Forerunners in Kyoto's Industries/Industrial Forerunners in Kyoto

The Biwako Canal
The construction of the Biwako Canal was the biggest project for modernization of Kyoto in the Meiji era. The construction started in 1885. It was completed in 1890.

The canal starts from Lake Biwa and runs through Yamashina and Keage and reaches the center of Kyoto. The most difficult part of the construction was building a tunnel through Nagara Mountain, which took three years. It took five years to complete the whole canal. Because of the power station project which was added lastly, the cost of construction amounted to 1.26 million yen. It was double the original budget, 0.6 million yen. This hydroelectric power station was completed in 1886. It was the second largest station in the world. The electric power produced by this station greatly contributed to modernization of Kyoto.