The castle enjoys a rare status among its kind, as the vast majority of its structures are in their original condition. The main fort is nestled safely behind two tiers of walls, ringed by moats which draw their water directly from Lake Biwa to the west.
Other defensive features include spiral ramps and wooden bridges, made to be quickly destructible in case any attackers managed to breach the walls. Also not to be missed is the castle museum, with a wide collection of treasures accumulated by the clan which once called the castle home.
It’s an impressive tourist site all year round, however Japanese castles all seem to take on an otherworldly beauty in winter. Consider taking a trip down from the slopes if you plan on going to Shiga for some snow sports.