Michigan Cruise ミシガンクルーズ

Enjoy a slice of classic Americana with a Japanese twist on the Michigan.


You might be confused as to why, of all things, a Huckleberry Finn-esque paddle steamer offers cruises on Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. The answer is rather simple and heartwarming – it is a show of the sister state bonds that were first formed in 1968 between Shiga Prefecture and the state of Michigan. To put it simply, both regions have territory containing (a) freshwater lake(s) that served as historical trading posts and as relaxing tourist spots in modern times.


The Michigan is itself from 1982 and is a paddle steamer model boat. These types of boats were widespread in the West during the 19th century with the invention of the steam engine that powered them. The stern-wheeler paddle boats like the Michigan were popularized by the American author Mark Twain in his book Life on the Mississippi.

ミシガンは1982年に作られ、船尾に1つの外輪を持つ船です。外輪船は蒸気機関の発明になり、19世紀に欧米で盛んに運航されていました。また、この船はアメリカのマーク・トウェインが書いた「Life on the Mississippi」(ミシシッピ川での生活)という小説のおかげで、歴史の点からも人気になりました。

Right when you enter, you can see the boat is gorgeously decorated with wooden railings, European paintings, and lights resembling old-fashioned kerosene lamps. There are also several uniquely Michiganian designs incorporated into the architecture such as stained glass featuring apple blossoms and bucks. However, we’ll leave our dear readers to see how many other Michigan symbols they can find without spoiling too much.


The Michigan also offers live musical performances and a mix of intercultural treats to nibble on in the on-board café. Supposedly, there is a special Michigan Paddle Boat Cake Set that is delicious, but we couldn’t get some this time. Given its pink coloring and Michigan being known for its cherries and apples, who knows what flavor it might be?


If you like history or just want a beautiful tour of Lake Biwa, check out the information below. (Know that the tours are specialized for the southern portion of Lake Biwa and do not go around the entire lake.)


Biwako Kisen
Website Link: https://www.biwakokisen.co.jp/   
Telephone Number: 0570-052-105 


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