Moriyama, Shiga

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Moriyama, Shiga (守山市; Moriyama-shi)
Sushi-kiri Sushi-kiri Matsuri More Moriyama photos here.
Map of Shiga with Moriyama highlighted
Location Shiga Prefecture, Kinki region, Honshu island, JAPAN  
Population 85,590 (?? foreigners) (2022-10-31)
Area 44.26 km²
City Centers Moriyama Station 
Major Sights Nagisa Park, Biwako Ohashi Bridge 
Major Gateways JR Tokaido Line Moriyama Station 
Train Stations JR Tokaido Line Moriyama Station 
Claim to Fame Nakasendo stage town, the only city in Shiga to produce a Japanese prime minister
Products enter
Neighbors Kusatsu, Ritto, Yasu 
Old Name(s) Moriyama-juku
Keywords Nakasendo
Historical Persons Uno Sosuke (75th Prime Minister of Japan)
Links Moriyama Articles | Moriyama Photos
Moriyama Tourist Information
Location 〒524-8585 守山市吉身二丁目5-22 守山市役所環境経済部商工観光課内

Moriyama Station

Phone 077-582-1131 
Tourist Links Station tourist office Tourism Ass.  
Int'l Association Web site Phone: 077-583-4653  
Volunteer Guides Webpage Phone: 077-582-1131  
Moriyama City Hall 守山市役所
Address 滋賀県守山市吉身二丁目5番22号


Phone/Fax 077-583-2525 
Official Site Japanese | English  
Symbols Flower:  Lotus
Tree:  Camphor Laurel クスノキ
Bird:  None
Logo:  Based on the kana character mo も
Sister Cities Adrian, Michigan; Kauai, Hawaii, USA; Gongju, South Chungcheong province, South Korea

Last updated: Nov. 11, 2022

by Philbert Ono

Bridging the Lake

Moriyama (守山市; Moriyama-shi) is a city in southeastern Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

Famous for:

  • Biwako Ohashi Bridge spanning the neck of Lake Biwa.
  • Katsube Shrine and Sumiyoshi Shrine Fire Festivals in Jan.
  • Naginata Odori, one of the furyu odori folk performing arts in Japan designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Sushi-kiri Matsuri with young lads cutting funa-zushi fermented fish.

Lakeside city in southeastern Shiga and host to one end of the Biwako Ohashi Bridge spanning the neck of the lake's panhandle. Moriyama is another former lodging town (shukuba) on the Nakasendo Road with noted shrines and temples mostly on the west side (toward the lake) of the station. Other attractions include fire festivals in winter, flower gardens, a beautiful art museum, and a beautiful new public library designed by Kengo Kuma. For Shiga residents, Moriyama is where you go to obtain or renew your driver's license.

The name "Moriyama" means "Protected Mountain." The mountain being protected is Mt. Hiei across the lake. The name originated from Tomon-in Temple (比叡山 東門院 守谷寺) in central Moriyama founded in the 8th century as Enryakuji's East Gate (Tomon) to protect Mt. Hie from demons in the east. The temple was founded by a disciple of Saicho (founder of Tendai Buddhism and Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei).


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Katsube Shrine Fire Festival Sumiyoshi Shrine Fire Festival Nagisa Park rape blossoms
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Sushi-kiri Matsuri Naginata Odori Sagawa Art Museum

  • Moriyama-juku 守山宿 - Established in 1642, Moriyama-juku was the sixty-seventh of the sixty-nine stations or shukuba post towns on the Nakasendo Road. It is the eighth Nakasendo station in Shiga (following Musa-juku in Omi-Hachiman), and one of ten Nakasendo stations in Shiga. There is very little left. Near JR Moriyama Station on the JR Biwako Line. Map
  • Nagisa Park 第一なぎさ公園 - Rape blossoms (nano-hana) bloom in winter from early-Jan. to mid-March at this lakeside park in Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture. About 12,000 flower plants carpet the area in yellow. And in July-Aug., there are sunflowers. Free admission. Map
  • Sagawa Art Museum 佐川美術館 - Large art museum with beautiful architecture resembling a Shinto shrine. Operated by the Sagawa Kyubin door-to-door courier company, the museum has an impressive collection of paintings by renown painter Hirayama Ikuo, sculpture by Sato Churyo, and tea bowls by potter Raku Kichizaemon. Opened in 1998 to mark the 40th anniversary of the company's founding. Highly recommended. Admission 1,000 yen for adults. Open 9:30 am - 5 pm, closed Mon. (open if a national holiday and closed on Tue. instead). From JR Moriyama Station's west (Nishi) exit, go to bus stop 1. 25-min. ride to the museum (bus fare 450 yen). Parking available. Map
  • Moriyama Rose and Herb Garden もりやまバラ・ハーブ園 - Rose gardens and greenhouses delight your eyes and nose during May and June and Oct. See 82 species of roses and 100 herbs. Admission 200 yen. Buses run from Moriyama Station. Map
  • Moriyama Ashikari Garden もりやま芦刈園 - Noted for hydrangea in mid-June to July. Buses run from Moriyama Station. Get off at Sugie Minami-guchi (杉江南口) bus stop. Open from 8 am to 7 pm during June and July. Hours vary during other months. Map
  • Omi Myoren Lotus Park and Museum 近江妙連公園・資料館 - Two small lotus ponds and a nice Lotus flower museum. The lotus blooms in late July to mid-Aug. Moriyama's official flower is the lotus. Open every day 9 am to 5 pm during June to September (closed Tue.). In other months, open only on weekends and national holidays. Admission 200 yen. Buses run from Moriyama Station west exit. Get off at Tanaka bus stop. Map
  • Pieri Moriyama - Large shopping mall along the lake shore, north of Biwako Ohashi Bridge. Map
  • Moriyama City Library 守山市立図書館 - Beautiful, new public library designed by Kengo Kuma. Opened on Nov. 1, 2018. This beautiful, wood-themed building replaces the old public library with more floor space & books & a cafe. Kuma designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. Hours: 10 am–7 pm (till 8 pm on Sat.), closed Mon. (open if a national holiday and closed the next day), Dec. 29–Jan. 4. Map

