The Lake Biwa Museum specialises in showcasing life in and around Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Among its exhibits is the Aquarium, which contains not only rare species, but also aquatic life native to the lake, such as the Biwa salmon and Lake Biwa catfish. You can also find the round crucian carp, which is used to prepare funazushi, an ancestral type of sushi made only in Shiga Prefecture. The museum also includes exhibits of aquatic life from other ancient lakes of the world, inclusing seals from Lake Baikal. and endemic fishes of the African Great Rift Valley lakes.
Four million years of history is displayed within the museum, when the area was once home to elephants and crocodiles. The forests around the lake were modified by the humans who settled in the area – plenty of dioramas showcase the way they lived, by cultivating the land for rice fields and using the forest resources, such as timber for making boats.
Their outdoor exhibits includes a Treetop Walk that offers sweeping views of the lake and museum grounds. You can also walk along forest trails to explore the types of trees that surrounded the lake in ancient times.
Lake Biwa Museum
Address: 1091 Oroshimocho, Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture
Hours: 10am to 4:30pm (closed on Mondays)
Website: Official Website