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Otsu Port as seen from Hama-Otsu Station. It's a 3-min. walk from the station. MAP
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Otsu Port for Michigan. These photos were taken in Aug. 2010 and earlier years. You can see how the boat's trimmings look different.
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Most of Lake Biwa's cruise boats are named after Shiga Prefecture's sister states or cities. Michigan, USA is Shiga's sister state. Michigan is home to the largest lake in the US, while Shiga is home to Japan's largest lake.
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Michigan looking slightly different from years ago. Accommodates 787 passengers.
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The Michigan first sailed in April 1982. It is 59 meters long and 11.7 meters wide. With 700 horsepower, it can cruise up to 8.65 knots.1982年4月2日進水。939.7総トン、全長59.0m、幅11.7m、出力700馬力、最高速力8.65ノット。
旅客定員787名。
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Front of the Michigan boat.
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At Otsu Port, passengers wait to board the Michigan.
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Before we could board, they had this flag signal session.
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A trio of entertainers perform while passengers board the boat.
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Now, only one entertainer performs as passengers board the boat in Aug. 2010.
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Michigan boat at Otsu Port. I would call this boat suited for spring and fall. The open-air design can make it too hot or too cold if you don't opt to pay extra to relax in the air-conditioned rooms.
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This was going to be a one-hour cruise around the Lake Biwa. This cruise which departs Otsu at 3:30 pm is called Michigan 60. Costs 2,200 yen for adults and half price for elementary schoolers.
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Spelling mistake...
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Going to board the Michigan paddlewheel boat.
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An earlier photo of the Michigan. Notice the different trimmings.
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Those international flags on the top deck weren't there when I went in Aug. 2010.
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Michigan paddlewheel boat leaving Otsu Port, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
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Michigan paddlewheel boat on Lake Biwa.
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During Aug. 2010, they displayed some native Lake Biwa fish in fish tanks on the boat.
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Lake Biwa catfish, a native species not found anywhere else in the world.
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Otsu Port as seen from the boat dock.
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Leaving Otsu Port as the ground crew wave us off.
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2nd floor welcome mat.
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Bow of Michigan.
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Bow
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Wooden staircase on the Michigan paddlewheel boat.
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Michigan paddlewheel.
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Open deck.
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As the boat turns, the sun's striking area changes. People leave wherever the sun strikes in the heat of summer.
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Featuring an entertainment stage, Becky's Square on the 3rd floor is the largest area for passengers. Unfortunately, it's not air-conditioned.
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Entertainment stage on 3rd floor. The entertainers always seem to be from Australia. Instead of a trio, I think they now got only one entertainer.
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3rd floor deck.
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Western Otsu.
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Mt. Mikami (Omi-Fuji).
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Certificates
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Letter of appreciation from the governor of Michigan in 2006. Click to read the letter.
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Plaque about the Michigan.
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Photographers are on the prowl on the boat, offering to take your picture. After the cruise, you can buy a photo for 1,000 yen.
   
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