Lake Biwa Canal, waterway of hope connecting Kyoto and Otsu, ride on a boat and take walk while getting in touch with the moment of the Meiji era
1 Feb 2022
Ever since the capital was moved to Heian (present Kyoto City area), Kyoto flourished for over a thousand years, but when the relocation of the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo took place in 1869, the population decreased and industries in Kyoto subsequently declined. The Lake Biwa canal project was introduced as a booster against the situation.
The big project involved taking water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto, and it contributed greatly towards developing the economy, industries, as well as local culture such as through utilization of boat transportation, fire prevention, and gardening, and it also helped to initiate Japan’s very first hydroelectric power generation and tram operation. Back in the era, when design and supervision of construction were conducted mainly by foreign engineers, this Lake Biwa canal project was the first engineering work to be totally done by Japanese people. As time went on to the year 2018, the boat transportation which was once terminated, came back as in the form of the Lake Biwa Canal cruise. It had been 67 years since its last operation and the canal cruise is now enjoying a great reputation thanks to the positive reviews it has received.
Lake Biwa waterway has brought “water of life” to Kyoto. The great ambition built during the Meiji era has passed the time and is still breathing at present.
Kyoto City, Otsu City