Location of Hino in Shiga Prefecture
|• Total||117.63 km2 (45.42 sq mi)|
|• Density||190/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||1-1 Kawara, Hino-cho, Gamou-gun, Shiga-ken
The town was founded on March 16, 1955 following the merger of surrounding villages.
Hino is a large isolated rural area nestled beside the Suzuka Mountain Range with the town's tallest peak being Mt. Watamuki (1,110m). The town has had a mercantile history like many other parts of Shiga which flourished during the Edo period.
Blumen Hugel (ブルーメの丘 Buruume no Oka?) is a German themed agricultural park offering some German import foods such as beer and cheese. There are also opportunities for making foods such as sausage and bread. Animals such as cows and horses can be seen as well as a variety of flowers.
Omi Hino Merchant Museum (近江日野商人館 Omihino Shoninkan?) is a museum dedicated to the history of the Hino Merchants.
Grimm Adventure Forest (グリム冒険の森 Gurimu Boken no Mori?) is a themed campground based on Grimm's Fairy Tales. It offers cottage and tent camping. There are many extra activities for children such as baking with a stone oven and dying fabrics.
Hino Festival (日野祭 Hino Matsuri?) is Hino's largest festival, and one of Shiga's biggest, held on May 2 and 3 every year. Large traditional floats called "hikiyama" are pulled through town. Many people from around Shiga and other prefectures come to watch this historic event.
Hino, being farther from the larger cities around Lake Biwa and main JR Biwako Line, offers less options for public transportation than most areas in Shiga. However the private Ohmi Railway company services the one and only train station in Hino, Hino Station. Trains run on average twice every hour, with slightly more frequency during common commuting times and with less during mid afternoon. Unfortunately the station was built roughly 3 km away from the town center which makes a bicycle, taxi or bus from the station a better option than the 25 minute walk. Bicycles can be rented near the station and can be taken on and off the Ohmi Train during certain times and locations making it possible to bring your own. The closest JR Train Station is Kibukawa located on the Kusatsu Line. It is about a 20-minute train ride from Hino Station. Taking the Ohmi Train is usually more expensive when compared to JR, but on weekends and holidays there is an option for a "Free Ticket" which allows a rider to get on and off anywhere along the train line for the whole day at one set price of 550 yen.
Ohmi Railway also runs buses which pick up and drop off at multiple points throughout Hino, including Hino Station. Buses run with about the same frequency as trains, making transportation planning inconvenient but while also allowing easier transfer to or from a bus at the train station. The main bus connects Kitabata-guchi, Hino Station, and Ōmi-Hachiman Station as well as many rural points in between. The bus takes about 50 minutes from Hino to Ōmihachiman.
Smaller inner-town buses also operate, but taking into consideration their infrequency, time and cost when compared to the overall size and points of interest of Hino, it is usually best to either walk, ride a bicycle or scooter, or drive a car if visiting multiple destinations.
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