Visited July 2010 and Nov 2010.
Biwa is one of those modern ryokans with the jazz playing in the common areas. The taste of the furniture in the lobby and in the rooms are quite unique and tasteful. Both of the times we were there, we got the nice living room in the first floor and bedroom on the second floor. We got the in-room massage where the masseuse brought the beds into our living room. It was not that impressive of the massage but was relaxing.
The private bath right outside your room is quite nice and relaxing. Spring quality is satisfying.
There is a family bath which you can book in advance - this is a bigger bathtub than the one in your room. You also get some complimentary drinks.
Dinner at the restaurant is always above expectation. Very simple Japanese food (fusion). Services are mainly served by the young staff and feels like they lack the profession but you can see that they are trying hard.
Overall, good taste and pleasant stay. More