Action & Adventure
Biwako Valley びわ湖バレイ
Soar above the lake, all year round
Just 40 kilometers away from Kyoto and overlooking the western shores of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture , Biwako Valley has been operating as a ski resort and off-season outdoor activity park since 1965.
- A ride on Japan's fastest cable car, which leads to eight ski trails
- Enjoying locally sourced meals with breathtaking views
- A ride in the sky on the zipline
How to Get There
Biwako Valley is a short bus ride from Shiga Station, on Lake Biwa's western shore.
From Kyoto, take the JR Kosei Line to Shiga Station (40 minutes), then take the hourly bus (10 minutes) to Biwako Valley.
Even though Biwako Valley is a year-round destination, be aware that not all attractions are open at all times.
Great skiing just outside Kyoto
Biwako Valley is 1,100 meters above sea level and has eight different runs. There's a half pipe, slalom course, mogul runs, sledding, and a snow park to accommodate skiers and snowboarders of all levels. All equipment can be rented on-site, so there's no need to brave public transport with your gear.
Plenty of off-season activities
From April to December, the verdant and lush Biwako Valley offers many outdoor activities including a zip line and the "Skywalker," a treetop obstacle course. The Summer Land area has waterslides and other exciting activities for kids, as well as other recreational equipment. There's even a dog run.
The Zekkei Ropeway is Japan's fastest cable car. It can whisk 121 people up to 782 meters above sea level at 12 meters per second. The huge gondola has glass on all sides, providing unobstructed views of Lake Biwa, snowy slopes, autumn foliage, or warm-weather flowers.
At the upper cable car station, you'll find The Biwako Terrace, an upscale terrace cafe with unbeaten views. From Cafe 360, you can enjoy panoramic vistas and see all the way to Kyoto and Osaka . There's also Lake View, a buffet restaurant which puts on an impressive lunchtime feast.
The Biwako Street souvenir shop, is a good place grab some souvenirs. Some of these local crafts or specialty foods can't be purchased anywhere else. Made with fresh local milk, the Baumkuchen is a particular hit.