I have wanted to take a trip around Lake Biwa for several years and this past Sunday I was finally able to. I had heard that it was beautiful, especially the northern part, but without a car it would be pretty inconvenient.
琵琶湖,、 淡海、びわ湖 (The Japanese Name)
Well, a few weeks back one of my students mentioned to me that he regularly takes a drive around Lake Biwa and would be willing to take me with him if I had the time.
I jumped at the opportunity and cleared my schedule!
I was a bit worried about the weather cooperating since it’s the rainy season now in Japan, but we lucked out and it was only cloudy.
We started the day out in Kyoto then took a drive out to Otsu City, then made our way around the eastern side of Lake Biwa.
We stopped off for lunch at the Prince Hotel in Otsu on the shores of Lake Biwa.
They have some really nice places on the 12th floor with great views of the lake.
From there we were off to Hikone Castle, one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. The grounds were beautiful and the castle was very interesting filled with ancient artifacts, historical facts and no elevator! If you’ve visited Osaka Castle you know what I mean. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4000.html
By the way, the stairs are extremely steep inside Hikone Castle, so it can be challenging if you suffer from acrophobia!
It is considered one of the four most beautiful castles in Japan.
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/shiga/hikone.html (彦根城)After the castle we were off to a small town called Makino Cho on the northern coast of Lake Biwa. It is a very quite and peaceful rural town and absolutely beautiful. (マキノ町)
I am told that the northern part of Lake Biwa is quite deep and is filled with countless species of fish.
We continued our drive along the western side of Lake Biwa and back to Kyoto where I thanked my student and friend for a very interesting and relaxing day then hopped on the Hankyu Railway from Kawaramachi Station back to Osaka!
(By the way, great printable PDF of the Railway System in Osaka!)
If you have the time I would highly recommend taking this drive around Lake Biwa and stopping along the way to admire the scenery and serenity you will find in the numerous small villages around Lake Biwa.
I recommend you plan an entire day. It took us 11 hours from start to finish, so start your day off early!
It was a great start to the week for me!
Smith’s School of English Nara – Saidaiji
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 奈良 － 西大寺校
http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/saidaiji.shtml 英会話 西大寺 奈良市