Konan, Shiga

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Konan, Shiga (湖南市; Konan-shi)
Ishibe-juku Ishibe-juku More Konan photos here.
Map of Shiga with Konan highlighted
Google Map of Konan here.
Location Shiga Prefecture, Kinki region, Honshu island, JAPAN  
Population 55,751 (2,818 foreigners) (2009-10-01)
Area {{{TotalArea}}} km²
City Centers Kosei (Kousei), Ishibe 
Major Sights Jorakuji, Chojuji, and Zensuiji Temples 
Major Gateways JR Kusatsu Line Ishibe Station, Kosei Station 
Train Stations JR Kusatsu Line Ishibe Station, Kosei Station, Mikumo Station 
Claim to Fame Konan Sanzan are three temples with National Treasures.
Products
Neighbors Yasu, Ritto, Koka, Ryuo-cho 
Old Name(s) Ishibe-cho, Kosei-cho
Keywords Konan Sanzan, shukuba
Historical Persons
Links Konan Articles | Konan Photos
Konan Tourist Information
Location 〒520-3288 滋賀県湖南市中央1-1 湖南市商工観光課内

Chuo 1-1, Konan-shi, Shiga 520-3288 JAPAN

Phone 0748-71-2331 
Tourist Links Tourist Ass.  
Int'l Association Konan International Association  
Volunteer Guides Tel: 0748-71-2331  
Konan City Hall 湖南市役所
Address 東庁舎 〒520-3288 滋賀県湖南市中央一丁目1番地

Chuo 1-1, Konan-shi, Shiga 520-3288 JAPAN

Phone/Fax East Office 0748-72-1290

West Office 0748-77-3101 

Official Site Japanese | English  
Symbols Flower:  Rhododendron
Tree:  ウツクシマツ
Bird:  Japanese Bush Warbler
Others:  Utsukushi matsu pine tree
Logo:  Blue water for Lake Biwa and green spot for Konan in the south
Sister Cities

This page is 70% complete. Last updated: Apr. 2, 2014

by Philbert Ono

Konan (湖南市; Konan-shi) is a city in southeastern Shiga Prefecture.

One of Shiga's smaller cities and landlocked, Konan was formed in 2004 upon the merger of Kosei and Ishibe towns. Ishibe-juku was the 51st post town on the Tokaido Road and there is an outdoor architectural museum replicating typical buildings from the old post town. The city also has three Tendai Buddhist temples noted for National Treasure buildings. They are collectively called "Konan Sanzan" (湖南三山) (Konan Temple Trio). For such a small city to have as many as three National Treasures is really something to boast about. Konan also has traditional crafts such as indigo dyeing and pottery called Shimoda-yaki.

"Konan" 湖南 means "South of the Lake" which might be misleading in Japanese since the city does not face the Lake Biwa and has no lake shore. (The lake's southern shore is dominated by Otsu.) The name is also sometimes confused with Konan-cho 甲南町, a former town in neighboring Koka city which also has Konan Station 甲南駅. Note that Konan is not pronounced like "Conan" (as in the barbarian). Konan is easily accessble via the JR Kusatsu Line from JR Kusatsu Station.

Sights

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Jorakuji Temple Chojuji Temple Ishibe Shukuba no Sato
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Fudo-no-taki Waterfall Zensuiji Temple Indigo Dyeing

  • Jorakuji Temple 常楽寺 - A stone's throw from Chojuji Temple in Konan, Jorakuji Temple (est. 708) of the Tendai Buddhist Sect boasts two National Treasures with its main hall and three-story pagoda. It is one of the Konan Sanzan Temple Trio accessible by bus from JR Ishibe Station. Map
  • Chojuji Temple 長寿寺 - Meaning "Long Life Temple," Chojuji's Hondo temple hall is a National Treasure. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist Sect and one of the Konan Sanzan Temple Trio along with Jorakuji and Zensuiji Temples. Fall colors are also nice. Accessible by bus from Ishibe Station or walk from Jorakuji. Map
  • Zensuiji Temple 善水時 - One of the Konan Sanzan Trio of Tendai Buddhist National Treasure temples in Konan, Zensuiji is accessible by bus from JR Kosei Station on the JR Kusatsu Line. Established in the 8th century, the temple's main Hondo Hall is the National Treasure. It is on the slope of Mt. Iwane. Near JR Kosei Station. Map
  • Ishibe Shukuba no Sato 石部宿場の里 - Ishibe was the 51st stage town on the Tokaido Road where even Emperor Meiji once stayed (with an entourage of over 3,000). The town's Shukuba no Sato park recreates the old stage town. There is also a Tokaido Museum next to the park. Map
  • Konki Senshoku indigo dyeing - Try your hand at tie-dyeing with natural indigo dye. Konki Senshoku is one of only three shops in Shiga which still produces indigo dye and fabrics traditionally. They grow their own indigo plants, dry the leaves in the sun, and extract the dye. You can do indigo dyeing with a cotton handkerchief (1200 yen), T-shirt, etc. Take a bus or taxi from Ishibe Station, Kosei Station, or Mikumo Station on the Kusatsu Line. Get off at Shimoda and walk 50 meters. Parking also available. Call to make reservations: 0748-75-0128. Address: Shimoda 1530-1, Konan-shi, Shiga 湖南市下田1530-1 Map

Event Calendar

  • Jan. - Oni-bashiri at Jorakuji temple.
  • Feb. 3 - Setsubun at Zensuiji temple.
  • Early April - Cherry blossom festival at Nigori-ike Koen Park.
  • May 1 - Ishibe Taisai Festival at Hieda Shrine
  • July 23 - Atago Festival at Ishibe-juku.
  • Aug. - Konan Summer Festival at Yasugawa Shinzui Koen Park.
  • Nov. - Konan Sanzan temples display of National Treasures.

Travel Tips

  • Buses run from Ishibe Station to Jorakuji and Chojuji temples. Go to Chojuji temple first which is slightly further than Jorakuji. Then you can later walk down the slope to Jorakuji (instead of walking up the slope in the reverse direction). If you also want to see Zensuiji near Kosei Station, you will have to start early in the day.

Getting There

By Train

The JR Kusatsu Line is the only train line serving Konan. From Kusatsu Station on the JR Tokaido/Biwako Line, take the JR Kusatsu Line to Ishibe Station, Kosei (Kousei) Station, or Mikumo Station. If you are on the Ohmi Railways, you can transfer to the Kusatsu Line at Kibukawa Station.

Train Lines & Stations

Travel Time

Nearest Airports

Getting Around

By train

The major sights and facilities along the train lines are as follows:

JR Kusatsu Line (草津線)

The line runs from Kusatsu Station (in Kusatsu) to Tsuge Station in Mie Prefecture.

By bus

By bus

Rental bicycles are available at or near the following train stations: Ishibe Station and Kosei Station.

Maps

Google Maps have placemarks in English.


View Larger Map

Photos

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Indigo dying Zensuiji temple

More photos at Konan Photos.

Videos

Click on the video image to start playing the video.

More Shiga videos here.

History

  • 2004
    • October 1: The towns of Kosei-cho and Ishibe-cho merged to form Konan city.

Miscellaneous

Recent Konan News and Weather

The latest five headlines for Konan from Shiga News are displayed below. Click to view the latest stories.

Shiga News - Konan

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


More Konan news here.

Trivia

Famous People

Side Trips

Other sights in neighboring cities/towns within easy reach from Konan.

Related Articles

External Links

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