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Biwako Terrace: Get a Breathtaking View of Lake Biwa – Japan’s Largest Lake!

Biwako Terrace is a popular spot from where you can get a breathtaking bird's eye view of the magnificent Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake. Here we'll show you around the Biwako Terrace area so you can see why it's such a fun place to visit!

Where is Biwako Terrace?

Completed in July 2016, Biwako Terrace is an observation terrace with a cafe. Biwako Terrace was constructed at the summit of Biwako Valley where a variety of activities can be enjoyed all year round.
It takes about 40 minutes by car from the Kyoto Higashi IC of the Meishin Expressway and if you go by train, about 10 minutes by bus from the JR Kosai Line Shiga Station.

Japan’s fastest ropeway takes you to the 1,100-meter summit

To get to the Biwako Terrace you must first take the ropeway at the foot of Biwako Valley.
It only takes about 5 minutes to reach the 1,100-meter summit. Moving at a speed of 12 meters per second it is the fastest ropeway in Japan! (Winter only. Between spring and autumn, the speed is reduced to allow for more leisurely sightseeing.)

▲Tickets can be purchased at the entrance. Round-trip fare is 2,500 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for elementary school aged children, and 600 yen for 3-year-olds and older (all fares include tax).

▲ Between April and November it is also possible to take dogs on the ropeway, the fare being 500 yen per dog, tax included. Dogs must be in cages on the ropeway and cages are available at no charge.

▲A ropeway car can accommodate a maximum of 121 people. The entrance is quite spacious.

The ropeway operates on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with cars departing approximately every 15 minutes. (Times are different during the ski season.)
It is 782 meters from the boarding station to the summit, so there is a temperature difference. The temperature at the summit is about 5 ~ 7 degrees lower than at the base, so you are advised to take a coat or other apparel to ward off the cold.
The cabins are enclosed in glass and offer a 360-degree view. As the car ascends, you are afforded a panoramic view of Lake Biwa.

▲On a fine day the surface of the lake shimmers in the sunlight.

▲This is ideal for taking pictures!

The mountains on the opposite side of Lake Biwa are covered in forests which in spring sport cherry blossoms and in summer verdant greens…the views in each season are excellent.

▲ This photograph was taken in early November, the best time for viewing autumn leaves

I found the views from the ropeway to be most exhilarating, and the views from here are even more impressive. Most enjoyable!

Biwako Terrace almost feels like it is floating in the sky!

When you arrive at the summit the temperature will be noticeably cooler. But the clear, cold air is quite exhilarating and with rising anticipation of viewing the broad scene below, I headed past the signboard pointing the way.

▲ This is the entrance. Just beyond the signboard

A magnificent view awaits you! Lake Biwa, the surrounding mountains, and the sky are a gradation of pale blues.

Proceeding forward I arrived at the wide-open terrace. The terrace has three levels, but in winter (December ~ March) only the Grand Terrace is open.

▲ The sky and Lake Biwa look exactly as though there were connected

On a fine day you can see Abeno Harukas in Osaka to the west and in the east, Mount Hakusan, a sacred mountain in the Hokuriku region. The day I visited I was able to see the snowcapped Mount Hak…

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