Quiet Castle Town
Many people seem to imagine Hikone is much larger and more urban than it really is. In actuality, it is a rather small city, but it's not to be missed! Hikone Castle is one of Japan's 12 remaining original castles. It is also home to Hikonyan! Hikonyan is the city's mascot, but images and toys of him can be found throughout Japan. For many foreigners, Hikonyan is not just a symbol of Hikone, but a symbol of Japan! Indeed, he's become quite iconic.
The castle is not the only reason to visit. The castle museum has many great historical artifacts and works of art. The Genkyuuen Garden is quite nice with the castle towering above in the background. Tenneiji Temple is not often visited by foreigners but has an amazing array of Buddhist figures. Nearby Taga Shrine is also well worth the visit!