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Takatsuki-cho, Shiga

Takatsuki, Shiga (高月町; Takatsuki-chō)
Amenomori Amenomori Hoshu-an More Takatsuki photos here.
Map of Shiga with Takatsuki highlighted
Google Map of Takatsuki here.
Location Shiga Prefecture, Kinki region, Honshu island, JAPAN  
Population 10,316 (2008-06-01)
Area 28.27 km²
Town Centers Around Takatsuki Station 
Major Sights Kannon temples, Amenomori 
Major Gateways JR Takatsuki Station 
Train Stations JR Takatsuki Station 
Claim to Fame Kannon temples
Neighbors Kinomoto-cho, Nishi-Azai-cho, Nagahama, Kohoku-cho 
Old Name(s)
Keywords Kannon, Kannon meguri (Kannon temple tour), Amenomori, Yanmar
Historical Persons Amenomori Hoshu, Nishino Esho, Yamaoka Magokichi
Links Takatsuki Articles | Takatsuki Photos
Takatsuki Tourist Information
Location Takatsuki Station, east side ground floor (Kohoku Den'en Kukan Hakubutsukan)
Phone 0749-85-6565 or 0749-85-6405 (Town Hall) 
Tourist Links Takatsuki Tourism  
Int'l Association  
Volunteer Guides Tel:  
Takatsuki Town Hall 高月町役場
Address 〒529-0233滋賀県伊香郡高月町渡岸寺160番地

Kogenji 160, Takatsuki-cho, Ika-gun, Shiga-ken, 529-0233 JAPAN

Phone/Fax 0749-85-3111 
Official Site Japanese | English  
Symbols Flower:  Azalea
Tree:  Osmanthus (Mokusei)
Others:  11-face Kannon statue
Logo:  Stylized "ta" in hiragana, with the circle indicating "tsuki" (moon).
Sister Towns Izuhara-cho, Nagasaki Pref.

by Philbert Ono

Takatsuki (高月町; Takatsuki-chō) was a town in Shiga Prefecture. It was dissolved as a municipality upon the town's merger with the city of Nagahama on Jan. 1, 2010.

Note that this Web page will no longer be updated. For the latest photos and news about the Takatsuki area, please refer to the Nagahama page for travel info and the Nagahama gallery page for photos.

Nicknamed "Kannon no Sato" or Town of Kannon, Takatsuki has numerous Buddhist temples with noted Kannon statues, including one National Treasure in the 11-face Kannon statue at Doganji (Kogenji) Temple.

The area is also the birthplace of Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755), a major Confucian scholar during the mid-Edo Period. He was born in Amenomori, Takatsuki and worked under the Tsushima clan in Nagasaki on Tsushima island near the Korean peninsula. Proficient in Chinese and Korean, he was a leading diplomat for Japan-Korea relations.

Takatsuki also has a number of ancient tumuli, especially on the mountain range along the lake shore, and a natural hot spring which includes an Egypt Pavilion.


