Friday, December 10, 2010

Lake Biwa: Japan's Lake 日本の湖と言えば、、、

Nestled 15 minutes to the east of Kyoto is Shiga Prefecture, home to the largest lake in Japan - Lake Biwa and often regarded as the best place to live in the entire country.  Having personally cycled around the circumference of Lake Biwa at 220 km (137 miles), I can say that, yes, it's a monster of a lake!

With its picturesque views, Shiga deserves more respect as a must-see destination for those coming to the Kansai region.  With Lake Biwa as the heart of the prefecture, an educational lesson as to how Lake Biwa functions in conjunction with the Yodo River, which connects the massive lake to the Pacific Ocean, is highly recommended.  However where can one brush up on his/her knowledge of Lake Biwa?  The answer is at Aqua Biwa and Lake Biwa Museum.

With Aqua Biwa situated in Otsu City and Lake Biwa Museum right next door in Kusatsu City, one can easily make a day visiting both attractions.  Catering to foreign visitors, Aqua Biwa offers services in English while Lake Biwa Museum can accommodate guests speaking English, Korean, Chinese and Portuguese.  One must be careful when planning to visit as Aqua Biwa is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays while Lake Biwa Museum is closed on Mondays.

So next time you are planning to stop by Shiga Prefecture, why not become proficient in Japanese limnology?


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