Exploring Japan’s Timeless Freshwater Treasure

Lake Biwa, in Shiga Prefecture, holds the title of the largest freshwater lake in Japan. With a history spanning about 4 million years back into ancient times, it ranks as the third oldest lake globally. The lake is renowned for its distinctive natural environment, home to over 60 endemic species, and serves as a vital resource for the lives and industrial development of 14.5 million people in the greater Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe areas.

Spanning roughly 235 kilometers, the shoreline of Lake Biwa is encircled by Biwaichi, a well-maintained bicycle route that has become a magnet for both local and international cyclists. The mostly flat lakeside terrain ensures enjoyable cycling experiences while offering stunning views of the lake. Additionally, the lake caters to various water sports, including yachting, kayaking, canoeing, and bathing beaches and marinas.

Situated in the northeast of Lake Biwa, Nagahama City captivates with its unique landscape where rocky shores meet quiet inlets, reminiscent of fjords. This part of the lakeshore is dotted with numerous accommodations, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking a tranquil escape. Visitors can indulge in leisure activities like ferry cruises to the sacred Chikubu Island and serene kayaking adventures in the inlets. Ideal for those looking for unwind while taking in the scenic beauty of Lake Biwa with a bike ride, a leisurely stay, or a coastal walk, this area is also celebrated for its spectacular sunsets over the lake.

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