Today I went to Koka and participated in the Koka International Society’s (KIS) Kokusai Koryu Salon gathering 甲賀市国際交流協 国際交流サロン. It was a special occasion because nine people from Koka’s sister cities in Michigan came. It was a chance for them to meet and talk with local Japanese folks. They arrived in Shiga on July 26 and really enjoyed their stay, especially since they stayed with host families in Koka.
I also gave all the Michigan visitors a free copy of my Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD and introduced the song in English. It was my first time to give the CD to people from Michigan. So finally, 琵琶湖周航の歌 英語版、海を渡る！
I enjoyed meeting the friendly staff of KIS. Their office is very near Minakuchi-Jonan Station on Ohmi Railways. Koka is the farthest place from where I am (Maibara near Ibuki) so I don’t go there very often. When I do go again, it’s nice to know people to visit.
This coming Sunday, there will be a citizens’ regatta (rowing boat race) on Seta River near Seta Karahashi Bridge.
It will be all day long from 9 am to 4 pm. Many rowing teams will race down the river for 250 meters.
The 本部 (headquarters) will be on the east side of the river near Seta-Karahashi Bridge. Map:
They will also sell my Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD for 800 yen. I will also be there most of the time to help sell the CD. So if you have time on Sunday, please drop by and say hello.
My CD will also be one of the prizes awarded to all the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the regatta in all race categories. (Total of 75 winners.)
I don’t know if there’s anybody from Maibara in this community, but I currently have my Lake Biwa Rowing Song photo exhibition again, this time in Maibara until Aug. 3.
The place is Lucci Plaza near JR Omi-Nagaoka Station on the Tokaido Line. This place also has a public library where people can borrow the CD. There’s also a nice restaurant with a view of Mt. Ibuki.
It is open from 10 am to 10 pm, closed on Mon. Free admission of course.
This is my third photo exhibition this year in Shiga, after Yokaichi and Imazu. Many of the photos are the same, but there are also new pictures as well. Captions in both Japanese and English.
During the past 2 weeks, I’ve been visiting most of Shiga’s cities to introduce our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD to the local Boards of Education, international organizations, tourist associations, public libraries, etc.
Today, I went to Otsu and visited the Otsu International Goodwill Association 大津市国際親善協会 for the first time. They have a very nice and spacious space in the Asuto Hama-Otsu 明日都 building next to Hama-Otsu Station. It’s very nice. They have three big rooms, one is the office, one room is a classroom, and one room is a nice salon with chairs and tables and books and magazines. Anyone can go in there and read a book, etc. The room is also used for language classes.
Out of all the 国際交流協会 offices I’ve visited in Shiga, this place is by far the most spacious and impressive. It’s a good place to relax or meet a friend. They are lucky to have such a space.
As you may know, the Yokaichi giant kite is replaced with a new one every three years. This year is when they will make a new giant kite.
During this past weekend on July 7-8, they announced the new kite design and started making the new giant kite. I missed this event three years ago, so I was determined to see it this time.
I attended the kite design announcement on Sat., and also participated on the first day on Sun. when they started to make the giant kite. Now I can say that I helped to make the giant kite which will fly from next May.
I helped with the Paper Joining 紙継ぎ operation. About 400 sheets of washi paper from Mino (Gifu) were pasted together to make a giant sheet of paper equivalent to 100 tatami mats. I took pictures of course.
The Giant Kite Preservation Society 八日市大凧保存会 makes the kite with the help from the public. Anybody can go to the Yokaichi Giant Kite Museum Annex 八日市大凧会館別館 and help make the kite. All the kite-making steps can be easily done by anyone.
The hozonkai people are also very friendly and glad to answer questions about the kite. It will take about a month to finish the kite. They have a schedule too:
I plan to go back again a few more times. It will be interesting to see how we draw and paint the design on the kite paper. If you are an art student or like to fly kites, I highly recommend this.