Maibara (米原市, Maibara-shi) is a city in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
The modern city of Maibara was established on February 14, 2005, from the merger of the towns of Maihara, Santō and Ibuki (all from in Sakata District). The adjacent town of Ōmi was merged into Maibara on October 1, 2005. The new city name was based on the name of Japan Railways’ Maibara Station which many people in Japan knew as a station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen Line.
Maibara was struck by an F2 tornado on June 29, 2018. The tornado caused major damage to homes and injured 8 people.
Maibara is mainly served by the JR Tōkaidō Line along which you can find Kashiwabara, Ōmi-Nagaoka, Samegai, and Maibara stations. Maibara Station serves the Shinkansen: From Tokyo, Maibara can be reached in about two and a half hours.
The city has a number of major sightseeing spots:
- Mt. Ibuki — With an elevation of 1,377.4 meters, Mt. Ibuki is Shiga Prefecture’s tallest mountain and a popular spot for skiing in winter and camping and hiking in the warmer months. A gondola and ski lifts carry visitors to the top which affords fine views of Lake Biwa and the surrounding area. The nearest station is Omi-Nagaoka Station.
- Samegai Trout Farm — Established over a century ago, this is the largest trout farm in Asia and with many ponds. There is a shallow pond where children can try catch (and release) the trout. Riverside restaurants serve fresh trout.
- Nakasendō stage towns — The Nakasendō was an old highway linking Kyoto with Edo (present-day Tokyo). The highway had 67 stages and three of them were Kashiwabara, Samegai and Bamba in Maibara city. Even today, you can see remnants of these stage towns established for highway travelers to lodge and trade.
- Amanogawa River — In June, fireflies come out at night. Parts of the river are designated as a protected areas for fireflies.
- Lake Biwa — The lakeshore road is very scenic on fine days.