The Omi Merchant Townscape (Shinmachi Dori)

A historic town and streetscape known as the birthplace of the Omi Merchants.

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Tourist Destination

The 2-km area around Shinmachi that stretches north from JR Omihachiman Station is a preserved, historic streetscape that’s designated as a Nationally-selected Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. The merchant homes were built between the late Edo and Meiji/Taisho Periods, but are preserved for visitors to enjoy even today. Of the whole Hachiman Market, the Former Nishikawa Family Residents (Important Cultural Property) is one vital piece of the town scenery along Shinmachi Dori.

The lattice gate and pine tree peeking over the gate are left as they were, creating an authentic mood across the estate. It’s especially popular as a scenic spot for an easy stroll. Make sure to check the many manhole covers that feature familiar scenes and designs from the Omihachiman area.

The Omihachiman City Museum, built where the house of Taroemon Nishimura, an Omi Merchant once stood, is home to historic folk materials like watertown area farming tools, production equipment and old texts.

Additionally, the Hachiman-bori Canal in Omihachiman City is one spot you won’t want to miss. The area is crawling with so much astonishing history, earning its claim and inspiration as the backdrop of many movies, historical dramas titles, including “Rurouni Kenshin”. If you take a traditional Japanese boat for a Suigo Canal Tour, you can enjoy a relaxing glimpse around the area.


  • Designated as a Nationally-selected Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings.
  • Lattice gates and draping pine trees on the estate are left as they originally were.
  • Home to a number of manholes featuring designs from the Omihachiman cityscape.
  • Authentic, historic folk documents on display at the Omihachiman City Museum.


  • Townscape at Shinmachi-dori

    Townscape at Shinmachi-dori

  • In front of the Historic Folklore Museum.

    In front of the Historic Folklore Museum.

  • The Hachiman-bori Canal in verdant green.

    The Hachiman-bori Canal in verdant green.


  • 游西文


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Name in Japanese
Postal Code
Shinmachi, Omihachiman City, Shiga
0748-36-5529 (Omihachiman Culture & Tourism Department)
No holidays
Business Hours
Not Specified
Take the JR Biwako Line to Omihachiman and switch to a bus heading for the Obatamachi Shiryokan-mae Stop.
Official Website
Official Website (English)