Biwako Sosui, meaning Lake Biwa Canals, largely contributed to Kyoto.

Kyoto, which had been the capital of Japan for 1,100 years, suffered from population decline in the latter half of the 19th century after the capital relocation to Tokyo. In order to break this difficulty, the Kyoto Prefectural Government carried out the canal construction works from Lake Biwa to the rivers in Kyoto. They contemplated utilizing these canals for the generation of electricity, water transport, industrial water, drinking water, agricultural water and so on. These canals, generally called Biwako Sosui, are made up of three canals, the First Canal, the Second Canal and the Branch Canal. The first one and third one was completed in 1890, and the second one in1912. Japan's first hydropower station for business purpose was built at this time and is still at work. The electricity from this was used for Japan's first streetcars in Kyoto, as well as the canal inclines. The first picture shows the active aqueduct bridge of the Branch Canal, which was built in 1888 and was found in the grounds of Nanzenji Temple. The second picture shows the canal incline in Keage area, which is preserved just for display purposes.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久



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