Explore the north of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, on a private chartered fishing-boat cruise. With guides who work the lake every day, this tour promises unique insights — and a stop at the hidden village of Sugaura!
The largest freshwater lake in Japan, Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture is a highlight of the Kansai region, with more than a few ways to explore it. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, though, head to Onoe Port in Nagahama, and take a cruise on a converted fishing boat! Exploring the lake with a fisherman as your guide, you can expect unique insights far beyond what you’d get on a more commercialized cruise. You’ll also support the grassroots economy in the process! What’s more, this is a private cruise, which means that you will have the boat and your guide to yourselves. This tour is available every day for departures between 10:00 and 15:00. It lasts about 1 hour and 40 minutes, and roughly follows this example itinerary: 10:00 — Meet your local guide at Onoe Port. 10:05 — Put on your life jacket, and board the converted fishing boat. 10:10 — Cruise Lake Biwa and hear tales of life on the lake from your fisherman guide. 10:40 — Arrive at Sugaura Village, go ashore, and stroll around this unique settlement to see the traditional houses and structures. Almost inaccessible except by boat, Sugaura remained self-governing for centuries, and has some truly unique sights awaiting discovery. 11:10 — Back on the boat, your guide will happily visit any highlights of northern Lake Biwa that you choose (weather and season permitting). You may have some requests after hearing the fisherman’s tales. If not, we recommend a stop at Chikubu Island. This small island, with legends going back over 1,000 years, has a sacred shrine and an ancient temple, with remnants from the time when feudal warlords made Nagahama their base. 11:40 — Arrive back and disembark at Onoe Port, where the tour ends.