Shiga Prefectural Museum, Biwako Bunkakan (Biwa-ko Lake Cultural Center) (滋賀県立琵琶湖文化館)
The forerunner of Biwako Bunkakan was Shiga Prefecture Industrial and Cultural Center, which opened in1948. Biwako Bunkakan opened in 1961 as Shiga Prefecture's first integrated museum, including a general history museum, a modern art museum, an observation tower, and a freshwater aquarium.
Subsequently the collection of modern and contemporary Japanese style paintings and oil paintings was moved to The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga. Archaeological documents were moved to Shiga Prefectural Azuchi Castle Archaeological Museum and the freshwater aquarium was moved to Lake Biwa Museum. Now Biwako Bunkakan concentrates on the theme of the history and culture of Omi (an old administrative area which corresponds to present-day Shiga Prefecture) introducing its local culture.
Its main exhibit is a permanent collection of high quality Buddhist art works including two naional treasures and fifty three national important cultural properties. These were entrusted to Biwako Bunkakan by temples in Shiga Prefecture.
In December 2007 the head of the Board of Education announced in the prefectural assembly that Biwako Bunkakan would close on March 31, 2008.
Biwako Bunkakan has been closed since March 31, 2008 (in fact since March 30 because it was normally closed on Mondays) and it is not possible for the public to enter.
It hasn't been decided yet whether it will reopen to the public or not. Because the facilities are outdated and not yet barrier free it seems difficult for it to reopen in this building.
Approximately 5 minutes walk from Shimanoseki Station, Keihan Ishiyama-sakamoto line, Keihan ElectricRailway
Approximately 15 minutes walk from Otsu Station on JR Biwako line
Otsu central post office
Otsu City Labor and Welfare Center