Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan, located in Shiga Prefecture. Since ancient times, Lake Biwa has been used as a center for the movement and transportation of goods near the ancient capital of Kyoto.
Lake Biwa is the only lake in Japan with inhabited islands and has its own unique ecosystem.
In recent years, however, there have been various issues such as the invasion of non-native species.
This island is inhabited by people on Lake Biwa.
You can get to this island by taking a passing boat about once an hour.
About 250 people live on the island, which also has a post office and an elementary school. People have been living on the island for a long time, preserving the traditions of fishing and other activities using the rich nature of Lake Biwa.
By the way, many cats are said to inhabit the island!
Students from elementary schools in Shiga Prefecture, where Lake Biwa is located, take this boat and live on Lake Biwa with students from other schools for two days and one night.
The name of this ship is “Uminoko”, and it has been going on since 1983.
On this ship, children learn about local traditional foods, the ecosystem of Lake Biwa, and other topics through hands-on experience.
Photo from: https://shiga.uminohi.jp/information/fishing/
Fishing has traditionally been practiced in Lake Biwa since ancient times, and people have lived by eating fish from the lake. In recent years, however, non-native species such as black bass have invaded Lake Biwa, destroying the ecosystem of native fish.
As a countermeasure, Shiga Prefecture has installed boxes at various locations in Lake Biwa to collect non-native species caught in the lake, as shown in the photo on the right.
Other than that, since non-native fish are popular among anglers, fishing tournaments are held to catch non-native fish.
What can be done to preserve the traditions of Lake Biwa for future generations?