Lake Biwa

Japan’s largest lake with a beautiful natural panorama changing with the seasons

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Lake Biwa takes up one sixth of Shiga Prefecture. There are many tourist spots in the area around the lake such as shrines and also areas for outdoor activities.
Shiga Lake Biwa

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Find out about the history of the Lake Biwa area

With a long vertical shape that cuts through Shiga Prefecture from north to south, Lake Biwa has a surface area of 669.23 sq. meters which makes it the largest lake in Japan. There are many historic tourist spots in the surrounding area. Within these, there is Mii-dera Temple which is famous for its pre-eminent cherry blossoms in the prefecture, Omi Jingu which is definitive of the Omi style of shrine architecture, Ishiyama-dera Temple which is connected with Murasaki Shikibu who wrote The Tale of Genji, and Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine which is popular for the autumn foliage and its nighttime illumination. In particular, Shirahige Shrine whose impressive large torii gate stands in the middle of Lake Biwa is also called Itsukushima Shrine of Omi and is visited by many worshipers.

Enjoy the lushness of nature at Lake Biwa

Along with the historic tourist spots, there are also plenty of leisure spots where you can fully enjoy the nature around the lake. There are day-long cruises around Lake Biwa including the Lake Biwa Cruise where you can enjoy a trip with the family while having a meal on board. There is also Blume-no-Oka with a huge park, an animal farm and interactive workshops; Lake Biwa Valley where you can get a grand panoramic view of the lake; and lots of other facilities where you can experience the nature around the area. A drive around Lake Biwa is also recommended. With cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, there is overwhelming beauty throughout the four seasons at Lake Biwa.

Seasonal events

At Lake Biwa, there are various events held all throughout the area. Starting from the fireworks festival, there are shrine festivals and events such as Biwa-ko Biraki and the Firefly Festival that bring the region alive throughout the year. If you are thinking of visiting, please check the homepage for tourist information.

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