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Tour Lake Biwa on a Cruise Boat


Admire panoramic views of Japan's largest freshwater lake


Cruise the glassy blue waters of ancient Lake Biwa, surrounded by verdant mountains and pristine shorelines. Set in the heart of Shiga—just northeast of Kyoto—this 4-million-year-old body of water accounts for no less than a sixth of the prefecture's total size. Home to diverse wildlife and endemic species, the lake is also dotted with small islands, shrines, temples, and a floating torii gate waiting to be discovered.


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Tour the south end of the lake aboard the Michigan Cruise ship, a grand paddle steamer offering meals, entertainment, and a top deck from which to enjoy sweeping lake vistas. Savor a delicious meal or simply enjoy a refreshing beverage as you take in the sights. Watch as the sun sets in the distance, making way for a row of twinkling lights along the shore (evening cruises are summer-exclusive).


As the seasons change, so too do the available cruise courses, with special events such as cherry-blossom viewing or snowscape-viewing periodically on offer. For an unforgettable tour of the lake, boats can be chartered for group use. If you wish, venture further afield with island-hopping day trips and visit the mystical, conifer-covered Chikubu Island, where the goddess Benzaiten is enshrined.


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Cruises depart from Otsu Port, just a 10-minute train ride plus 5-minute bus ride from Kyoto Station, making it a perfect day trip destination for travelers sojourning in the old capital.


Biwako Kisen Steamship Co., Ltd.






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