experience!

Hi Yoshi. Thank you so much for taking these beautiful photos of us. We will never forget our experience with you.

Yes, we were very tired yesterday. Just slept 10 hours. We got the pictures! If you want to use some for your own purpose you can.

I am OK with that.

Mark



Hi Yoshi.  Thank you again for an amazing and very memorable experience that we will never forget.

Yes, you can use so of the photos for your website. Enjoy the rest of your day and be well :)
Chison Boren





Chison san and Mark san, good evening!Thank you for your reply. I was really happy to be able to share our time together. I’ll never forget the nice couple from New Hampshire!Thank you, From Yoshi

 by Ghosh Family on KOHOKU Tour
Yoshi, you were a great guide!

Hello Yoshi San,

Thank you for your kind words. You were a great guide, and we truly enjoyed our time with you.

I just saw this email so will attempt to download the pictures over the weekend. It is ok for you to use a few pics for your own website.

Stay well!

Best regards,
Sourav



Dear Yoshi san,
Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures and the great experience in Japan. We will forever treasure our memories.
Best,
Trina

Good day. I thank you very much for selecting me as a tour guide for the old capital (Kyoto & Nara).Though I'm a very amateurish and awkward tour guide, I tried my best for serving the nicest, handsome and valued guests who cameall the way from the USA.I strongly hope that all of your days in Japan this time will be unforgettable good memories.I was so glad to be able to meet all of you.I'll never forget the nicest family.From YoshiApr., 10 (Wed.), 2024

 by Philip & Lynn Jonas san, Tony san on KOHOKU Tour
Thank you for your warmth and hospitality throughout our tour.

Yoshi,

Thank you for sending these pictures and for your warmth and hospitality throughout our tour. The city of Kyoto is magnificent, of course, but having you as our guide made it even better.

You have our permission to use any pictures you took of us on your website. Last, I really like your "back by popular demand" Peace Symbol T-shirt. I need to get one!

Warm regards,

Phil & Lynn Jonas





(1) Philip Jonas san(2) Lynn Jonas san(3) Antonio Thigpen Jr sanGood day. I thank you very much for selecting me as a tour guide for the old capital (Kyoto).Though I'm a very amateurish and awkward tour guide, I tried my best to serve the nicest, handsome and valued guests who cameall the way from the USA.I strongly hope that all of your days in Japan this time will be unforgettable good memories.I was so glad to be able to meet all of you.I'll never forget the handsome couple and the nice guy.From Yoshi

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