A Town with Ninjas and Tanukis! Koka and Shigaraki


Written by aki

koka train

For those who have been to Japan many times or are coming to Japan for an extended period of time, we also recommend sightseeing in the regions where you can relax.
In this issue, we will provide tourist information on Koka city, located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.


Where is Koka?

Koka City is located in a place called Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Shiga Prefecture is home to Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. It is easy to find on a map.

Most visitors to Koka come by car, but Shigaraki, a major tourist destination, can be reached by train and cab.

Local trains may one day be scrapped, especially since finances are tight. It is in the best interest of the locals to use public transportation whenever possible.

koka city
It is a cute train with a small number of cars.


Let me introduce you to some recommendations for the AKI-like Koka area!


Shigaraki Pottery

In Koka City, there is a town called Shigaraki(信楽).Shigaraki is very famous for its pottery.

Shigaraki is very famous for its pottery

Some of you who have been to Japan may have seen ceramic figurines of these animals.
This is a typical Shigaraki ware piece.

This animal is called Tanuki. The literal translation into English is raccoon dog.

Tanuki has long been considered a lucky animal in Shigaraki.

In Japan, there is a Kanji called “他 (ta),” which means other, or stranger.And “抜き(nuki)” means to overtake others.

Because of this, they are often placed in storefronts as a good-luck charm for prosperous business.

Because of this, they are often placed in storefronts as a good-luck charm for prosperous business.

The lovely expression on their faces is irresistible!



Of course, there are also Shigaraki ware such as vessels and mugs.

There is also a facility where you can try your hand at pottery making!

There is also a facility where you can try your hand at pottery making!


There are facilities where you can become a ninja!

I have never been there so I don’t have any pictures, but there is a facility in Koka where you can experience the ninja!

There is a mansion that was converted from a ninja mansion, and there are hidden stairs and loopholes.
They can also wear ninja costumes and experience shuriken!

They can also wear ninja costumes and experience shuriken!


Senbonzakura(Thousand Cherry Trees) in Ayukawa

Here are some cherry blossom spots that my grandma was so impressed with.

This cherry blossom is located in a very quiet village. Located at the foot of the Suzuka Mountains, it is a place that is colored by the changing seasons.

Every year in early April, the cherry blossoms bloom, and they are very beautiful.

This cherry tree began about 60 years ago. Local people started planting the cherry trees and carefully prune them every year.

Originally, there was a “Cherry Blossom Festival,” but unfortunately, after the COVID-19 plague spread, the festival was cancelled again in 2023.

However, the locals have been tending to the cherry trees and picking up trash for a long time, even when the Cherry Blossom Festival is not being held, in the hope that many people will come to see these cherry trees someday.

It’s really beautiful. I guess the heartfelt wishes of the local people have led to this scenery.


If you do go, please be sure to view the exhibition with good manners, such as not making noise in the vicinity and not throwing trash away.

May this beautiful scenery continue in the future!


What food do you recommend in the Koka area?

Here are some of the local products of Koka City!*This is my subjective opinion, lol.



There are many soba noodle restaurants in Koka City.
Is it because the area is surrounded by mountains and the water is delicious?



I have also had soba in Koka city and it was delicious!

It is good to eat it dipped in soup, but I also like to eat Koka soba with salt.The noodles give the impression of being firm.

Also, tempura is delicious!It tastes fresh, probably from vegetables grown in the area.


Tsuchiyama Tea

Koka City is also famous for its tea production.

Its history dates back 1356 years. The tea is made in the mountains at a high altitude, which allows it to grow slowly before harvesting, resulting in a tea with a great flavor.

I like “Japanese black tea” made in this region.

It has no bitterness and is slightly sweet without sugar. I love it.



Oh yeah, and I found a cute little snack!


Here it is, the rice-flour taiyaki.Taiyaki is a Japanese snack consisting of sweet dough filled with red bean paste.

Normally, the dough is made with wheat flour, but this restaurant makes it with rice flour so that even children with wheat flour allergies can eat it.The dough is sticky and I think I prefer rice flour!

The shape is also cute, with the fish dressed as a ninja.
*”Tai” in Japanese means sea bream.



There are still many local spots in Japan. I will introduce them to you again!



Hello! I live in a place called Shiga, Japan. I'm not very good at English, but I'm writing this blog in the hope that I can convey some of Japan's beautiful places and delicious food to people overseas.