  • Kogenji (Doganji) temple 渡岸寺観音堂(向源寺) - Home of the 11-face Kannon statue, a National Treasure and symbol of Takatsuki. It is very impressive and pacifying to look at. Photography is not allowed. The temple belongs to the Buddhist Jodo Shinshu Sect (Otani school). Admission to see the Kannon statue is 300 yen. Open 9 am - 4 pm. 10-min. walk from Takatsuki Station. Parking available. Appointment is not necessary to see the Kannon statue. Web page
  • Amenomori Hoshu-an 東アジア交流ハウス雨森芳洲庵 - Built in 1984 and also called the East Asia Exchange House. Museum dedicated to Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755), a Confucian scholar and leading diplomat to Korea during the Edo Period while based in Tsushima island, Nagasaki. He is regarded as a pioneer in Korean-Japanese relations and an internationally-minded person ahead of his time. The museum occupies the site where Amenomori Hoshu's house once stood. It exhibits artifacts, books, documents, etc., related to Amenomori Hoshu. Admission 250 yen. Hours: 9 am - 4 pm, closed Mon. Phone: 0749-85-5095
  • Nishino Water Tunnel 西野水道 - At the foot of the mountain near Lake Biwa in western Takatsuki. There are three water tunnels close to each other. The original one was built in 1845 by priest Esho from Jumanji temple and fellow villagers to alleviate frequent flooding in the area. It took 6 years to dig through the mountain for about 220 meters. The tunnel drained excess water to Lake Biwa. The tunnel is no longer used, and you can walk through it with rubber boots, flashlight, and hard hat. It is pitch black and cramped. However, the second tunnel is large enough to walk through, and the third tunnel has Yogo River flowing through it.
  • Nishino Yakushido Kannon-do Hall (Jumanji temple) 西野薬師観音堂 - In western Takatsuki. Noted for two Kannon statues which are Important Cultural Properties. One is an 11-face Kannon statue and the other is a Yakushi Nyorai statue. This is one of the most noted Kannon temples in Takatsuki. The temple's 11th priest, Esho 恵荘, was the one who engineered the Nishino Water Tunnel in 1845. Appointment required to see the Kannon statue. Call 090-8938-6369 in Japanese before you go.
  • Kitaoumi (Kita-Omi) Resort and Egypt Pavilion - Hot spring facility, restaurants, unusual bicycles, and an Egypt Pavilion brought over from the 2005 Aichi Expo in Sept. 2006. The Egypt Pavilion contains realistic replicas of many Egyptian artifacts. Admission 500 yen. Admission to the Kita-Omi-no-Yu hot spring bath is 900 yen on weekdays and 1200 yen on weekends. Hours: 10:00-17:00, closed 1st and 3rd Tue. Phone: 0749-85-8888 Web site
  • Deai-no-Mori Public Library - The 1st floor is a public library, and the 2nd floor has the Inoue Yasushi Memorial Room. Inoue (1907-1991) was a famous novelist who visited Takatsuki a lot and wrote novels featuring Takatsuki's Kannon statues. Part of a lush, green park. 10-min. walk from Takatsuki Station. Hours: 10 am - 6 pm, closed Mon., Tue., national holidays, and year end/New Year's.
  • Okaido Ruins 大海道遺跡 - Slightly north of Amenomori is the site where the ruins of numerous Yayoi-Period homes and canals and artifacts were found. Two sample Yayoi-Period structures stand in a small park. This adobe is pretty much a hole in the ground with a thatched roof over it. 15-min. by taxi from Takatsuki Station.
  • Yanmar Kaikan Public Hall ヤンマー会館 - One of the town's distinctive buildings in a Gothic-style in Higashi Atsuji. It's not a tourist attraction, but when you see it, you'll may wonder what it is. (Therefore it is mentioned here.) The building was built and donated by Yamaoka Magokichi, founder of Yanmar Co. who was from this area. Next to the building is a monument marking Magokichi's birthplace.

Event Calendar

  • Jan.-March - Okonai オコナイ procession is held in northern Shiga in various neighborhoods for a rich harvest during the coming year. A few men carry thick straw ropes and parade around. "Okonai" means "to do your utmost."
  • Early April - Kannon-no-Sato Spring Festival 観音の里 春まつり is held at Kogenji temple. Mochi throwing, mochi grilling and other activities. Call 0749-85-6405.
  • Early May (Golden Week) - Koinobori Marathon 高時川こいのぼりマラソン is held along the river while carp streamers fly. There is the Family Course (3 km) and Enjoy Course (8 km). Call 0749-85-3078.
  • First Sun. in Aug. - Kannon-no-Sato Furusato Festival 観音の里ふるさとまつり is held at Kogenji temple. The town's biggest summer festival. Food and souvenir stalls and fireworks. A bus tour of 22 Kannon temples is also offered. Call 0749-85-6405.
  • Sept. 13 - Moroko Festival もろこまつり is held at 乃伎多神社. Children in costume pray for the town's safety and a rich harvest.

Travel Tips

  • The east side of Takatsuki Station has an adjacent building called the Kohoku Den'en Kukan Hakubutsukan 湖北田園空間博物館. It houses a tourist info counter, tourist pamphlets, souvenir shop, gallery, restrooms, and chairs and tables to rest. This is where you can rent a bicycle as well. Hours: 9:00-18:00, closed Tue. Phone: 0749-85-6565
  • The most important temple to visit is Kogenji (Doganji) which houses the 11-face Kannon, a National Treasure. Near the temple is a Kannon museum. Both are within walking distance from Takatsuki Station. Another Kannon temple near the train station is the Takatsuki Kannon-do hall.
  • Some of the Kannon temples require appointments in order to view the Kannon statue. Consult the tourist info counter about visiting those temples. (Kogenji is always open and does not require an appointment.)
  • The west side of Takatsuki Station has the bus stop where you can ride the Community Bus to to go to most places in the town.

