Ōmi is the region that occupies the space between the major cities of Kyoto and Nagoya. A large part of Ōmi is water – the huge Lake Biwa, Japan’s biggest lake, which is easily mistaken for the sea. From the eastern shore of Lake Biwa extends a broad plain, ideal for growing rice and raising livestock.
Hikone Castle stands atop a hill in that was once surrounded by water. At the time of the Meiji Restoration when Edo-period castles were being dismantled, the new Emperor was so impressed by the beauty of Hikone Castle, he decided it should be spared. Today, this National Treasure, with its miles of walls, elegant keep, and traditional garden is a must-see attraction of central Japan.