Hidemasa Fujitani (since December 2006)
Ōmihachiman (近江八幡市, Ōmihachiman-shi) is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
The city was founded on March 31, 1954. In the quinquennial census of 2010, it has a population of 81,730 (2005: 80,610) and a population density of 1,062 persons per km². The total area is 76.97 km².
On March 21, 2010, the town of Azuchi (from Gamō District) was merged into Ōmihachiman.
"Ōmihachiman" means "Hachiman in Ōmi". When Hachiman Town (the forerunner of this city) became a city, there was the existing city of Yahata in Fukuoka Prefecture. In Japanese, "Hachiman" and "Yahata" are written by same kanji, so "Ōmi" was added to avoid being confused. "Hachiman" is the Shinto god of war. Ironically from the western point of view, his symbol is the dove.
Ōmihachiman had been a developed commercial town even since Toyotomi Hidetsugu built a castle and gathered many merchants in the last part of 16th century. Former merchant's residences and a canal used for transport are preserved in an old city area, designated a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings and an Important Cultural Landscape.
In 1905, an American architect William Merrell Vories came to Ōmihachiman as an English language teacher at commercial high school. Two years later he resigned the original work, but he remained in Ōmihachiman and spent most of his productive life here. He handed down western-style buildings, a pharmaceutical company, an educational foundation and a hospital to the city.
International schools:Colégio Latino do Japão - Brazilian school
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Leavenworth, Kansas, USA
Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
Himure Hachimangū - The largest shrine in Ōmihachiman which was the name origin of the city name "Hachiman".
Sagichō Festival - A fire festival in every March which is held in the old city area and the Himure Hachimangū.
Mount Hachiman or Mount Kakuyoku - A mountain which there was Hidetsugu's castle. Hachimanyama Ropeway services between the mountaintop and Himure Hachimangū.
Suigō meguri - In the northeast of the city central, sightseeing boats service through the rural lagoon.
Okishima Island - A fishing island which is the only inhabited lake island in Japan.
Isaki no Sao-tobi - A water festival in every August which tests men's courage to jump into the lake from the Isaki Temple.