At the west shore of Lake Biwa on the Hira Mountain Range (比良山系), the Biwako Valley (びわ湖バレイ), situated at an elevation of 1,100 meters, is a famous ski resort in Kansai. From spring to autumn, it is also a well-known mountain resort. In addition, in July 2016, a long-waited observatory called Biwako Terrace (びわ湖テラス) was opened!
How Long Will I Spend at Biwako Terrace?
Biwako Terrace is a facility where you can easily lose track of time (´▽｀*). It is just so relaxing up there that you will hardly want to leave! So we recommend allocating at least 2 hours here. And if you plan to do other activities, which we will touch on below, allow 3 – 4 hours here when you plan your trip.
What to Expect at Biwako Terrace?
Taking Japan’s fastest ropeway to get to the top of the mountain, you can soon arrive at the terrace with the best panoramic view of Lake Biwa!
On the observatory terrace, there are sofas and dining tables around the deck for you to rest and enjoy the food from the cafe.
Tip: Check the Live Camera before you head out to make sure the weather conditions are good enough for you, before making an effort to get there.
When the weather is too cold or rainy, you can adore the magnificent scenery from their indoor dining area, which is warm and cozy.
Important: One thing to watch out for is the lack of savory vegetarian dishes in the café.
Tip: The temperature up in the mountain is around 5 – 10 degrees lower than the city center. Bringing a light jacket is always handy.
Other Things to Do at Biwako Terrace
If you are more of an active person, there are other exciting activities to do and places to drop by at Biwako Terrace.
The heart-shaped observatory is a great place to pose, regardless of whether you are with your partner. And if you are looking for a thrill, there is a zip line and other activities to have fun with!
For more information about the activities and how to reserve, please refer to their website HERE.
The North Terrace
In August 2018, another terrace area was opened called the North Terrace.
If you want to enjoy the spectacular scenery with fewer strangers around you, reserve one of the seats at their Infinite Lounge!
The cost of 3,000 yen comes with a welcome drink (^_-)-☆. But just be aware your session has a time limit attached.
To get to the North Terrace, change for the Uchimi Lift (打見リフト) and then the Horai Lift (ホーライリフト) to get to the summit of Mt. Horai (1,174 meters above sea level).
Tip: If you want to avoid the potential crowd, avoid weekends and public holidays. And if that doesn’t suit your schedule, heading there in the morning is recommended.
The Fall Foliage Season at Hira Mountain Range
The beech and oak forests are usually dyed in vivid color from late October to early November.
Biwako Terrace and Biwako Valley Ropeway’s Business Hours and Acces Information
- For the ropeway and the lifts’ operation hours and cost, please refer to their website HERE.
- From JR Shiga Station (志賀駅), follow the directory sign after you come out of the ticket gate and take the bus bound for Biwako Valley (びわ湖バレイ)
- The official website HERE has the link to the bus service’s timetable.
- Then after you get off the bus, take the ropeway from Biwako Valley Ropeway Bottom Station (びわ湖バレイ山麓駅) to get to the top of the mountain.
☛ Pre-purchase your ropeway ticket through Klook and save!
☛ If you are a flower lover, visit Biwako Terrace in early May for a field of Narcissus on one side of the mountain (^_-)-☆.
Discover Other Attractions in Ōtsu City
Biwako Terrace isn’t the only facility in Ōtsu that will give you a breathtaking view of Lake Biwa. Moreover, you will discover many cultural and historical attractions that you might be interested in in our article on Ōtsu City!