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The Hachiman Moat (Hachiman-bori) was built to protect the castle that was lorded over by the nephew of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hidetsugu, and was used as a shipping canal in the thriving merchant town of Omi Hachiman. On both banks of the canal are old white walled storehouses and residences which retain its great historic atmosphere. One can enjoy this prominent tourist location of Omi Hachiman throughout the changing scenery of the seasons. The moat is also famous for its use as a filming location for movies, TV shows, and historical dramas. How about taking a step into this time portal and getting a taste of ancient Japan?
- Miyauchi-cho, Omi Hachiman-shi, Shiga
- Contact No.
- From the JR Omi Hachiman Station, take the Omi Tetsudo bus bound for Chomei-ji for 7 minutes and get off at the Osugi-cho bus stop, from which it is a short walk.
- Time Required
- 2 hours
- Admission fee
- Admission Free
- Hachiman Festival – Town Illumination: Saturday and Sunday in mid-September *Dates may change from year to year
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Waterside Tour of Omi Hachiman, One of Japan’s Top Three Waterside Towns
Here is a tour to relax and enjoy the view while hand paddled along by the boatman in a traditional Japanese riverboat. While floating through the dense reeds of the river, you can get great views of Mt. Azuchi from the old houseboats. One can also look forward to the different scenes that appear with the changing of the seasons. Here, time will just float on by (Boat runs from April to November).
The Pride of Japan’s Flowers: Japanese Iris
Beautiful Japanese irises bloom all around the Hachiman Moat from May to June. The Japanese iris is considered the pride of Japan’s flowers throughout the world and was first produced by modifying the iris ensata flower over generations which could be found growing naturally throughout the country since the mid Edo period. Let’s enjoy the contrast made by the historical townscape and the beautiful irises.
Fantastical Night Illuminations of the Hachiman Moat Festival
All time seems to stop during this wondrous Hachiman Moat Festival – Town Illumination held in September when illuminations spread as far as the eye can see throughout the town and one can get a glimpse of Japan’s ancient past. Strolling through the nostalgic atmosphere during long autumn nights is a remarkable experience not to be missed.
Himure Hachiman Shrine
The Himure Hachiman Shrine boasts over 1,000 years of worship for the local merchant guardian deity of Omi. The Sagicho Festival comes with the advent of spring in March and in April is the National Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property designated Hachiman Festival where people give thanks and offer prayers to the local gods. The glorious parade floats of the Sagicho Festival are a must see!
Club Harie Himure Cafe
Near the bank of the canal is the wonderful Club Harie Himure Café. It’s famous for soft baumkuchen cakes and antique atmosphere from the seasonal garden and beautiful terrace. Come on in for some fresh baked sweets.