Lake Biwa and Mt.Ibuki are typical of the natural beauty of Shiga Prefecture.
Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan with 241km in circuit, lying in the central part of Shiga Prefecture is designated as an international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. As it is near Kyoto, the former capital of the country,it had often appeared in a large literature since ancient times and was made good use of for the water traffic route between Kyoto and local cities.
Japanese famous saying ‘Isogaba maware’ which means ‘The more haste the less speed’ comes from this route on the lake, that is, it’s better to take a detour going around by the lake than the water way across the lake when wind is too strong.
During the period of rapid economic growth, the water contamination proceeded, however recent environmental measures has helped the lake to retain or regain the old beautiful scenery in the picture above.
While the picture below shows Mt.Ibuki, the highest peak in Shiga Prefecture at a height of 1377 meters,seen from the lakeside of Lake Biwa. Together with Lake Biwa, it had been celebrated in poetry from the distant past and has long been known as a place of medical herbs. This mountain can be climbed by car as far as the 9th station enjoying the flora characteristic of it.
By Masahisa Takaki.
Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture, Japan