There are some places in Lake Biwa where the water quality is clean and you can swim. The Omimaiko (Omi-maiko, Omi-Maiko or Omi Maiko) swimming beach, where underground water from the Hira Mountains flows in, has crystal-clear waters with white sand. It is easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka, making it Kansai's popular swimming spot in the summer.
> How to access JR Omi-Maiko station from Kyoto and Osaka
White sandy beaches stretch for about 4km on the shore of the lake, and the green pine forest provides a natural shade to block the sunlight (it is even better to have a sunshade on midsummer days). The water is shallow up to about 3m from the beach, so even people with small children can play in the water with peace of mind.
The Omimaiko beach consists of Kitahama (north), Nakahama (middle), and Minamihama (south). Since it takes only a 5 minute walk from JR Omi-Maiko station, many people gather at Nakahama beach. In the summer, shops and restaurants are also open and lively at this area.
On the other hand, Minamihama beach near J-Hoppers Lake Biwa Guesthouse has relatively few people and is easy to spend. Toilets and water station are nearby.
The distance from J-Hoppers Lake Biwa Guesthouse to Minamihama beach is 240m (787ft), and it takes about 3 minutes on foot. Here is how to get there.
Omimaiko beach is owned by the Minamikomatsu Neighborhood Association, so please be careful not to do the following.
If you are going to barbecue, please pay 300 yen per person to the office or collection staff. Direct fire is prohibited. Please use the barbecue stove.
It is possible to bring a tent and camp for 2500 yen per night from April to November (excluding July and August). You can always have a day barbecue or day camp.