Program co-hosted with TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL International Ogura Hyakunin-isshu Karuta Festival 2020 Bringing Japan’s culture and sport “Kyogi Karuta” to the world & to the future.

Open to public



Otsu City

《Otsu, the Holy Land of Karuta》

Otsu is considered the Holy Land of Karuta because it is home to Omi-jingū Shrine, where the author of the first poem in the Ogura Hyakunin-isshu—Emperor Tenji—is enshrined. It is also the location for the championship matches for Kyogi Karuta, as depicted in the famous manga and animated film Chihayafuru, as well as the National High School Tournament held each year. Located to the southwest of Lake Biwa, Otsu is just a short hop from Kyoto and is deeply connected with the poets of Ogura Hyakunin-isshu, several historic sites as well as temples and shrines related to the poets situated in the city.
The Otsu Hikarukun Cup International Kyogi Karuta Tournament, held in the city, attracts participants from all over Japan and overseas to compete in a regional team competition to determine the world’s best team.

Spreading Kyogi Karuta throughout the world symposium

Doors open at 1 p.m. Sunday, 13th June (starting at 1:20 p.m.)

Omi Kangaku-kan, Omi-jingū Shrine (1-1 Jingūcho, Otsu, Shiga)Google MAP


We will hold a live panel discussion to understand the current status of Kyogi Karuta in the world.
The purpose is to build a bridge to the future from the "Otsu Hikaru-kun Cup International Karuta Tournament" and the "International Students Karuta Workshop" held in Otsu City in 2018 and 2019.
Panelists will include representatives of teams that participated in the Otsu Hikaru-kun Cup International Karuta Tournament, people who have championed Kyogi Karuta overseas and those who have promoted other sports overseas. The panelists will discuss what is necessary to further spread Kyogi Karuta around the world.
Symposium Information: PDF

●How to apply for attending the panel discussion at the venue
To watch the panel discussion in person at the venue,
please submit your application form through the Omi Kangaku-kan website.
(Applications will be accepted in order of arrival.)
Applications will be accepted from 20th May. Details will be announced on the Omi Kangaku-kan website. If the number of applications exceeds capacity, you may not be admitted to the venue and instead offered to view on screen in a separate room.
Omi Kangaku-kan website

●About live-streaming
The symposium will be live-streamed online.
Details about the viewing channel will be announced on the All Japan Karuta Association website.
All Japan Karuta Association website

About COVID-19 measures
  • We will take sufficient measures to prevent infection at the venue. We would like to ask all visitors for their cooperation. (Measures may change depending on the future situation.)
  • ・We will limit the number of attendees to about half of the normal venue capacity.
  • ・All attendees and staff should submit a health questionnaire distributed in advance.
  • ・Temperature checks and use of hand sanitizer will be required at entry.
  • ・Anyone with a body temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher will be barred from entry.
  • ・Eating and drinking inside the venue are prohibited.
Location and Access

●Omi Kangaku-kan, Omi-jingū Shrine (1-1 Jingūcho, Otsu, Shiga)

Public transportation

20 min. walk from JR, Kosei Line, Otsukyo Station
10 min. walk from Keihan Railway, Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, Omijingumae Station 

By car

Meishin expressway
10 min. from Kyotohigashi IC (By Nishiotsu bypass)
15 min. from Otsu IC (By prefecture road 558)

Karuta Attractions in Otsu

Omi-jingū Shrine

Omi-jingu Shrine was established in 1938 at the site of the former Otsukyo capital as part of the commemorative project of the 2600th year of the Imperial Period, and enshrines the founder of the Otsu capital, Emperor Tenji.
Surrounded by a vast forest within the shrine grounds lie vermillion shrine gates and the magnificent atmosphere of the Omi-style main shrine.
As Emperor Tenji created the first water clock in Japan, he became known as the founder of the clock. Because of this, there is also a clock museum within the shrine grounds, which includes water clocks and sundials among the displays.
As the first poem of the Hyakunin-isshu was composed by Emperor Tenji, and the shrine’s Omi Kangaku-kan hosts the annual Queen & Meijin Competitive Karuta Championships, Omi-jingu Shrine has become known as the “holy land of karuta.”

▼Omi-jingū Shrinemap
▼Omi Kangaku-kanmap

Check the link for other highlights of Otsu City

Biwako Otsu Travel Guide