Hikone Castle is a National Treasure and counted among the greatest castles in the world. It took around 20 years to build, and was completed in 1622. Extremely beautiful when illuminated by moonlight, it is one of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa.
The so-called “Water Castle” once stood alongside Lake Biwa and the inner lake, and its waterways were also used for the transport of goods to the town. Hints of it can still be seen everywhere, from the area name “Funamachi” (meaning “Boat Town”) to the remains of wharfs and houses belonging to boatmen that can be found along the canals. Always thronging with houseboats, the canals remain a place of relaxation for the residents of Shiga even today.