The Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan (琵琶湖周航の歌資料館) is a song museum in Takashima, Imazu-cho, Shiga Prefecture. Opened in April 1998, the museum is dedicated to the song, Biwako Shuko no Uta which can be translated as Lake Biwa Rowing Song. It is Shiga's most famous song and popular song, although it is not the official prefectural song.
The museum is a 2-min. walk from Omi-Imazu Station (East Exit) on the JR Kosei Line 湖西線 running along the western shore of Lake Biwa. It has exhibits and display panels explaining about the song and the composer Oguchi Taro and Yoshida Chiaki. There is also a listening corner where you can listen to numerous cover versions of the song sung by famous singers such as Peggy Hayama, Miyako Harumi, and Kobayashi Akira. Nini Rosso even recorded a trumpet version.
The museum also has an exhibition space on the 2nd floor. It also houses the offices of the Imazu Branch of the Biwako Takashima Tourist Association (びわ湖高島観光協会 今津支所) and a gift shop. More museum photos here.
First composed in 1917 by a bunch of college students from Kyoto, the song is about a four-day, boat-rowing trip around Lake Biwa undertaken on June 27, 1917 by seven college students. They were in the boating club at an elite college in Kyoto which later merged with Kyoto University. Not to be confused with a similar song called Biwako Aika created in 1941 in memory of the boys from Kanazawa who died in a rowing accident on Lake Biwa.
The song mentions many famous places in Shiga. See Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
- Address: Nakanuma 1-5-7, Imazu-cho, Takashima-shi, Shiga-ken 520-1622
- Address in Japanese: 〒520-1622滋賀県高島市今津町中沼1丁目5-7
- Phone: 0740-22-2108
- Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed Mon. (open if Mon. is a national holiday and closed on Tue. instead)
- Admission: Free
- Getting there: By train, take the JR Kosei Line and get off at Omi-Imazu Station. Ride the Kosei Line from Kyoto Station or from Yamashina Station on the Biwako/Tokaido Line. Allow about 1 hour from Kyoto or Yamashina.
- Web site