Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri 2018 Festival Schedule


Video link: https://youtu.be/3zYuarHUHXs

Updated: April 13, 2018

Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri (長浜曳山祭) is a major float festival held annually on several days centering on April 15 by Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine in the city of Nagahama in northern Shiga Prefecture. The main highlight is child kabuki actors (boys age 5 to 12) performing on four ornate wooden floats pulled through the main streets. (If you can read Japanese, download the festival’s official guide brochure.)

2018 Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Schedule

(Main highlight dates in red, times are approximate)

April 7 (Sat.), 10 am–3 pm: At Hikiyama Museum, exhibited floats to be replaced. Details here.

April 9th–12th, from 8 pm: Hadaka-mairi worship at Nagahama Hachimangu and Hokoku Shrine. Details here.

April 10th–12th: Child kabuki practice open to the public. Details here.

April 12, from 6:30 pm: Portable shrine procession from Nagahama Hachimangu to Hokoku Shrine and Otabisho. Details here.

April 13, from 5:30 pm: Child kabuki performances in local neighborhoods. Details here.

April 14, 9:30 am to 1 pm: Child kabuki performances in local neighborhoods. Details here.

April 14, 1 pm to 4 pm: Float procession to Nagahama Hachimangu. Details here.

April 14, at 7 pm: Child kabuki evening procession from Nagahama Hachimangu to Hikiyama Museum. Details here.

April 15 (Main day): Child kabuki performances all day at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine (10 am to 2:15 pm), Otemon Arcade, and Otabisho (4 pm to 8:15 pm). Details here.

April 16, 9 am to 9 pm: Child kabuki performances from 9 am to evening in local neighborhoods. Details here.

—Tips for seeing the Nagahama Hikiyama Festival—

When you arrive at JR Nagahama Station, you should go to the tourist information center outside the turnstile and ask what time and where the floats will perform kabuki. If you will see the festival on April 15, the main day, you can conveniently see all four floats perform kabuki in succession (40 min. each) at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine from 10 am to 2:15 pm. If you arrive Nagahama later in the day, you can see all four floats perform in succession at the Otabisho (large parking lot) near Nagahama Station from 4:00 pm from 8:15 pm.

You can also walk between Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine and the Otabisho (see map below), especially along Kurokabe Square and the Otemon shopping arcade where the floats will pass or perform in the afternoon. You can see the floats up close (artwork, etc.) while they are parked.

Each of the four floats will perform kabuki four times on April 15 for a total of 16 kabuki performances. So there will be a kabuki performance once or twice every hour from 10 am to 7:35 pm. You can easily see one or more kabuki performances somewhere in central Nagahama during this time.

Be aware that it is “standing room only” for all kabuki performances. It can be tiring to watch all four kabuki performances while standing. You could bring a collapsible chair, but people standing in front of you will block your view. (Although a limited number of paid seating is available at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine, they sell out quickly.) If you plan to see the festival in the evening, the temperature can get much cooler so bringing a jacket is advisable.

About Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri

All festival events are within walking distance from JR Nagahama Station on the JR Hokuriku Line. Since there’s no detailed festival information and schedule in English from official sources, I provide this festival schedule in English based on official festival information and my recommendations. With a little knowledge of what’s what and what’s going on, I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy this festival much more after reading this post.

There are 12 kabuki floats (called hikiyama) with a kabuki stage and one “guardian” float named Naginata-yama with no stage. Every year, only four of the kabuki floats perform kabuki at the festival. Three groups of four kabuki floats take turns appearing in the festival each year so each float group appears (performs kabuki) every three years. The same four floats appear together each time. Only the Naginata-yama guardian float appears in the festival every year, but does not perform kabuki. To see all 12 kabuki floats, you would have to see the festival three years in a row.

Although April 15 is the main festival day (called Honbi 本日), there is a slew of festival events and kabuki performances before and after this day. If you can’t make it to Nagahama on April 15, you can still see kabuki performances on April 13 (evening), 14 (morning), and 16 (all day).

My video embedded above shows all the major festival events during this period. A few ceremonies and rituals are closed to the public. On Dec. 1, 2016, Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of the 33 “Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan.”

Another thing to know is that the four kabuki-performing floats draw lots to determine the order of their performances. Being Float No. 1 is most desirable since they get to perform first on April 15 (main festival day) and can end early and go home early. They also have the honor to host the Sanbaso prayer dancer who performs before their kabuki play.

