Otsu Port (Shiga Prefecture) (大津港 (滋賀県))

Otsu Port is a port located in Shiga Prefecture. It faces Lake Biwa of which altitude of the lake surface is 84 meters.
It is located in Hamaotsu in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture


It was once flourished as a hub for waterway traffic on Lake Biwa. After its decline because of improvement of the railway network, it has been used for departure and arrival of sightseeing ships as well as bases for various ships operated by governmental agencies.
It is also provided with an annexed marine and a green space developed as a park and used for a wide variety of leisure activities

Facilities are managed by Shiga Prefecture, but the designated manager for port facilities and so on is Biwako Kisen and, for the marina, Kansai Maintenance Shiga.

Ancient time

It was established as a main port for Otsukyo and used as a base of transportation on the lake.

Medieval time


Because of the transfer of national capital to the city of Heiankyo, it was flourished as an outer harbor of the capital.


Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI built Otsu-jo Castle and Otsu Port was flourished as an important point for waterway traffic.

Next year, Nagayoshi ASANO of Otsu domain collected ships of domains along the shore of the lake to Otsu in accordance with Hideyoshi's order. This became Otsu Hyakusosen (literally, 100 ships of Otsu) later, and it was given privileges concerning cargo handling at Otsu Port and so on from rulers in each age.

Early-modern time

March 1869

The first steamship in lake in Japan 'Ichibanmaru' went into service between Otsu and Kaizu. It was operated by Daishoji domain (Otsu Kisenkyoku [Otsu Steamship bureau]).

After 'Ichibanmaru' went into service, steamships of various operators went into service and the number of water routes was also increased. The number of operators and water routes for local routes in the southern part of the lake were also gradually increased.


Tokaido Main Line was extended to Hamaotsu Station.


Operation of railway ferry to Nagahama Station, to which railway went into service in the preceding year, was commenced.


Whole Tokaido Main Line went into service. Along with progress of development of railway network, transportation by lake declined.


Regular service of excursion boats was commenced and the port was restored as a base for sightseeing on the lake.


Harimaru went into service.


Michigan went into service

Main facilities

Landing pier

Large-sized floating pier

No. 1 pier

It is used by 'Bianca,' 'Shiga Prefecture Lake Biwa Floating School' and so on.

No. 2 pier

It is connected to the fixed pier. It is used by 'Michigan' and so on.

Medium-sized floating pier

No. 3 pier

Small-sized pier

A-E piers

They are used by governmental agencies and so on.

L pier (cargo unloading facility)


Piers of the marina (G-H piers)

Otsu Port marina

Revetment in front of hotel (J-K piers)

Dolphines and fuel supply facilities and so on for pleasure boats

Terminal building for passengers

Baiwako hanafunsui

One of the world's largest fountains provided on the breakwater (quadruple, 450-meter wide) in front of Symbol green space

Green space

Main water routes

For more information on water routes and ships, refer to section of Biwako Kisen.

Biwako Kisen

Otsu Port -> Otsu Prince Hotel Port -> (Sightseeing cruise) -> Otsu Port

Otsu Port -> Okishima Island -> Chikubujima Island -> Nagahama Port (Shiga Prefecture) -> Otsu Port

Connecting service to other water routes (Otsu Prince Hotel Port - Otsu Port - Ogoto Onsen Port, Kusatsu Karasuma Hanto Port and so on)

August 8

Lake Biwa Fireworks Festival

Hamaotsu Station, Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line, Keihan Electric Railway

Approximately three minutes on foot

Otsu Station, Biwako Line, West Japan Railway Company

Approximately five minutes ride by bus, and get off at Hamaotsu Bus Stop

Regular bus services are available from Zeze Station, Biwako Line, Otsukyo Station, Kosei Line, and so on.


5-1-1, Hamaotsu, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, 520-0047

Nearby spots

Hamaotsu A-QUS

Biwako Hotel

Nakagawa Bijutsukan Mushian

Museum of Shiga Prefecture, Biwako Bunkakan

Biwako Hall

Nagisa Koen Park (Otsu City)

Otsu Prince Hotel

[Original Japanese]