Lake Biwa’s private beaches

This past summer, I rented a bicycle at Omi-Maiko and went cycling along the beach toward Hira Station. There was a nice bicycle path most of the way, and some parts were like a private area for summer homes.

I often saw a sign on the beach saying 「私有地」which means “Private Property, Keep Out.” It was very disappointing to see such signs. I can still enter the beach with no problem, but of course we cannot swim or have a BBQ there. It is very unfortunate that Lake Biwa beaches can be privately owned. All the beaches should be made public property.

In Hawaii, there is a law which forbids private ownership of beaches in Hawaii. All the beaches are therefore public property, owned by the government of Hawaii. Anyone can go on any beach with no problem. Even if there is a hotel or house in front of the beach, anyone can still access and go to the beach. This is one of Hawaii’s best laws.

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