Nagahama

A small city on the eastern shore of Shiga prefecture’s Lake Biwa, Nagahama is regionally known for its large stock of traditional architecture. Numerous streets to the east of the main train station are lined with machiya (townhouses) and kura (warehouses), many of which are now host to shops and crafts stores. Nagahama’s most famous speciality craft is glassware, a good display of which can be found in the Kurokabe Glass Shop (itself a converted, historic bank).

A somewhat unremarkable reconstruction of the city’s 16th-century castle sits to the west of the train station, on a hill overlooking Biwa-ko. The original castle was built in 1574, only to be disassembled in 1615 to provide materials for neighboring Hikone-jo’s construction.

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