Lake Biwa Museum


As the most conscientious guide of the great Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture, Lake Biwa Museum is one of largest lake-based freshwater fish museums in Japan. Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater in Japan, also standing as one the most ancient lakes around the world with a grandiose ecosystem with numerous of species developing from a shared ancestry. Lake Biwa museum offers the clearest view at the history and ecology of the lake, its inhabitants and the relationship with human of Shiga. Come to look and even touch the Lake Biwa by impressive and detailed exhibitions of the museum with a great view of Biwa lake.


Lake Biwa museum describes the whole picture of Biwa lake history along with its relation with people under the theme of "The Lake and Human Beings". The museum reflects vividly the way Lake Biwa formed and developed till its culture and custom took shape fully as well as the flourish of flora and fauna system in its bed and around its shore over different periods. The museum has employed more than 30 researchers to cover various aspects of the lake. Its attempts has been recognized as it has received many awards for helping to restore species in danger of going extinct.


The whole timeline of Biwa lake history is divided into three periods namely Geological History in millions years ago, Human History Gallery in thousands to hundreds years ago and Environment and Our Lives in decades to recent times, all are displayed at the first three galleries. In addition, there is the Discovery room where children can explore nature from 18 hands on exhibits. It is an move to raise the awareness of the young about the importance of protecting nature. The museum, interestingly, owns an actual farm house donated by a farmer after he decided to construct a modern building to live.


The brightest attraction of Lake Biwa museum seems to be the Aquarium with the impressive show of almost all kinds of freshwater fish from Lake Biwa, around Japan and even over the world, together with some figures of rare species. Visitors will walk into a glass tunnel like walking through the bed of Lake Biwa, through the clear glass, you can put your eyes directly in ones of fish. There is also the Touching corner allowing visitors to touch some kind of fish. Lake Biwa is the soul of the prefecture then throughout year, Lake Biwa museum holds several events with many interactivity with nature, concerts and learning events regarding to the native life of Shiga Prefecture. Tourists usually come in these occasions to know more about the prefecture, also enjoying the beauty of a lotus pond, the Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden, the Kusatsu Dream Windmill Farm and the roadside station Green Plaza Karasuma nearby.

Open time: 
From 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Last entry at 4:30 pm). 
Discovery Room: from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (Last entry at 4:00 pm).
-Adult: 750 yen
-University and High school students: 400 yen 
-Junior high school student and younger, residents of Shiga Prefecture of 65 years old or older: Free
How to access: 

Take the Biwako Line from Kyoto or Miabara and get off at Kusatsu Station. From the west side of the station, take bus at bus stop No.2 to the museum.