68Shiratani History and Folk Museum

Folk artifacts and educational materials displayed in an old thatch-roofed house

The Shiratani house property belonged to the Omura family who served as village headmen during the Edo period. The main house, a three-story gassho-zukuri structure with a thatched roof built in 1791, and the storehouse is designated as national Important Cultural Properties. During the 19th century the house was used as an elementary school under the administration of a local temple and later the public school system.

The museum opened in 1975 and occupies the entire house. On display are objects from old-time daily life in the Makino area, and textbooks and other educational materials gathered from throughout Japan, selected from the museum collection of some 10,000 items.

Palanquin suspended from the first floor ceiling

Point of Interest

Karesansui landscape garden, Edo period (1603-1868)

Located on a hill with a view of Lake Biwa to the south, Shiratani house is a fine spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. Inside the museum, the veranda looks onto a beautiful old Japanese-style garden, enhancing the nostalgic atmosphere of the traditional living space.



  • Address: 343 Makinocho Shiratani, Takashima, Shiga
  • Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (by appointment)
  • Closed: No regular closed days
  • Entrance Fee: ¥500
  • Inquiries: Phone 0740-27-0164, Fax 0740-27-1000
  • Parking: 30 spaces
  • Access: From JR Makino Station (Kosei Line), board a bus to the Shiratani bus stop, and walk for 5 minutes

69Takashima History and Folk Museum

The stories of Kamo Inariyama tumulus, the Kamo ruins and Omizo Castle

The museum lies 150 meters south of the 6th century Kamo Inariyama burial mound, where many splendid ornaments were discovered in 1902, and holds many historical, folk and archaeological materials. Exhibits on the first floor include replicas of a gilt bronze jeweled crown and footwear found at Kamo Inariyama, a model of a stone coffin, and a model of the reconstruction of facial bones from the Uchioroshi burial mound.

Exhibited on the upper floor are relics excavated from the ruins of the 9th century Kamo settlement and other archaeological sites in Takashima, as well as folk history materials from the area. There are also items associated with Omizo Castle, which stood in the area in the 16th and 17th century, and from the Omizo family, which held the area as a feudal domain through the Edo period, and Juzo Kondo, an explorer who made several trips to Ezo, or northern Japan, around 1800.

First floor exhibition room

Point of Interest

Gilt bronze jeweled crown unearthed from the Kamo Inariyama burial mound (replica)

The splendid ornaments unearthed from the Kamo Inariyama burial mound in 1902 are similar to items found in 6th century imperial mausoleums on the Korean peninsula. The gilt bronze jeweled crown and footwear and gold earrings are a constant reminder of the history of cultural interchange between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula.



  • Address: 2239 Kamo, Takashima, Shiga
  • Hours: 9:00 - 16:30
  • Closed: Closed Monday, Tuesday, and on public holidays (except May 5 and Nov. 3), and over the New Year holiday (12/28 to 1/4)
  • Entrance Fee: No charge. For study groups or guided tours, please make arrangements in advance.
  • Inquiries: Phone 0740-36-1553, Fax 0740-36-1554
  • Parking: 8 cars, 1 bus
  • Access: 20 minutes walk south from JR Adogawa Station (Kosei Line from Kyoto Station), where taxis and rental bicycles are available / 5 minutes drive from the” Toju no Sato Roadside” Station on National Route 161

70Hira Art Museum

From Hira, a new breeze in contemporary art

This private museum was opened in April 1998 by Takashi Hagi to show works by him and other currently active contemporary artists. At the northern tip of the Mt. Hira range, on the approach through a valley with a scattering of traditional houses, the museum building with its reddish-orange tiled roof and white walls in the southern European style blends surprisingly well with the purely Japanese-style landscape. Visitors are invited to linger at this spot at the foot of the mountains, surrounded by greenery, and experience works of contemporary art.

Exhibition Hall

Point of Interest

“Univers” by Takashi Hag

The exhibition hall has recently found additional use as a craft shop, presenting accessories, clay works and other items created by artisans living nearby.



  • Address: 75-1 Shishigase, Takashima, Shiga
  • Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Closed: Currently closed (Visits may be specially arranged by telephone)
  • Entrance Fee: ¥800 for adults and university students, ¥600 for middle and high school students, ¥400 for elementary school students
  • Inquiries: Phone 0740-37-0777
  • Parking: 30 spaces
  • Access: From JR Omi Takashima Station (Kosei Line from Kyoto Station), board the Kojaku Bus bound for Hata or Gulliver Ryoko Mura, to the Nakamizo bus stop, and walk for 2 minutes