Kurokabe Square, Experience Old in Nagahama City, Shiga!

If you are visiting Nagahama City in Shiga Prefecture, many people will be visiting Kurokabe(Black Wall) Square.

In addition to historic buildings and culture, Kurokabe Square is lined with shops that will satisfy travelers with souvenirs, gourmet food, and glass art classes.

As for glass, it is also one of the largest exhibition areas for glass art in Japan.

More than 30 years after its birth, about 2 million people visit here every year, so why not enjoy sightseeing in Nagahama?

Kurokabe Glass Pavilion is the gateway to the world of glass

Nagahama was born about 400 years ago as a castle town under Hideyoshi Hashiba (later Hideyoshi Toyotomi).

It was, and still is, the center of the town, and the tourist attraction “Kurokabe Square” is a group of traditional buildings built from the Edo period to the Meiji period.

A typical building is the Kurokabe Glass Shop, which was a bank from the Meiji era.

Various items, from traditional glassware from Europe and other countries around the world to modern designed accessories and glasses, are on display and for sale.

The Kurokabe Glass Shop, which is typical of a former bank, and the atmosphere created by the world of glass will fascinate visitors.


Kurokabe Glass Shop Building 1
Phone number: 0749-65-2330
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (until 5pm from November to March)
Open all year round

Since the opening of the Kurokabe Glass Shop, the old streets around it have developed into a charming area of glass shops, studios, galleries, restaurants and cafes, and is now the best sightseeing spot in northern Biwako area.

Behind the Kurokabe Glass Shop, there is the Kurokabe Glass Studio.

Works are displayed on the first and second floors (see photo), and the prices are reasonable.

At the back of the first floor, there is a glass blowing studio where you can see the artisans at work.

You can see the glassworks of artisants, which are constantly changing it forms.


Kurokabe Glass Shop Building 2
Phone number: 0749-65-2330
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (until 5pm from November to March)
Closed on winter and year-end holidays

Let’s take a look at the Kurokabe Experience Classroom

One minute north of Kurokabe Glass Shop on North Country Road.

There is a black wall experience class.

There are seven different types of classes available here, ranging from those that require advance reservations to those that can be booked on the day of the class.

The Sandblasting Classroom and the Gel Candle Classroom are available at any time, so reservations are preferred, but you can make a reservations on the day.

Young children can also enjoy the experience with their parents.

The photo shows the sandblasting class.

This class is designed for elementary school students and above, and takes only one to two hours to complete.

Using a masking sheet, you can mold pictures and letters onto glassware such as glasses.

Even if you are not good at painting, you can design your own with the templates.

Once your design is determined, the staff will spray sand at high pressure to frost the glass.

Finally, remove the masking tape and your original design is complete.

It’s easy to make a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Nagahama Sightseeing With Stained Glass Experience is also Popular

Reservations are recommended for any of the Kurokabe experience classes that have fixed times.

Many of the classes are very popular, so it’s best to book early on weekends and during tourist season.

One of the most popular classes is the “Stained Glass Class,” which many people sign up for in groups.

The location is in the Stained Glass Pavilion.

During the class, you can make what you like such as a photo frame, mirror, table lamp.

The class takes 90-120 minutes. The experience of using colorful glass plates and a soldering iron is a rare one.

At the Kurokabe Music Box Museum, you can decorate a music box with a decorative music box at the “Decorative Music Box Workshop”.

In addition to the experience, there are many other music boxes on display and for sale, which will delight your eyes and ears.

The photo shows a large disc music box board.

The depth of the sound and the beauty of the playing is exceptional.

I highly recommend listening to it!

Other fun classes are held every day, such as a glass blowing class, a glass ball making class, and a glass fusing class where glass parts are melted together on a glass plate at high temperature to make glass vessels.


Kurokabe Glass Shop Building 13
Phone number: 0749-65-1221
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (trial reception until 4:30 pm)
Please refer to the official website for trial class times.
Closed: None *Closed on winter days

You Can’t Miss the Food at Kurokabe Square

The popularity of Kurokabe Square is partly due to the variety of specialty foods available at 96 Cafe (Kurocafe), a casual style cafe which is available in the morning, at lunchtime, and during coffee hours.

A popular lunch item is the Omi chicken and egg omelet rice (900 yen tax not included).

The thick slices of bacon from Shiga’s famous Ibuki Ham and the fluffy texture of the Omi chicken omelet are exquisite.


Kurokabe Glass Shop Building 18, 96CAFE
Phone number: 0749-65-4844
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (until 5pm from November to March)
Closed: None *Closed on winter days

If you want to enjoy a luxurious lunch or dinner, come to Biwako Restaurant ROKU.

You can enjoy a course meal using seasonal ingredients from Shiga in a modern Japanese restaurant converted from a machiya.

The photo shows one of the courses, “Omi beef crepinette hamburger steak”.


Biwako Restaurant ROKU
Phone number: 0749-62-6364
Business Hours:
Lunch 11am-3pm (L.O. 2pm) weekdays, 11am-4pm (L.O. 3pm) weekends and holidays
Dinner 18:00-22:00 (L.O. 8:00 p.m.) *Reservations required for dinner
Closed: Wednesday

Kurokabe AMISU, a Collection of Shiga’s Specialties

Diagonally across from the Kurokabe Glass Shop is the Kurokabe AMISU, which offers a wide variety of Shiga specialties.

The building is attractive, but the layout of the store is also impressive.

Above all, the selection of products is astonishing.

Surrounded by mountains on all sides and centered on Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture has an unparalleled climate and history, and is therefore rich in agricultural and processed products.

Among them, I recommend “Asamiya Tea“, which has one of the oldest histories in Japan.

It is one of the five most famous teas in Japan and has one of the oldest history in Japan.

Its price is also top class, but you will be surprised by its astringency and taste.

Other blessings of Lake Biwa include “tsukudani”.

The shop also stocks a wide range of local sake from Shiga, making it an unbeatable choice for sake lovers.

This souvenir shop has a connection with about 100 producers, so you will find a lot of great products here.

We introduced Kurokabe Square, which led to its recognition as one of the biggest tourist attractions in northern Biwako area.

This is a town where modern glass artisans are active with history and culture as their foundation while utilizing the old streets.

This is a sightseeing spot that combines creativity and a sense of sightseeing.


Kurokabe Glass Shop Building 5, AMISU
Phone number: 0749-65-2330
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (until 5pm from November to March)
Closed: March-November, December-February on Mondays and year-end holidays

Information of Kurokabe Square

Address: 12-38 Motohama-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture (Kurokabe Glass Shop)
Train: 5 minutes’ walk from Nagahama Station on the JR Biwako Line
Car 15 minutes from the Nagahama IC on the Hokuriku Expressway
Parking: use the parking lots around JR Nagahama Station

The information is current as of July 2020. Please check the official website for the latest information.


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