Lake Biwa Canal (琵琶湖疏水 or 琵琶湖疎水, Biwako Sosui) is a historic waterway in Japan connecting Lake Biwa to the nearby City of Kyoto. Constructed during the Meiji Period the canal was originally designed for the transportation of lake water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes, but also provided for the conveyance of waterborne freight and passenger traffic. From 1895 water from the canal supported Japan's first hydroelectric power facility, providing electricity for industry, street lighting and Kyoto's tram system. In 1996 the canal was recognized as a nationally designated Historic Site.While no longer used as a navigable waterway for freight, the waterway continues to provide water for drinking and irrigation purposes to the city of Kyoto as well as hydroelectric power through the 4.5MW Phase III Keage power station. Locations along the canal route and associated irrigation structures such as the former Keage Incline, the Nanzen-ji aqueduct and Philosopher's Walk, have become popular sightseeing destinations.