Event Calendar

Official mascot
Moriyama's official mascot

  • Mid-Jan.: Katsube Shrine Fire Festival 勝部神社火まつり - Both this shrine and Sumiyoshi Shrine light giant torches for the festival's climax. According to legend, a dragon was finally slain during the Kamakura Period, and Emperor Tsuchikado then recovered from his illness. When the dragon was burned, the body fell on Katsube Shrine while the head fell on Sumiyoshi Shrine. Unfortunately, you cannot see the festival at both shrines since they are held around the same time. Katsube Shrine's fire festival is bigger with more torches, twelve of them. Map
  • May 5: Naginata Odori 長刀踊り まつり - Held annually on May 5 by Ozu Jinja Shrine, the festival consists of dances and music by children, taiko drumming, a naginata dance and acrobatics by boys using a pole sword, and a roundtrip procession from Ozu Shrine to Ozu Wakamiya Shrine. One of the furyu odori folk performing arts in Japan designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2022. Map
  • May 5: Sushi-kiri Matsuri すし切りまつり - Held every May 5 at Shimoniikawa Shrine, an unusual festival with two young lads cutting funa-zushi fermented fish (crucian carp native to Lake Biwa) as an offering. Afterward, they offer the cut pieces of funa-zushi to festival spectators for free. Shimoniikawa Shrine worships a god named Toyoki-iribiko-no-Mikoto (豊城入彦命) who was the first son of Emperor Sujin 崇神天皇, Japan's tenth emperor. The shrine is a 20-min. bus ride from Moriyama Station, get off at Shimoniikawa Jinja-mae bus stop. Map

Travel Tips

Getting There

Moriyama has only one train station: Moriyama Station on the JR Tokaido/Biwako Line. Buses also run from Katata Station to Moriyama Station by crossing the Biwako Ohashi Bridge.

Getting Around

Moriyama Station (守山駅) has buses going to farther places.

By bicycle

Rent a bicycle at the tourist office (077−514−3765) at the Moriyama Station west exit until 7:30 pm. Also bicycle rental at Laforet Biwako (phone: 077-584-2180), a hotel on the lakeshore (accessible by bus from the station).


Click on upper right icon to enlarge.


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Sushi-kiri Matsuri Naginata Odori

More photos at Moriyama Photos. More Shiga photos here.


Click on the video image to start playing the video. More Shiga videos here.

Side Trips

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

  • Katata - Via bus crossing the Biwako Ohashi Bridge.


  • 1889 Moriyama village founded.
  • 1904 Moriyama village becomes a town.
  • 1970 Moriyama-cho town becomes a city with a population of 35,000.

Additional Reading

More Moriyama News here.



Famous People

  • Uno Sosuke (1922-1998) - Native of Moriyama and Japan's 75th prime minister during June-Sept. 1989. Resigned in disgrace after an extramarital affair with a Tokyo geisha was made public.

Related Articles

External Links

Municipalities of Shiga Prefecture 滋賀県
Cities & Towns: Aisho-cho | Higashi-Omi | Hikone | Hino-cho | Koka | Konan | Kora-cho | Kusatsu | Maibara | Moriyama | Nagahama | Omi-Hachiman | Otsu | Ritto | Ryuo-cho | Taga-cho | Takashima | Toyosato-cho | Yasu
愛荘町 | 東近江市 | 彦根市 | 日野町 | 甲賀市 | 湖南市 | 甲良町 | 草津市 | 米原市 | 守山市 | 長浜市 | 近江八幡市 | 大津市 | 栗東市 | 竜王町 | 多賀町 | 高島市 | 豊郷町 | 野洲市
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