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琵琶湖Biwako Japan's Largest Lake

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Sunset at Lake Biwa

One of the best things about living in Shiga Prefecture is living around Lake Biwa. Weather you enjoy biking, camping, barbecuing, hiking, or doing water sports there is so much to do around lake Biwa. Walking by the Lake in the evening, reading a book, listening to the waves crash to the shore while meditating, exploring the lake with your family, and enjoying a night drive. This is a wonderful place to live.

If your visiting Lake Biwa or just traveling around The Kansai region. Shiga Prefecture has so much to offer and see.

Sunset around Lake Biwa:

On a beach near Yasu in Shiga Prefecture. Looking south toward Otsu City.

Looking North Toward Omi Hachiman, Hikone, and Naga hama.

Lake Biwa is a great place to take your family.

My wife and daughter.

Shiga Prefecture

Lake Biwa is the center of Shiga Prefecture

Here is a quick video I took of Lake Biwa from Otsu City

Here are a few places you can visit near lake Biwa

Ishiyama Dera

Ishiyama Dera is located near JR Ishiyama Station in Otsu City. Its a beautiful temple and great place to visit with the family.

Hachiman Bori (Hachiman Canal)

The Hachiman Canal is located in Omi Hachiman City. It is easily accessible by car and close to lake Biwa. There are small cafe's, restaurants, and shops in this area.

The Kawara Museum also located near Hachiman Bori. If your interested in Japanese Architecture and want to learn how Japanese Roofs are built this is a great museum to visit.

Makino in Takashima City

Located on just off Kokudo 161 on Shiga Ken route 287, this is a great place for a scenic walk. In the area there are many older Japanese homes and authentic 民宿 Minshuku (Japanese bed and Breakfast). Makino is also a great place for camping and doing other outdoor activities.

Access to Lake Biwa and other parts of Shiga.


The best way to access Lake Biwa is by car. From Nagoya and points East. Take the Meishin Express through Gifu and to Shiga. From Osaka take Meishin Express way to Keiji Baipass. You can take the Baipass to Shiga

National Routes From Nagoya:

If your coming from Nagoya and Gifu take route 21 through Gifu and when you reach Maibara take route 8 toward Otsu and Kyoto.

National Routes From Osaka and Kyoto:

If your coming from Osaka and Kyoto take Route 1 to Otsu.

National Routes From Hokuriku:

If your coming from Hokuriku which is Toyama, Ishikawa, and Fukui take route 8 to Maibara if your going to Nagahama and Hikone. If your going to Otsu take route 8 to Tsuruga and take route 161 toward Makino. Route 161 is also called Kogan Doro.


If your taking Shinkansen from Nagoya and Points East. Take the Nozomi to Nagoya station. Change to the Kodama and get off at Maibara station and take the local trains to your destination.

If your taking the Shinkansen From Hiroshima, Okayama, and points west. Get off at Kyoto and take the local trains to your destination in Shiga.


The best access to Lake Biwa by train and walking is taking the JR train to Otsu city and get off at JR Zeze Station or JR Ishiyama stations. You can also access Lake Biwa from a number of stations on the Kose Line which is a line that travels the North side of Lake Biwa from Kyoto Station through Otsu city and Takashima City and ending in Tsuruga City in Fukui Ken.

There is so much more to do around Lake Biwa from water sports to Glamping (Glamorous Camping) hiking in the hills of Hiezan Temple, visiting Hikone Castle, and so much more. In the future am going to post much more on Lake Biwa and Shiga Prefecture.

Enjoy your visit to Shiga and Lake Biwa.

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