Visitor Guide

Temporary Information Relating to the Covid-19 Coronavirus

We are taking various measures to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 coronavirus infection. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Limit on the number of visitors - In order to ensure distance between visitors, we are restricting the number of people in the building to 400 people at one time, and 1200 people during one day. At the present time, we are not accepting groups.

Please note that Saturdays and Sundays are very busy.

Issuing of Numbered Tickets - When the number of people in the building reaches the upper limit (e.g. during weekends), numbered tickets are distributed at the entrance of the museum. The numbered ticket shows the time when visitors can enter the building.

About 50 people are admitted during each time slot. When all of the numbered tickets have been distributed, further admissions are not possible on that day. Visitors don't have to wait in line, and can enter the building during the time period written on the numbered ticket.

Shortening of opening times - Because cleaning and disinfection is done before opening and after closing, opening times are shortened to 10:00 to 16:30 (last admission 16:00).

Suspension of some exhibits - entry to Exhibition Room C and the Aquarium have resumed (Exhibition Rooms A and B are currently closed for renovation). Other exhibits will remain closed and resumed at a later date depending on the situation: Discovery Room, Search and Discover, some exhibits of Exhibition Room C, the Touching Corner, and parts of the Micro Aquarium.

Feeding events are suspended for the time being.

Disinfection - Areas that are often touched, such as handrails, are disinfected by staff at regular intervals.

Request to visitors

• Please refrain from visiting if you have a fever, cough or feel unwell.

• Please be sure to wear a mask and follow cough etiquette.

• Before entering the building, be sure to disinfect hands with alcohol or hand washing.

• Please be aware that the museum cannot loan strollers, wheelchairs and audio guides at the current time.

• Please keep a safe distance from other visitors (1-2 m) as much as possible.

• Please do not touch display cases or aquarium tanks.

Museum Holidays

The Museum is usually closed on Mondays, unless that day is a national holiday, and certain other times of the year (e.g. New Year holiday). Please consult the table to plan your visit.

Closed Days, April 2020 to March 2021
April: closedMay: closedJune: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
July: 6, 13August: 3, 31September: 1-4, 7, 14, 28
October: 5, 6, 8, 12, 19, 26November: 2, 9, 16, 30December: 7, 14, 27-31
January: 1, 2, 18-22, 25February: 1, 8, 15, 22March: 1, 8, 15

Admission Fees to Permanent Exhibition Rooms (during the renewal period)

Adults - 500 yen

University/High School Students - 300 yen

Elementary/ Junior High School Students - Free

Residents of Shiga Prefecture 65 years old or older - Free

Persons with disabilities - Free

There maybe an additional charge for Special Exhibitions.

No ticket is necessary for the outdoor exhibits, including the treetop walk.

Getting Here by Public Transport


Take the JR Biwako (Tokaido) line from Kyoto or Maibara (or any station on the Biwako line) to Kusatsu (Shiga) Station. Both local trains and Special Rapid Service trains stop at Kusatsu Station.

  • Kyoto to Kusatsu takes 20 or 23 minutes, depending on train service. (Distance 22.2 km/ 13.8 miles.)
  • Maibara to Kusatsu takes 32 or 44 minutes, depending on train service. (Distance 45.5 km/ 28.3 miles.)
At Kusatsu Station, take either a bus or a taxi to the Museum, located on the Karasuma Peninsula.


From the west side of the station, buses depart for the museum from bus stop number 2. Look for a bus with the destination sign Biwako-haku-butsu-kan (Lake Biwa Museum or Biwako Museum):

Bus Timetable
Going to the MuseumReturning from the Museum
HourMondays to FridaysSaturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays HourMondays to FridaysSaturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays
8: 00, 50 00 8: 27 27
9: 30 25, 55 9: 19, 59 54
10: 30 45 10: 59 24
11: 30 25, 55 11: 59 09, 54
12: 30 45 12: 59 24
13: 30 25, 55 13: 59 09, 54
14: 30 45 14: 59 24
15: 30 25 13: 59 09, 54
16: 30 00, 30 16: 29, 54
17: 30 00, 30 17: 30 29
18: 30 00, 30 18: 00, 59 24, 54
19: 30 19: 54

Journey time = 25 minutes.

For a detailed guide on how to catch a bus to the Museum, and buses in Japan generally, see a guide to catching a bus to the Museum.


Taxis can be found at the taxi rank on the west side of Kusatsu Station (follow signs for "West Exit"). It takes approximately 20 minutes from Kusatsu Station to the Museum. Ask the driver for "Lake Biwa Museum" or "Biwako haku-butsu-kan".

Alternatively, take a taxi from Moriyama Station (two stations east from Kusatsu); Moriyama Station is closer to the Museum than Kusatsu Station, but there is no bus service to the Museum from Moriyama.

Getting Here by Car

Exit the Meishin Expressway at the Ritto Interchange and drive along the Ritto Shinanaka Route and the Lakeshore (Sazanami) Road (approximately 30 minutes). Parking is available.

Foreign Language Guides

Headphone commentary and leaflets are available in English, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese.

There are English and Chinese language, 16 page, color booklets available that covers the main parts of the permanent exhibitions. These are free to ticket holders and can be requested at the ticket counter.

The guides can also be downloaded as PDF files (6 MB):

English version
Chinese version


Museum Restaurant

Taste traditional Japanese cuisine or Western influenced dishes in the Museum Restaurant. The menu includes local produce, such as fish from Lake Biwa.

Opening times
Weekdays 11:00 am to 3:30 pm (last orders 3:00 pm)
Weekends 11:00 am to 4:30 pm (last orders for food 3:30 pm, for drinks 4:00 pm)

Museum Shop - Oydeya

A wide range of gifts and souvenirs are available at the Museum Shop - Oydeya, including unique merchandise to the Lake Biwa Museum.

A great place to find that special gift for someone, or for that exclusive memento of your trip to the Lake Biwa Museum.

Nursing Room

A room for families travelling with young children and babies is available.

Please consult with staff to use this room.


The Museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users, and a selection of wheelchairs and baby strollers are available for use.

Please ask at the ticket counter.

Lunch & Resting Spaces

Visitors bringing there own food are welcome to use one of the Museum's lunch spaces, found both inside and outside of the building, including the roof-top terrace. Additionally, drink-vending machines and resting corners are available.