As well as tunnel arches from the Lake Biwa Canal and lighting that takes its inspiration from the rippling of the water in the canal, you can also find panels that introduce notable places along the canal.


The theater shows a movie that explains the passion of and difficulties faced by the people involved in the construction of the Lake Biwa Canal in an easy to understand way, and shows viewers the wonderful sights that can be seen along the canal.

First GalleryVoice guidance

The third Prefectural Governor of Kyoto Kitagaki Kunimichi planned the Lake Biwa Canal as a great project to revitalize the city of Kyoto. The canal was then brought to fruition by the engineers Minami Ichirobe and Tanabe Sakuro. Exhibition Room 1 explains how the Lake Biwa Canal was planned and constructed.

On display are valuable documents including precision survey diagrams.

Projection mapping gives you a sense of how canal construction proceeded and its scale.


Second GalleryVoice guidance

Canal No. 1, which was completed in 1890, fulfilled a number of roles including hydroelectric power generation and water transport. With the completion of the Three Great Works in 1912, Kyoto was transformed into a modern city. Exhibition Room 2 explains how the people of Kyoto used water from the Lake Biwa Canal to develop the city.

1A model of the area around Okazaki in 1915.

2An introduction to the people who strove to bring the plan for the Lake Biwa Canal to fruition.

Third GalleryVoice guidance

The role that water from the Lake Biwa Canal plays has changed greatly with the times. Water transportation died out with the development of railways and automobiles, and watermills disappeared as agricultural land turned into residential land with the increasing population. However, water from Lake Biwa Canal continues to support life in Kyoto by providing, among other things, a water source for the water supply as well as generating electricity. Enjoy learning the story of the canal from turbulent past times to the present and into the future.


Special exhibitions are held on the second floor, and in these exhibitions you can see documents not included in the permanent exhibition.

Outdoors(1F & B1F)

Outside the museum, 45-degree iron tubes used in the Gosho Water Supply System are exhibited on the outside of the first floor. The Pelton waterwheel and Stanley generator used for hydraulic power generation utilizing Lake Biwa Canal are exhibited on the outside of the first basement floor.

Publications, Merchandise, etc.

  • One Hundred Years History of Lake Biwa Canal

    In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Lake Biwa Canal's completion, this book consisting of three volumes was published in 1990. The history of Kyoto is described focusing on the canals.

    price: 38,445 yen (tax included)

  • 100 Year History of Kyoto City Water Supply System (Material edition/Depiction edition)

    These books were published in 2012, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Kyoto City Water Supply System's completion. They incorporated a wide variety of materials and photographs that represented each period, which help you specifically observe the 100 year history connecting to the present.

    price: 4,400 yen (Material edition) (tax included)

    price: 2,200 yen (Depiction edition) (tax included)

  • Exhibit catalogue

    Renovated in commemoration of its 30th anniversary, the Lake Biwa Canal Museum has renewed exhibits, showcased in this catalogue.

    price: 500 yen (tax included)

  • Post card (3 types)

    Map of Lake Biwa Canal(upper),2nd Keage Hydroelectric Power Plant(lower left), Former Gosho Water Pumping Facility and "Reiwago", a canal boat(lower right)

    price: 100 yen each (tax included)

  • File folder

    The famous aqueduct and red leaves at Nanzenji temple are pictured on this folder.

    price: 200 yen (tax included)

  • Hand Towel

    (left)The Chinese character「疏」,which was engraved on the bricks that were used to construct Lake Biwa Canal.
    (right)The aqueduct of Lake Biwa Canal and the Keage Hydroelectric Power Plant

    price: 300 yen each (tax included)

  • Tote bag

    A reusable tote bag which can be folded together. It is practical and easy to carry.
    The print shows the construction of the Lake Biwa Canal.

    price: 600 yen (tax included)

  • Japanese folding fan

    Printed on the fan is a map of sightseeing spots near Lake Biwa, drawn by Yunen Ishida, a copperplate printmaker from the Meiji era. You can truly feel the history of the Lake Biwa Canal emanating from this product.

    price: 2,000 yen (tax included)

  • Kyo-no-kagayaki Sosui Monogatari

    Kyoto City tap water is bottled as stock drinking water for emergency use. Unopened bottles can be storedat a room temperature for 10 years after manufacture.

    price: 100 yen (per bottle) (tax included)