From Kyoto, take the JR Biwako Line from Kyoto Station to Otsu.
The Subway Tozai Line connects Otsu to eastern, central, and western Kyoto. From Higashiyama, Keihan Railway connects to the subway from Sanjo Station (the subway station is Sanjo Keihan-Mae).
Gichu-ji Temple (義仲寺). The burial place of famed haiku poet Matsuo Basho, of Narrow Road to the Deep North fame. The temple is 300m away from JR Zeze Station (膳所駅), one stop from Otsu on the JR Tokaido Line.
Ishiyama-dera, (On the Keihan Line, go to Ishiyama-dera Station. Upon exiting, go right for about 15 minutes), . This temple was founded in 749 and the hondo (main hall) is the oldest building in Shiga Prefecture built 850 years ago. Inside the hondo, in the room on the right, is the "Genji Room" where it is believed Murasaki Shikibu wrote her famous book "Tale of Genji", considered to be the world's first novel. The temple precints are quite large, with a 750 year old pagoda and Muyu-en Garden among other things. The pathway leading to the temple is lined with cherry trees, making it especially beautiful in the spring and autumn. For those travelling on the Saigoku 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage, Ishiyama-dera is number 13.Entrance is ¥500.