Japan's largest freshwater lake
Lake Biwa, or Biwako as it is known in Japanese, is the country’s largest freshwater lake and takes up 1/6 of the landmass of Shiga Prefecture. Located in a central area of Honshu island, Lake Biwa has been an indispensable resource throughout Japan’s history, supplying water to the nearby cities of Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka in the Kansai region. The lake is home to over 1,000 different types of plants and animals, including molluscs ideal for producing pearls. Beaches, camping, water sports and cruises make Lake Biwa a popular escape for those in nearby cities, with Otsu City, the capital city of Shiga Prefecture and Lake Biwa’s main port, just a 25-minute train ride from Kyoto’s central station.