Shiga-ken (滋賀県) is located in the Hanshu region of Kansai. Its Capital is the city of Otsu. It occupies an area of 4,017.38 km2, with a population of 1,414,377 inhab., including about 32,995 foreign citizens, being 9,209 Brazilians, 1,525 Peruvians, 5,581 Chinese, 5,003 Vietnam, 4,467 Koreans, 2,599 Philippines, 1,323 Indonesia and others ( City Hall data).
Shiga is located in central Japan, bordering Fukui Prefecture to the north, Gifu Prefecture to the east, Mie Prefecture to the southeast, and Kyoto Prefecture to the west. Shiga was known as the province of Ōmi or Gōshū, before the system of provinces was established.
The prefecture is surrounded by mountain ranges with the Hira Mountains and Mount Hiei to the west, the Ibuki Mountains to the northeast and the Suzuka Mountains to the southeast, and the number of rivers flowing from these surrounding mountains to Lake Biwako is more than 120.
Lake Biwako is located in the center of the prefecture and the largest in Japan (it occupies one sixth of its area). The Yodo River flows from Lake Biwa into Osaka Bay through Kyoto. This is the only natural river that flows out of a lake. Other natural rivers flow towards the lake. There are many ponds around Lake Biwa, but most of them were restored in the 1940s. One of the preserved lakes in the Suigo swamp (水郷) is Omihachiman and it was selected as the most important cultural landscape in 2006.
Shiga’s climate varies dramatically between north and south. Southern Shiga is normally mild, but northern Shiga is typically cold with lots of snow and home to many ski resorts. In Nakanokawachi, the northernmost village of Shiga, the snow reached a depth of 5.6 meters in the year 1936.
As of March 2008, 37% of the province’s total area was recognized as national parks (the highest number among all provinces).
In the early 1960s, Shiga developed his industry by supporting large factories owned by companies such as IBM Japan, Canon, Yanmar Diesel, Mitsubishi and Toray. According to 2007 Official Cabinet statistics, the secondary sector of the economy contributes 44.8% of Shiga’s gross product, the highest proportion in Japan. Traditional industries in the prefecture include textiles, Shigaraki ceramics, butsudan from Hikone and Nagahama and Koka’s remedies.
Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Mitsumata) > March ~ April