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The Local Food of Shiga

Omi Beef (Shiga-wide)

Refers to the Omi beef cultivated in the natural environment and fresh waters in Shiga prefecture from long ago. In recent years the beef also enjoys a high reputation in export markets.

The beef is best known for its high degree of marbling. Mellow and tender, the meat melts in your mouth, filling it with a delicious, unforgettable flavor. Omi beef is perfect in many dishes including steak, sukiyaki hot pot or shabu shabu.


Crucian Sushi (Shiga-wide)

Known as a leading local dish in Shiga, crucian sushi is also said to be where sushi originated. The dish is a delicacy made of fermented nigoro buna (a species of carp indigenous to lake Biwa) and each restaurant or home makes it with a uniquely different flavor. Eaten in various forms including as is or as an accompaniment to alcohol, the fish can also be eaten as “chazuke” (boiled green tea over rice).


Grilled Mackerel Somen (Nagahama City)

This much-loved local delicacy of Nagahama City has been enjoyed for many years. Grilled mackerel is cooked in a sweet and spicy stew and goes perfectly with somen noodles flavored with broth from the same stew.


Lake Fish (Shiga-wide)

Fish indigenous to lake Biwa including willow gudgeon, isaza goby and Biwa trout as well as other fish such as small ayu sweet fish are used in this traditional type of cooking unique to lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture. The fish is prepared in various ways and enjoyed in a variety of styles including as sashimi and grilled with salt.


Takashima Chicken (Takashima City)

This local food of Takashima City comprises of chicken meat simply grilled with a sweet and spicy miso sauce. It is a well known home cooked dish.


Omi Champon (Shiga-wide)

In this dish noodles are served in a seafood soup with flavorsome pork coupled with sweet vegetables to deliver a mellow, gentle taste. Adding vinegar to the mix for a refreshing flavor is also recommended.


Red Konjac (Omihachiman City)

Red konjac (a jelly-like food made from vegetable starch) is a very traditional ingredient in Omihachiman City. Its vivid red hue comes from its iron content. It is said to have originated in the 1500s after General Nobunaga Oda wore red to the vibrant sagicho festival which takes place annually below Azuchi castle.


Eel Hot Pot (Kohoku area)

A local dish made using eel caught in lake Biwa. Eel is prepared in a stew similar to sukiyaki with tofu and plenty of vegetables including burdock root and spring onions for the perfect pick-me-up.