The four Nagahama Hikiyama floats appearing in April 2018 and their kabuki plays and performance order are as follows:

Shojo-maru (猩々丸) Float No. 1 –  Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki Kumagai Jinya「一谷嫩軍記 熊谷陣屋の場」
Ho’o-zan (鳳凰山) Float No. 2 – Koi Bikyaku Yamato Orai Umekawa Chube’e Ninokuchi-mura (Ninokuchi Village)「恋飛脚大和往来 梅川 忠兵衛 新口村の場」
Takasago-zan (高砂山) Float No. 3 – Gishi Gaiden Tsuchiya Chikara「義士外伝 土屋主税」
Kotobuki-zan (壽山) Float No. 4 – Niai Meoto Shusse no Hikitsuna – Nagahama Kazutoyo Chiyo「似合夫婦出世絏 長浜 一豊の屋敷」

How Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Started

According to legend, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the lord of Nagahama Castle, his first son Hashiba Hidekatsu was born in the early 1570s. To celebrate his son’s birth, Hideyoshi gave gold dust to the townspeople. The people used the gold to make a wooden float to celebrate the son’s birth. Hideyoshi paraded the float at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. This was the start of the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri. This legend is often told, but it is not true.

Nagahama Hikiyama Festival originated from an annual samurai procession held by Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine founded in 1069 by the famed samurai Minamoto no Yoshiie (1039-1106). The shrine worships Hachiman (Emperor Ojin), the divine guardian of samurai.

In the late 16th century, daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi relocated the shrine to make way for his Nagahama Castle on the shore of Lake Biwa. At the same time, Hideyoshi rebuilt Nagahama Hachimangu that had been ravaged by war. The shrine’s annual samurai procession dedicated to Minamoto no Yoshiie was also resurrected with Hideyoshi’s samurai retainers.

By the 18th century well after Hideyoshi’s death, the samurai procession became more elaborate with wooden floats being added. When kabuki became popular in the 18th century, Nagahama’s townspeople thought about staging kabuki on the floats. They asked the prominent carpenter and woodcarver family of the late Fujioka Izumi (1617–1705) to design a float having a kabuki stage. The early floats were much simpler than today’s floats. The Fujioka family went on to design and build many of the floats. The idea of staging kabuki on festival floats spread from Nagahama to float festivals in nearby prefectures like Gifu.

Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Schedule of Events in 2018

Here is a detailed schedule of Nagahama Hikiyama Festival events in 2018 (times are approximate, and delays may occur). Also see the festival map toward the end of this post. The photos are screenshots from my video embedded above. Click on the photo to see the respective video segment.

April 7, 2018: Float Replacement Event (曳山交替式)
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.: The hikiyama floats exhibited in the Nagahama Hikiyama Museum will be pulled out and taken back to their neighborhoods to prepare for the festival. Then the four floats appearing in next year’s festival will be brought into the museum to be displayed.

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April 9: Senko-ban Visitation (線香番)
Festival officials visit the four floats’ kabuki practice halls to watch a kabuki rehearsal and time the performance. Before clocks were invented, they used a burning incense stick (senko) to measure the kabuki play’s length. This is also when the parents see their sons perform for the first time. However, the actors do not wear the makeup and costumes yet. This ceremony is not open to the public since the practice hall will be filled with the boys’ parents and relatives.

April 9–12: Hadaka-mairi Shrine Worship (裸参り)
From 8:00 p.m. every night on these four days, scantily-clad young men (wakashu 若衆) from the four floats gather at their respective kabuki practice hall and parade to Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine where they pray and purify themselves by running around a well and splashing themselves with the cold well water. They pray for a successful festival, healthy actors, and to draw a favorable lot on April 13 that determines the order of the floats’ performances. They all want to be Float No. 1 which performs first and goes home first on April 15 (main day).

From Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine, they march through Otemon-dori shopping arcade to Hokoku Shrine across town where they pray and splash in a well again. On their last worshipping day on April 12, Otemon-dori shopping arcade has festival musicians and representatives from non-performing floats (i.e. those not performing in the festival this year) to greet the wakashu men. They play festival music (called shagiri 囃子) and offer cups of sake (rice wine) to the wakashu leaders and Kujitori-nin. They shout “Yoisa! Yoisa!” the whole time and drink a lot of sake.

You will notice that they wear different colored headbands. The young man wearing a red headband is the Kujitori-nin (籤取り人) who will draw the lot at the lot-drawing ceremony on April 13. The men wearing a blue headband are the guards (警護) who direct the wakashu. The men with a white headband are the rank and file. When a float’s wakashu pass by another float’s wakashu, a scuffle may break out since they are rivals in drawing lots. Quite a spectacle at both shrines and in-between.

