“Shiga Prefecture holds the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. This area is also called Omi Province, as this is how it was once known, and has been a strategic point connecting to Hokuriku, Tokai, and Kinai regions. From ancient times a good many people have come and gone and during the warring states period (the 15th to 16th century), it was said that he who controls Omi commands the world.
During the Edo Period (1603-1867), the circuits connecting Kyoto and Edo, the Tokaido and the Nakasendo; the Hokkoku Kaido leading to Echizen; the Western Omi Road going north along the west bank of Lake Biwa and leading to Tsuruga; the Shiotsu Kaido linking Tsuruga and Kohoku Shiotsu; the Wakasa Kaido (Saba Kaido), which created for the purpose of carrying marine products harvested from Wakasa Bay from the Middle Ages to the capital; and other routes as well were maintained to display the prosperous activity in each and every post station along these roads.
It is because of the remaining streets and towns painted in so much tradition and history that still even today all of the areas of Omi are overflowing with varied highlighted places of interest. These places include the UNESCO World Heritage site at Mt. Hiei and wonderful national treasures of Japan such as: Hikone Castle, original and creative museums, and ninja village, just to name a few. The Kohoku and Kosei regions have an abundance of nature remaining from the ancient times and, in the colder months, the beautiful snow-covered winterscapes become a paradise for migratory birds like the tundra swan.”