Hotels in Otsu

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Otsu is a fabulous destination for those who want to explore wonderful temples and have natural beauty all around, with Lake Biwa on one side and Mount Hiei on the other. Not only are there scores of temples and shrines to explore for some peace and tranquility, but the area is home to fantastic restaurants serving up authentic Japanese cuisine. One of its biggest attractions is the Otsu Matsuri festival that takes place each fall, which features 13 marvelous floats that parade through the city.

Hotels in Otsu

The hotels in Otsu are mainly 3- and 4-star establishments, and are found in 2 main areas. One of these areas is along the southern shore of Lake Biwa, where you’ll find the Otsu Prince Hotel. This excellent 3-star hotel in Otsu has fantastic facilities. There are 4 restaurants to choose from, serving a choice of Japanese, Cantonese, French, and American cuisine. You can also enjoy outstanding views of Lake Biwa from the bar/lounge on the top floor. The area in the north near Ogoto-onsen Station is another great place to look for hotel deals in Otsu. The ryokan Yuzanso is found here. It has first-rate amenities including an outdoor pool, sauna, and nightclub.

Things to see in Otsu

Otsu lies alongside the stunning Mount Hiei, which you can reach via cable car. Sakamoto Cable station is in Otsu, and allows you travel up the mountain with ease. Along the way, you can enjoy panoramas of the valley, cedar forests, and Lake Biwa. Aside from the views, the main attraction is the famous Enryaku-ji Temple. Positioned on the mountain, it is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are three main areas of the temple complex (Todo, Saito, and Yokawa), all of which have picture-perfect buildings to explore. The Museum of Modern Art is a superb museum that features contemporary art: representing modern Japanese painting, artwork from Shiga Prefecture, and post-war art from Japan and the U.S. One of the best temples to visit in Otsu is Ukimido. The tranquility you find in most temples is magnified here, thanks to its position overlooking Lake Biwa. Be sure to visit the hall, which floats over the peaceful waters.

Good for couples

Otsu is the perfect destination for couples planning a trip to Japan. This area is the inspiration for the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi), breathtaking views depicted by the famous artist Hiroshige. This area abounds with romantic charm, with amazing vistas to enjoy and peaceful temples to explore together. There are plenty of choices when it comes to enjoying a delicious meal with your significant other near your luxury hotel in Otsu. A great restaurant is Koshu, which specializes in meals prepared with fresh local clams from Lake Biwa.

How to get to Otsu

For international flights to Japan the nearest airport is Kansai International Airport. You can fly direct to this airport from either San Francisco or Honolulu in the United States. Once here, the remaining journey to Otsu is straightforward. The easiest way is to take the express train (Haruka) from the airport to Kyoto Station, and from there change to the JR train to get to Otsukyo Station in Otsu (around 95 minutes in total). It’s easy to travel in Otsu as there is a simple and reliable train service that operates throughout the city.

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