Shiga, Kansai

An artificial channel that supported the growth and prosperity of the castle town as the main artery connecting the town and the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa

Hachimanbori is a channel running through the center of Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture. In 1585, Toyotomi Hidetsugu, who was the nephew of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the ruler of Japan at the end of the 16th century), built a castle on Mount Hachiman, and the channel was cut open as part of the development of the castle town. Hachimanbori is 4,750 m long in total and connected to Lake Biwa, which is the largest lake in Japan. Hidetsugu made the ships that navigate Lake Biwa stop by at the port near Hachimanyama Castle to invigorate the flow of people and goods. Hachimanbori had become the main artery that contributed in significantly developing the towns nearby.The town of Omihachiman continued to grow and prosper well after the governance of the Toyotomi Family, as far as until the late Edo Period (1603-1868).

Entering the Showa Period (1929-1989), transportation by water began to diminish with the development of land traffic, and the presence of Hachimanbori also faded. There were even times when the filling of the channel was considered. However, citizens who tried to preserve the precious asset that served as the foundation of the town started preservation and improvement activities. With the efforts of such residents, Hachimanbori gradually regained its beauty. We can still see rows of storehouses and old merchant houses along the channel, showing the remnants of the streetscape of the time when the town prospered. There is also a sightseeing boat cruising Hachimanbori, from which you can enjoy more vivid scenery.


Miyauchi-Town, Omihachiman City, Shiga
077-511-1530 (Biwako Visitors Bureau)

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