Hama Otsu, central town of the historical Otsu city in Shiga prefecture, lies facing the vast water surface of Lake Biwa. Founded by Emperor Tenji in 667 as the capital of Otsunomiya, the town has taken advantage of water transportation in Lake Biwa, playing as an important station in Tokaido road. The town is best known for the Evening Bell at Mii, meaning the Miidera temple, as one of the Eight views of Omi, staying side by side with other historic and cultural heritage of Enryakuji temple.
Prospering as the water front town, Hama Otsu has focused on developing water sports of sailing, diving or wind surfing. Overall, the Lake Biwa Flower Fountain is the greatest pride of Hama Otsu among their attempts of creating their town’s beauty from water, standing as one of the largest fountains across the world.
The construction of Lake Biwa Flower Fountain was started in November 1994 and taking just several months to be completed in March 1995. Located 180 meters offshore at the entrance of Lake Biwa, the fountain seems to be an effort of changing the huge and unseen beauty of the vast lake in a visible dance of water, in a visible flower of water. It was recorded that about 467 million yen had been spent constructing the fountain, reflecting completely the grandiosity of the establishment.
Lake Biwa Flower Fountain stretches about 440 meters on a breakwater in front of Otsu port, reaching the height of a ten storied building. Its imposingness can be reflected in impressive specifications. The water spraying system contains 3 huge bundles, each bundle featuring 22 nozzles of 32 millimeters, 30 millimeters and 27 millimeters in diameter in turn, together with two higher nozzles of 45 millimeters in diameter creating a capacity of 2500 cubic meters. Three levels of water height produced are in turn 30 meters, 22 meters and 15 meters. The total amount of lights in use is 194 ones, including 72 of white, 50 of orange and 72 of green.
Lake Biwa Flower fountain sprays water in a shifting array of shapes which you can see clearly from distance, thanks to the color dyeing the water. Once the sun goes down, the fountain, in stead, flourishes as a water flower, rising and blooming over water surface. Standing on Otsu Port, Otsu lakeside Nagisa park or some other points of the shore, you can enjoy the excited dance of water in different colors of white, orange and green.
A little far behind, buildings lie side by side, showing their sparkling coats made of lights from tiny glass windows. This breathtaking but poetic picture will be the perfect dating spot for couples and surely remaining in your memory of Otsu.