Biwako Valley is located in Otsu city in Shiga Prefecture, by the western shores - and affording fine views of - Lake Biwa. At just 40km or so from central Kyoto, it is the nearest ski hill from the city. The fast Ropeway takes people from the base car parks to the slopes. Last season (2018-2019), the Giant quad lift got the 'renewal' treatment.
The Biwako Valley ski resort has been operating since 1965. The Ropeway and other attractions are popular for sightseeing throughout the year.
Shiga Prefecture is part of the Kansai region in the western region of the main island of Honshu. Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater in Japan located at the centre of Shiga Prefecture. Most of the ski hills in Shiga Prefecture are found in the region to the north west of Lake Biwa. Be sure not to confuse Shiga Prefecture with the popular ‘Shiga Kogen’ resort region of Nagano Prefecture – they are totally un-related.
Average Temperature (C)
Fine Weather (%)
Biwako Valley Facilities
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Biwako Valley.
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available. Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available.
The 'Snow Land' for children is by the exit at the top of the Ropeway - free for those with a 1 day ticket, otherwise 800 yen for adults and 500 yen for children (3 years to elementary school age).
The 'Snow Park' is near the top of the resort.
Biwako Valley Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Late December until Mid March
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:00am until 5:30pm
Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Biwako Valley is normally open from 8:30am until 4:30pm.
There is no nighta at this ski hill.
Biwako Valley Lift Ticket Charges
Young child (3-5)
Elementary School age
1 Day (weekend & holidays)
1 Day (weekdays)
Half Day (Holidays)
Half Day (Weekdays)
1 lift coupon
Ropeway Return (1 time)
Snow Land entry
2019-2020 Season Lift Tickets
The Ropeway normally operates every 15 minutes (00, 15, 30, 45).
The half day and 1 day tickets include return trip usage of the Ropeway.
People using the Ropeway can enter the Snow Land area for no charge.
Getting to Biwako Valley
By public transport
40.1km from Kyoto Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen line
3.5km from Shiga Station on the Kosei line
51.9km from Kaminaka Station on the Obama line
The base station of the Ropeway at the resort is just 3km from the nearest station - Shiga Station on the Kosei line.
Various bus services from Osaka and Kyoto to Biwako Valley are available.
31.3km from the Kyoto Higashi IC on the Meishin Expressway
57km from the Wakasa Kaminaka IC on the Maizuru Wakasa Expressway
60.5km from the Kinomoto IC on the Hokuriku Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 161 (3.1km away)
Biwako Valley is about 31km north of the Kyoto Higashi IC on the Meishin Expressway.
From Kyoto, head north on Route 161. The resort is well signposted.
For more details and explanations about the information presented on this page,
please read this.
It is very important to us that the information presented on SnowJapan is correct and up-to-date. Checks and updates are made throughout the year. If you find information that you feel needs checking and updating, please let us know by contacting us. We appreciate your support.