April 12: Portable Shrine Procession (Mikoshi togyo 神輿渡御)
From 6:30 pm, men carry a mikoshi portable shrine from Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine to the Otabisho rest place across town while shouting, “Yoisa!” They go through the Otemon-dori arcade and a few side streets. Along the way, festival musicians from other floats greet the portable shrine (no sake is served). Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri’s festival music is called shagiri (しゃぎり) instead of hayashi (囃子). The portable shrine was made in 1676 by Fujioka Kanbe’e (藤岡甚兵衛) with donations from shrine parishioners. The Fujioka family was a renown woodcarver and Buddhist altar maker in Nagahama.

The portable shrine brings the deity closer to the people and chases away evil spirits. They occasionally raise the portable shrine to wish happiness and safety to the people around it. The portable shrine arrives at the Otabisho at about 7:30 pm. The Otabisho is a rest place for the god traveling in a portable shrine. The portable shrine remains in the Otabisho until April 15 evening.

April 10–12: Public Kabuki Practice (公開稽古)
Only during these three days, each float’s kabuki practice hall is open to the public. You can watch the boys (mostly age 5 to 10) practice their kabuki play usually once in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The practice hall is typically a small community center in the float’s neighborhood. It has a large room with a makeshift kabuki stage in the same size as on the float. (For practice times and locations, see the official festival guide book in Japanese or ask the tourist information desk at Nagahama Station.)

Anybody can watch them practice without any reservation or admission fee, but they do not wear the kabuki makeup and costumes (no dress rehearsals). They have been practicing every day since March 20 (spring vacation), so by this time, they have mastered their roles quite well. They receive some fine-tuning during this time.

When you watch them practice so hard (sometimes they even break down and cry), you will come to appreciate how much work it takes to put on a kabuki play. You can also see what the boys really look like without the kabuki makeup. Then when you do see them in kabuki makeup (from April 13), you will be amazed at their transformation.

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Before the kabuki makeup and costumes…

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And after the kabuki makeup and costumes.

The kabuki play is directed by three instructors called San’yaku (三役): The choreographer, tayu narrator, and shamisen player. The choreographer casts the actors’ (yakusha) roles usually according to their physical attributes. The choreographer is usually an experienced kabuki actor and directs the actors’ movements and voice. The tayu narrates the story in a highly stylized manner like in kabuki. The shamisen player provides the only music played during the kabuki performance.

Since 1990, the Nagahama Hikiyama Cultural Association (長浜曳山文化協会) has been working to train local artists to become tayu narrators and shamisen players in the festival. In 2016, for the first time, all four floats had at least one locally-trained tayu narrator or shamisen player. Previously, they were all from outside Shiga.

Each performing float also publishes its own festival program booklet or brochure introducing the float and kabuki actors in Japanese. (If it has English, it’s usually not very good.) You can buy one for cheap at the practice hall.

*Tip: On April 12, you can see three different festival events: Kabuki practice during the day, the portable shrine procession from 6:30 pm, and the hadaka-mairi shrine worshippers from 8 pm.


April 13
The main events on this day are the lot-drawing ceremony and the first kabuki performances in full costume for the public held in the evening.

Taiko Drum Call (起し太鼓): Before dawn at all float neighborhoods, a small team walk around and beat a taiko drum as a wakeup call.

Sacred Staff Receiving Ceremony (御幣迎えの儀)
7:00 a.m.: Representatives (including the Sacred Staff Messenger age 5–7) from the four floats go to Nagahama Hachimangu to receive their sacred staff (zigzag paper streamers) to be mounted on their floats.

Lot-Drawing Ceremony (Kujitori-shiki 籤取り式の儀)
1:00 p.m.:
 This ceremony is held to draw lots to determine the order of the four floats’ kabuki performances. Being Float No. 1 is most desirable since they get to perform first on April 15 (main festival day) and can end early and go home early. They also have the honor to host the Sanbaso prayer dancer who performs before their kabuki play.

At Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine, four unmarried lads representing the four floats wear a red headband (like they did at the Hadaka-mairi) and sit in front of the shrine priest inside the worship hall. They are the lot drawers (Kujitori-nin).

