Bird's Eye View of Lake Biwa during "Five-Minute" FlightPopular Hot-air Balloon Experience Event Celebrating 10th Year
As a summer vacation event to gather visitors, the event has been held annually since 2010 by an organizing committee which consists of members mainly from the association, Kusatsu City, and the Kusatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Once participants board a moored hot-air balloon, it rises to a height of approximately 20 meters in the sky. It is said that panoramic views of Mt. Hakodate in Takashima City, Mt. Hiei in Otsu City, and Mt. Ibuki in Maibara City, and others can be seen.
According to the city, this summer-time, hot air balloon ride experience is the only one around Lake Biwa. At the outset, there was a daily average of 120 participants, but last year it reached about 380 per day, marking a record high. The commerce, tourism and labor administration division of Kusatsu City stated, "The share of families with children participating is larger, and the number of repeaters is also increasing." They expect about 300 visitors on weekdays, and about 500 on weekends this year.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)