Getting There

By Train

JR Takatsuki Station on the Hokuriku Main Line is the town's only train station.

Train Lines & Stations

Travel Time

By Bus

Nearest Airports

Getting Around

If you want to see anything beyond walking distance, renting a bicycle is recommended. Local van-type buses are available from Takatsuki Station, but they run infrequently. On certain days, such as weekends, Kannon temple bus tours operate. Call tourist info (in Japanese) for tour dates/times: 0749-85-6565 or 0749-85-6405

By bus

Community buses (actually vans) run to most parts of the town from Takatsuki Station's west side. They do not run so often. Fare is 200 yen. Bus schedule in Japanese

By bicycle

Rental bicycles are available at Takatsuki Station on the east side. 500 yen per day. Go to the tourist info office inside the Kohoku Den'en Kukan Hakubutsukan 湖北田園空間博物館. Hours: 9:00-18:00, closed Tue. Phone: 0749-85-6565

By taxi

Taxis are always available on the east side of Takatsuki Station.


Placemarks in Google Maps are in English.

View Larger Map




  • 1954 - Town founded in Dec. upon the merging of three villages.
  • 1984 - Amenomori Hoshu-an museum opens.
  • 2004 - The Community Bus starts operating in Oct.
  • 2006 - The Egypt Pavilion opens at Kitaoumi Resort in Oct.
  • 2010 - Takatsuki is dissolved as a municipality upon its merger with Nagahama on Jan. 1, 2010.


Recent News

  • For fiscal 2006, Takatsuki town was Shiga's No. 1 municipality for paying taxes. Some 98.5% of taxes owed were collected.


  • From the train coming from Maibara, you will see a huge factory on the right disrupting the rural landscape as you approach Takatsuki Station. It belongs to Nippon Electric Glass Company 日本電気硝子株式会社.

Famous People

Amenomori Hoshu 雨森芳洲 (1668-1755)
Major Confucian scholar and leading diplomat to Korea during the Edo Period. Born in Amenomori village in Takatsuki, Hoshu first studied medicine in Kyoto. Later he moved to Edo (Tokyo) where he studied Confucianism under Confucian scholar Kinoshita Jun'an 木下 順庵. He was hired by the Tsushima clan in Nagasaki and was put in charge of Korean relations at age 22. Tsushima was an island domain close to Korea which had trade relations with Korea. Tsushima was put in charge by the Tokugawa shogunate to handle Korean relations. At age 25, Hoshu learned Chinese. At age 36, he lived and studied Korean in Pusan for 3 years during 1702-1705. He even wrote a book to teach basic Korean conversation. Hoshu rightly believed that language represented the culture, and learning the language was thus essential to understand the country. He also traveled with the Korea's royal embassy dispatched from Korea to Edo in 1711 and 1719. Hoshu today is regarded as a pioneer in Korean-Japanese relations and an internationally-minded person ahead of his time. The East Asia Exchange House Amenomori Hoshu-an Museum 東アジア交流ハウス雨森芳洲庵 in Amenomori, Takatsuki, Shiga is dedicated to him and Japanese-Korean relations. He is buried in Tsushima, Nagasaki.
Nishino Esho 西野恵荘 (1778-1849)
Buddhist priest from Jumanji temple (Nishino Yakushido) who engineered and built the Nishino Suido water tunnel through the mountain to Lake Biwa to relieve flooding. It took 6 years to build the tunnel.
Yamaoka Magokichi 山岡孫吉 (1888-1962)
- Native of Takatsuki in northern Shiga and founder of Yanmar Diesel Co. At age 24, established Yamaoka Hatsudoki Seisakusho 山岡発動機工作所, the forerunner of Yanmar Diesel Co., now called Yanmar Co. In 1933, he developed the world's first compact diesel engine.

Side Trips

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

Related Articles

External Links