WEST SIDE OF LAKE BIWA
“A popular area for enjoying marine leisure and water sports is the unaffected bountiful nature at the foot of the Cordillera Hira on the west bank of Lake Biwa.
At an elevation of 1,100m (3,610 feet) above sea level, Biwako Valley is the foremost area for skiing in the Kansai region. There are hiking routes, outdoor leisure facilities, campgrounds, and other fun things set up to be enjoyed as well.
The Shirahige Shrine in Takashima is said to have longest history in Omi. In Harie region, the culture of water and water-usage called Kabata remains since a long time ago. The spring water is drawn into the house and into a pond on the premises with the cleanest water being used for drinking and cooking. The grains of rice stuck to the tableware after a meal are fed to carps in the ponds and after the water is purified it is flowed into the town’s river. Every year in early summer small white Baikamo flowers can be seen growing in the Harie-okawa River that flows through the middle of the town. Baikamo can only grow in water that is always clean and at a constant temperature throughout the year, so this is proof that Harie is indeed a town rich in water.
Kaizu has prospered as a post station and port town back from times long ago. Tile roof houses with beautiful latticework, shops that are generations old offering practically the only funazushi in Japan, sake breweries, and other relics remaining in this former post station.
Makino Pickland is a hands-on experience-style agricultural park. Cherries, chestnuts, grapes, and other fruit picking can be enjoyed here. There is also a private place that is rumored to resemble the popular Korean television drama “”Winter Sonata.”” In the middle of Makino Pickland, there is Metasequoia Avenue, which is a straight row of about 500 Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood) trees extending for 2.4km (1.5 miles).
Arihara is a village unchanged and traditional with lines of private homes with thatched roofs. During the winter season, this area sees heavy snowfall and the atmosphere becomes that of a completely secluded, unexplored region.
The Takashima Trail is a walk along the mountain ridge from Makino to Imazu and Kutsuki and spans about 80 km (50 miles). Recently, overhaul of the trail has been making progress. Hiking where you can have a great view of the Sea of Japan and Lake Biwa is very popular.”