A Must-See for Sake Lovers! A Day Trip Itinerary From Kyoto to Shiga's Sake Breweries

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Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, is home to two long-established sake breweries, Ota Shuzo and Furukawa Shuzo. Enjoy a stroll around Kusatsu while sipping on some excellent sake!

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Required time

Approximately 3 hours

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Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, just 20 minutes by train from Kyoto

Kusatsu City in Shiga Prefecture is a city that is conveniently located near Kyoto and has been gaining attention. It has a wide range of accommodations and restaurants, and is recommended for those who want to take a little time away from the crowds and relax. It is about 20 minutes by train (JR Biwako Line) from Kyoto. It is also about 50 minutes from Osaka Station. There is also a highway, so it is also convenient to access by car.

Kyoto Station

Approximately 17 minutes on the JR Biwako Line Special Rapid Service

Minamikusatsu Station

Approximately 20 minutes on foot


Signposts were once used as guideposts. The "Signpost(Yagura)" remains under the eaves of the current Hyousendo temple. A 5 shaku (approximately 1.5m) tall signpost was erected in 1730, but it was difficult for travelers to see, so in February 1798, Yabashiura Shipowner General Deputy Shipowner Choshichi and his counterpart Moheiji applied to the lord of Zeze domain for permission to "replace it with a larger signpost," and it was replaced with a 6 shaku 6 sun (approximately 2.0m) tall signpost.

Approximately 2 minutes walk

Furukawa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

Furukawa Sake Brewery grew up alongside the post town of Kusatsu on the Tokaido. Their sake brand "Tokaido Kusatsu Tenogawa" is made using rice grown in Kusatsu City without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. It has a rich, mellow flavor with a hint of sweetness in the midst of a sour taste. Fans come from outside Kusatsu City to enjoy the sake.

Approximately 10 minutes on foot

Tachiki shrine

This is the oldest shrine in Shiga Prefecture, with a history of over 1200 years, where feudal lords and travelers alike are said to have prayed for safe travels. Facing the Tokaido road, it has long been worshipped as a shrine for warding off evil, bringing good fortune, and safe travels. It is crowded with many worshippers for New Year's visits, the Setsubun festival, the May festival, and Shichigosan visits. In spring, the cherry blossoms bloom, making it a popular cherry blossom viewing spot.

Approximately 5 minutes walk

Ota Sake Brewery DOHKAN

Ota Shuzo, whose ancestor was Ota Dokan, has a sake brewery in Kusatsu-juku. "Junmai Ginjo Kusatsu Mandokoro" is a sake made using "Aki no Uta" rice from Shiga Prefecture, and is characterized by its fruity flavor. Another product, "Pot-distilled Shochu Daiginjo Kasutori Shochu Kusatsu Mandokoro," is a shochu made from the sake lees of Daiginjo using "Yamada Nishiki" rice from Kusatsu City. This shochu was newly certified as a Kusatsu brand in 2022.

The charming exterior makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time to the Edo period.

Approximately 6 minutes on foot


This is the Signpost(Oiwake), marking the fork in the road between the Tokaido and Nakasendo roads.

Approximately 6 minutes on foot

JR Biwako Line ・Kusatsu Line Kusatsu Station

Approximately 20 minutes on the JR Biwako Line New Rapid Service

Kyoto Station

Did you enjoy your trip to visit sake breweries in Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture? In addition to the spots introduced in this sample itinerary, there are many other places of interest around Kusatsu Station, such as Kusatsujuku Honjin, Lake Biwa, and delicious food. In addition to sightseeing, try spending some time relaxing at a lodging facility.

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This site introduces tourist information for Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture. It is packed with information on attractive spots, hotels, and gourmet food, such as the nature-filled aquatic plant park Mizunomori, Lake Biwa Museum, the historic Tachiki shrine and the Sandai shrine, Kusatsujuku Honjin, and Rokuha Park, which is fun for the whole family.

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