Every once in a while you just have to get away and relax, and this year with all its ups and downs and continuous bad news here and there and all around the world, it is tempting to just remain complacent and wait for better times. At least we are not at war!
But the economic turmoil everywhere, especially in Europe these days, will soon affect Japan and a holiday will be welcome. One of the most wonderful places on my list for a get-away, apart from a temple stay at Koya-san, is at a comfortable lakeside hotel at Lake Biwa. The one pictured here is near Omi-Maiko station but there are many worthy resorts with excellent beaches up and down Route 161 north of Otsu-Sakamoto-Kataka area.
It’s very tempting to think that Lake Biwa is polluted and the water is therefore not tempting, but I’m here to allay such fears. I have fished, swum and snorkeled in Lake Biwa many times, and thanks to severe effluent control and dumping regulations, the lake is actually really beautiful. Teams of fish thrive in just a few inches of water along public beaches. The sand in many places is comfortable to walk on, and litter is minimal.
Omi-Maiko has a certain special atmosphere for folks who love to hang out on the beach. There is a real ‘hippie’ culture evident and exists in a surprising variety of age groups. At the same time, resorts like our favorite pictured above come complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, kaiseki meals, indoor onsen and rooms so large and luxurious you’d think you were in a 5-star chain hotel …. But without the 5-star prices ……
The above room is the largest in the hotel. It can easily sleep 4 people in beds and another 4 in futon bedding in the 8-mat tatami room. The bathroom is so big, two people can share a private bath while another showers and yet another washes up at the sink. The easterly view across the lake is simply awesome and I always bring binoculars and a small bird-watching scope to spy on visitors along the lake front. That’s one of the many privileges of staying in a top-rated room! When the sun goes down you still have the indoor private onsen, kaiseki dinner and the 42″ HDTV to watch!
Go to yahoo japan and search for Lake Biwa resorts in katakana and book today. September is still hot but the crowds are long gone! Go now through mid October and enjoy the place to yourself!
Martin Werner Zander, Partner in the Smith’s School of English Company
月謝制のスミス英会話 甲東園校 仁川 門戸厄神 逆瀬川 小林