Four pieces of paper are written with float numbers one to four. Each piece of paper is crumpled into a ball and placed on a tray as a lot to be drawn. There is a tray for each lot, and each lot drawer selects and carries back a tray. While sitting together, they all open their paper lots at the same time to see who is Float No. 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Lot-drawing ceremony is not for the public since the shrine’s worship hall is too small to allow the public inside to see the ceremony. However, you can see them from outside celebrating (throwing the lot drawer into the air, etc.).

April 13 Kabuki Performance (十三日番)
5:30 p.m. to around 8:30 p.m.: The four floats hold their first public kabuki performances in full makeup and costume in their respective neighborhoods. (For exact performance times and locations, see the official festival guide book in Japanese or ask the tourist information desk at Nagahama Station.) Each float will perform kabuki only once or twice this evening.

In case of rain, the float will be covered with a tarp or moved to the shopping arcade for shelter.

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Sanbaso dancer (三番叟)

About the Sanbaso dancer
Float No. 1 receives the honor of hosting the Sanbaso dancer. The Sanbaso dances on Float No. 1 before the float’s kabuki play and he is the first performer on April 15 (main festival day) at the shrine. He holds a bell tree shaped like a ripe rice plant and performs prayer dances for a rich harvest.

The Sanbaso performs two short dance segments. The first segment is Momi-no-dan (stomping segment) where he waves his sleeves and stomps on the ground like he is preparing the ground for planting. He also does the “crow jump” (karasu-tobi) by jumping three consecutive times.

The second segment is Suzu-no-dan (bell segment) when the Sanbaso shakes his bell tree and mimes the planting and growing of rice. His costume has a crane design and his high cap has tiger stripes and a red sun on both sides.

The Sanbaso is a well-known dancer in Noh and kabuki. He comes from a Noh prayer dance called Okina (翁) dating from the 14th century as a religious ritual. Okina has three dancers praying for longevity, peace, endless joy, prosperity, and rich harvests. Sanbaso is the third dancer in Okina which is traditionally performed on auspicious and celebratory occasions like New Year’s and at the beginning of the day’s Noh or kabuki program. This is why he always appears first on the main festival day. The Sanbaso dances each time the float performs during the festival days. The boy playing the Sanbaso is recruited from the public in Nagahama and he is around age 10. He has his own choreographer, tayu narrator, and shamisen player. Ciick here to see the Sanbaso video clip.


April 14
The day before the main festival day is also a busy day. Lots to see/photograph.

Kabuki Performance in Local Neighborhoods (自町狂言)
9:30 a.m. to 1 pm: Morning performances of kabuki plays are held by the four floats in their respective neighborhoods. The floats perform once or twice in the morning. For exact times and locations, see the official festival guide book in Japanese or ask the tourist information desk at Nagahama Station.

Floats Proceeding to Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine (Noboriyama 登り山)
1 pm to 4 pm: After they finish their morning kabuki performances, the four floats proceed from their neighborhoods to Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Float No. 4 arrives at the shrine first, followed by the others in reverse numerical order. All four floats arrive at the shrine by 4 p.m. It’s a spectacle to watch them pull the floats through the streets and the shopping arcade as they shout “Yoisa! Yoisa!” It’s a stop-and-go process. Meanwhile, the Naginata-yama float is pulled from its storehouse across town and arrives at the Otabisho rest place at 4 p.m. It is the only float that does not go to the shrine.

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About the Naginata-yama “Long Sword Float” (長刀山/小舟町組)
This is the only float with no kabuki stage, an Imperial-style carriage with only three wheels. Carries banners and long swords. A ceremonial and “festival guardian” float appearing every year on April 14-15 only at the Otabisho. It does not go to Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Built in 1775 with Chinese lion sculptures on four sides. It’s a nice float, but does not attract the crowds. It’s a quiet float.

After the Sword Procession on April 15, red banners are hoisted on the float. Before Float No. 1 arrives at the Otabisho in the late afternoon, Naginata-yama’s red banners are replaced by white ones bearing the Minamoto Clan’s crest. The float’s caretaker is the Naginata-gumi association from the lakeside Kobuna-machi neighborhood (小舟町 now in Asahi-cho) where Minamoto Yoshiie landed for his victory march to Nagahama Hachimangu.

Evening Kabuki Procession (Yu-watari 夕渡り)
7:00 p.m.: Evening procession of all the child kabuki actors in full costume walking from Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine to Nagahama Hikiyama Museum through Otemon-dori shopping arcade. It starts with actors from Float No. 4, then No. 3, 2, and 1. Occasionally, the actor will stop and pose for photographers. Each actor is escorted by an adult relative (usually the father) holding a paper lantern and wooden placard indicating the actor’s name, age, and kabuki character. The procession includes festival musicians (no floats). A real crowd pleaser for locals and tourists alike.

