Day Trip To Miidera Temple In Shiga Prefecture! Enjoy A Relaxing Moment In Beautiful Nature

Ohtsu City in Shiga Prefecture is easy to get to from Kyoto. Let me show you how beautiful the temple covered up by coloured leaves and delicious Soba noodle!

Hi everyone!
I went to see coloured leaves in Kyoto, but I was a little disappointed in them...I mean, the leaves hadn’t changed yet. So I decided to visit Shiga Prefecture to see the coloured leaves on 29 November 2015.
The temperature was higher than normal for this time of year, which means the leaves may not have begun changing yet...let’s see what the leaves looked like in Shiga Prefecture.

Seeking Beautiful Nature In Shiga Prefecture

From Kyoto Station, I took a train on the Tokaido/Sanyo Honsen Line to Zeze Station, and switched to the Keihan Train for Miidera Station. The walk from the station to Miidera Temple was just a few minutes.
Shiga and Kyoto (where I live) Prefectures are next to each other, so it only took me about 30 minutes to get there.

Red maple leaves welcomed me!

I visited just in time! It was perfect timing to see these beautiful leaves. As you know, it is difficult to predict exactly when the leaves turn colours, but I was lucky this time!

Arriving at Miidera Temple

This is Miidera Temple in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. Its actual name is Onjoh-ji Temple, but it is commonly called Miidera.

After entering the gate, there’s the main building in front.
Leaves decorate the premises beautifully.

TA-DA! This main building is called Kondoh.

Kondoh is built by the famous Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s wife Kohdai-in in 1599. This building has been registered as a national treasure.

The map of the temple and its premise. Very spacious!

The admission fee is 600 yen. It is a little expensive, but this spacious temple has so much to see!

Get Goshuin At The Kannon-Doh Hall

You can get Goshuin at Kannon-doh hall.
Goshuin is like a stamp/signature that you can get when you visit a temple. It is very valuable to visitors. A Goshuin-cho notebook is a method of collecting Goshuin that many visitors take along with them.

I took this stone stairway to the Kannon-doh and received Goshuin.

I’d love to collect Goshuins from other temples.

Walk Around And Enjoy Leaves at Miidera Temple

Let’s get back to looking around...

Look how colourful the leaves are! Red, yellow, green...wonderful combination!

The beauty of nature...

I couldn’t take pictures, but I visited the storage of cultural assets. Oh I enjoyed seeing it so much!
And I found Japanese sweets called Mitarashi Dango (skewered rice dumplings with sweet soy sauce glaze)...I just couldn’t pass it up! hahaha

Three storied pagoda was wonderfully covered by leaves.

It looks like Nandina, probably Sarcandra Glabros herbs (chloranthus)…? Anyway, they are beautiful in red!

There were not many people visiting that day. Quiet and calm...which is very rare if you are in Kyoto this time of the year!


The property is large, has coloured leaves, and national treasure assets are stored inside...but moreover, I enjoyed so much of the quiet and peaceful moments I experienced!

I am so glad to have made it here today. Kyoto is almost too famous now, you may not feel like you are in Japan when you visit famous temples, shrines, and other popular sites because there are many many tourists coming from overseas… Miidera Temple is probably less popular with tourists from abroad (well, I can say it is less popular to even Japanese tourists!), so you can enjoy a truly peaceful and relaxing moment in here.

I guess this temple makes you feel like you are in Japan more than visiting the other busy and touristy sites in Kyoto.

Feel Hungry? No Worries! There are Soba Noodles Waiting For You In The Temple

I enjoyed taking pictures..a lot of them...

Started feeling hungry...I forgot what time it was!

I looked for some place to eat lunch on the internet, then found one with a good reputation...

Whaaaat? The Soba noodle restaurant is actually in the temple!

I’ve seen food stands around temples or shrines sometimes, but I didn’t expect the restaurant to actually be inside the temple!

The restaurant is called Kaiun Soba (Kaiun in Kanji means better-fortune). It sounds great, doesn’t it?

It was packed when I visited even though it was after peak time.
You may have to wait a little bit before I get seated...

Their basic Soba is 640 yen.

Ten-zaru (Soba noodle with Tempura on top) is 1,130 yen.

Oyako-don (a bowl of rice topped with chicken and eggs), Ten-don (a bowl of rice topped with Tempura), and other Donburi-mono (bowl of rice with food toppings) are around 800-1,000 yen price range. Reasonable!

They have some take-away menus too. Kake-soba (simply soba noodle in a soup) for take-away at 360 yen! Wonder how they can afford to run the business…

The waiting time wasn’t too long, and the staff took my order while I was waiting for the table, so my food came right after I got seated.

I ordered Kaiun-soba, 840 yen.

There are so many things you can choose from, but as a first timer, I ordered their signature meal.

Kaiun-soba has vegetable Tempura on top.

The soup and Soba noodle...both were so tasty❤
Rich flavour came from the Tempura and Dashi (soup stock)...

I really enjoyed seeing Miidera Temple and having tasty Soba...I was beyond happy to be here this day!

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Written by Yumiko Takahashi

I stroll all over Kyoto every weekend, cause I'm deeply fascinated by Kyoto. I write my blog as I follow my feeling.