Lakeshore Village of Sugaura



”Hidden Village” of Sugaura: a Trip to Medieval Japan

The northern edge of Lake Biwa, often referred to as “Deep Lake Biwa,” showcases a landscape resembling the beauty of Scandinavian fjords. With mountains stretching to the lakeshore, a charming hamlet known as Sugaura emerges at this scenic spot. Along the street lined with picturesque cherry blossom trees lies a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Passing through the thatched-roof gate, which once served as a surveillance checkpoint during medieval Japan, reveals a nostalgic scene of a fishing village. Sugaura earned its moniker as a “hidden village” due to its isolation from surrounding communities until just a century ago when boat travel was the sole means of access. This isolation contributed significantly to Sugaura’s preservation of traditional culture and architecture.

The village’s unique history traces back to the legend of Emperor Junnin, who sought refuge here during the mid-7th century. His tomb remains nestled within the village. Moreover, Sugaura boasts a collection of invaluable ancient documents known as the Sugaura Documents, recognized as a National Treasure. These documents offer a rare glimpse into the lives of ordinary people from ancient times. Recognizing its cultural significance, Sugaura was designated a National Important Cultural Landscape in 2014. The village takes pride in its well-preserved traditional architecture, including thatched-roof gatehouses and wooden houses, showcasing the rich heritage of this serene locale.



9:30 am – 5:00 pm


Dec 3 – Jan 9


300 yen / adult, 150 yen / children under 13
*Special admission is required during the Plum Bonsai Exhibition


Cash only

6-50 Sanwachō, Nagahama, Shiga 526-0055, Japan