All the kabuki actors (and stagehands) are treated like royalty during the festival. They receive gifts from relatives and friends and are very much pampered by their parents for undertaking such a difficult and rigorous task of kabuki acting. (A few of them even do it more than once.) The mothers have to make sure they don’t get sick or catch cold. This childhood experience stays with them for life and many of them come back to Nagahama to help out with the festival. In recent years, the floats have had difficulty recruiting kabuki actors (and musicians) since there are fewer kids in their neighborhoods.


April 15: Main festival day (Honbi 本日)
The festival’s peak day with kabuki performances here and there in central Nagahama from 9:45 am to 8:15 pm. The four floats start at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine where they perform in succession. Then they start moving toward the Otabisho and perform three more times at multiple locations (see map below). Before and after the kabuki performances, there are other processions and ceremonies. Note that the floats can be prone to be late (especially in the evening), so the time schedule is only approximate.

Before dawn: Taiko Drum Call (起し太鼓) at all float neighborhoods.

April 15 Events at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine (Times are approximate.)
7:00 a.m.:
 Spring Festival Ceremony (春季大祭). A religious ceremony, not really for tourists.

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8:30 a.m.: Morning Kabuki Procession Arrival (Asa-watari 朝渡り) of child kabuki actors arrive at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Colorful procession, but too early in the morning for spectators.

9:20 a.m.: Sword Procession (Tachi-watari 太刀渡り) of sword bearers arrives at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine after going through Otemon-dori arcade. Led by a golden sacred staff, this procession reenacts the Hikiyama Matsuri’s original samurai procession before floats were added. Young men wear ceremonial aprons (similar to sumo wrestlers) and young boys wear samurai armor and a long naginata sword (2–3 meters long). They depict Minamoto no Yoshiie’s victory march to the shrine after he won the Gosannen War (1080s) in the Tohoku Region. Minamoto no Yoshiie was a famous samurai who founded Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine in 1069.

By the 16th century, Nagahama Hachimangu was ravaged by civil war, so Nagahama Castle Lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi moved and rebuilt the shrine at its present location further inland. He also used his own samurai retainers to restart the shrine’s annual festival procession dedicated to Minamoto no Yoshie.

The Sword Procession is conducted by the Naginata-gumi group which also pulls the Naginata-yama float. It has the Matajirohama beach (又次郎浜) where Minamoto no Yoshie landed for his victory march to the shrine.

After resting at the shrine for a short period, the Sword Procession goes to the Otabisho to mount their long swords on the Naginata-yama float.

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9:35 a.m.: Okina Maneki (翁招き) is an opening ritual held in front of Float No. 1 to mark the start of kabuki performances. A long bamboo pole attached with a wooden placard is waved to the shrine and to Float No. 1 as a signal to start the festival and the festival music begins. Float No. 1 is then moved into position for the first kabuki performance (opening with the Sanbaso dancer).

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10:00 a.m.–2:15 p.m.: Kabuki at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine (Hono kyogen 奉納狂言) has the four floats perform kabuki at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine in succession starting with Float No. 1. These performances are dedicated to the gods. Each play is about 40 min. long. After a float finishes a kabuki performance, it leaves shrine and goes to the next performance location on the way to the Otabisho. The next float is then moved into position in the shrine to give its kabuki performance. So there is a break time between performances.

If you want to see all the kabuki plays on the four floats, one option is to stay at the shrine to see all of them. But it’s standing room only, so you may get tired standing for that long. There is paid seating, but they require advance tickets (costing a few thousand yen) sold in Feb. and usually sell out quickly. If you sit on the ground, you won’t be able to see the float since everyone is standing in front of you.

You can just watch one or two floats at the shrine, take a break, and watch the other floats at other locations and times. For kabuki performance times at the shrine and elsewhere, see the table below. All four floats will also perform at the Otabisho later in the afternoon and evening (also standing room only).

Each float has five to seven kabuki actors and one or two stagehands. There used to be more actors like 10 or more per float, but there are fewer kids now. It’s also quite expensive to rent the kabuki costumes. Since each kabuki float performs every three years, that’s how long they have to raise money for the festival.

