In late July we had made plans to go to Lake Biwa to spectate the “2019 Japan International Birdman Rally”. It is a competition where more or less amateurs create gliders and human powered airplanes to see who can fly the furthest across Lake Biwa.
Unfortunately a tropical storm hit, and the day of the event we were going to attend was cancelled. So instead we decided to do something else, and rather visit Biwa a couple weeks later when the weather was better.
We planned to visit Biwako Valley, as we had seen pictures of the beautiful views from the top of the mountain. Our visit coincided roughly with the public holiday of “Mountain Day”, so it was great timing to go there.
After driving for around 2 hours, going through Kyoto and the outskirts of Otsu, we arrived. Parking cost ¥2000, with around a third of the spots filled when we arrived at 10:30am.
The ropeway is Japans fastest taking you up 800m in 5 minutes. The cost for a round trip during summer season is ¥2600.
Once at the top, the air was incredibly refreshing. We could escape the humid summer air and feel a cool soothing breeze from the top of the mountain. Heaven!
We walked around for a bit and took in the views from several different viewing platforms. And of course had our photo taken by a kind gentleman.
Then we found a small drinks shop and got ourselves some drinks to enjoy while taking in the spectacular views… Beer for the missus, and a strange kiwifruit soft drink for the driver.
After we had finished our drinks we went for a little bit of a walk around the mountain and just relaxed in the cool mountain air. But eventually we had to leave, as we had plans to travel a bit further up Lake Biwa and explore.
We managed to find some really nice locations, including SUP rentals, beaches and camp sites along the lake shore, that we will visit another time.
But it was time to head home. We took a really narrow and twisty mountain road on the way back, which after many wrong turns and closed roads spat us out in Kameoka… but, that ordeal is a story for another day.