日本での一年間

January 12, 2012

Lake Biwa, Japan’s Largest Lake

Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) is the biggest freshwater lake in Japan. It is in Shiga prefecture, not too far from Kyoto.  Having grown up around the great lakes, when I hear “largest lake,” I imagine something pretty big. When you stand on the shore of any of the great lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, or Ontario), you can’t see the opposite shore. The lakes are enormous. Even the smallest of them, Lake Erie, would talk about 11 hours to drive around. (According to Google Maps. I looked up Buffalo, NY to Toledo, OH to Detroit, MI to Buffalo, NY and Google told me it would take 10 hours and 59 minutes.)

But looking at Lake Biwa last month, I was disappointed to see that even Japan’s largest lake is not large enough for the opposite shore to remain unseen. And a similar search on Google Maps told me that it would talk only 4 hours and 15 mins to drive around the lake, even though the drive around Lake Erie was mostly on highways and much of the drive around Lake Biwa was on local roads (with much lower speed limits).

Still, despite my disappointment about the size of the lake, it was very beautiful. I took these pictures about an hour after sunrise.

See that shore in the distance?

Built-up shore of Lake Biwa

The sky and water seems to fade into one color.

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