Although watching the kabuki is impressive without even understanding it, you would enjoy it more if you knew the kabuki story. Most of the kabuki plays are well known and you may be able to find an English synopsis online if you know the kabuki play’s title in Japanese or English. Sometimes the kabuki play includes something about Nagahama.

*The order of the floats’ performances is decided on April 13 by the Kuji-tori ceremony (籤取り式の儀) where they draw lots to see which float is No. 1, 2, 3, or 4.

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Performing at Kanaya Park.

After performing at the shrine, each float will move across town mainly along Otemon-dori road (shopping arcade, Kurokabe Square, etc.) to the Otabisho rest place. Along the way, they will stop and perform kabuki three more times with the last performance at the Otabisho by Float No. 4 held from 7:35 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The map below has a red line indicating the float route on April 15 and the kabuki performance spots (1 to 7) along the way. To enlarge the map, click here.

Float No./Location1. Hachimangu2. Shrine path3. Kanaya Park4. Hikiyama Museum5. Arcade intersection6. Kurokabe Square7. Otabisho
Float No. 1
(Shojo-maru)
10:00–10:45 am12:00–12:45 pm2:00–2:45 pm4:00–4:45 pm
Float No. 2
(Ho'o-zan)
11:15–11:55 am1:15–1:55 pm3:15–3:55 pm5:15–5:55 pm
Float No. 3
(Takasago-zan)
12:25–1:05 pm2:25–3:05 pm4:25–5:05 pm6:25–7:05 pm
Float No. 4
(Kotobuki-zan)
1:35–2:15 pm3:35–4:15 pm5:35–6:15 pm7:35–8:15 pm
*Location numbers correspond to the numbers in the map below.

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April 15 Otabisho Events
The Otabisho (御旅所) is a small shrine building on a large parking lot near Hokoku Shrine (short walk from JR Nagahama Station). It is where the portable shrine rests during its journey away from Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. (The time schedule below is only approximate. Delays may occur. If you are visiting on a day trip and plan to stay until the end, be sure to check the time of your last train home.)

4:00–8:15 pm: Successive kabuki performances are held by the four floats as they arrive at the Otabisho one by one. Float No. 1 should arrive at 3:30 p.m. and start performing kabuki at 4 p.m. The last float (Float No. 4) is scheduled to finish its kabuki performance at 8:15 p.m. The kabuki actors are whisked home right after their performance. They don’t stick around for the latter events. They are exhausted and need to sleep and be ready for the next day.

9:00 p.m.: Portable Shrine Procession (Mikoshi togyo 神輿渡御)
After all the floats finish performing at the Otabisho, a short Shinto ceremony is held and the portable shrine that was brought to the Otabisho on April 12 is taken out and carried around the Otabisho a few times before it goes back to Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Note that it can get chilly this late in the evening, so dress warmly.

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9:30 p.m.: Returning Floats (戻り山)
The floats start to leave the Otabisho to return to their neighborhoods. Naginata-yama is always the first float to leave, followed by Float No. 1 and the other three floats in order. The last Float No. 4 might leave as late as 11 pm. The floats go back to their neighborhoods.


April 16: After-Festival Kabuki (Goen kyogen 後宴狂言)
9:00 a.m. to 8:40 pm: Each of the four floats will perform kabuki three times this day in their respective neighborhoods in central Nagahama. They will also perform on stage at the Nagahama Bunka Geijutsu Kaikan hall for a paying audience from 10:55 a.m. Each float’s final performance of the festival is called senshuraku (千秋楽). It starts from 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. (For exact times and locations, see the official festival guide book in Japanese or ask the tourist information desk at Nagahama Station.) Expect to see some tearful kids and relieved parents after the last show is over.

April 17: Sacred-Staff Returning Ceremony (御幣返しの儀)
8:00 am: Representatives (including the Sacred Staff Messenger around age 5–7) from the four floats go to Nagahama Hachimangu to return their sacred staffs (zigzag paper streamers) that were mounted on their floats. Not much for tourists.


For more information about the Nagahama Hikiyama Festival in English, including the festival’s origins, history, and all the floats, watch my YouTube video (embedded above). I don’t mean to brag, but it’s the world’s most comprehensive video about the festival in English. Being 91 min. long, it’s a long video, but you’ll learn a lot and enjoy the festival a lot more by knowing more about it and knowing what to expect.

For festival details in Japanese, see or download the official festival guide book pdf.

Shiga Image Quiz

Updated: Jan. 30, 2018

Take the Shiga Image Quiz and learn more about Shiga Prefecture!

Shiga Image Quiz has 50 questions showing 50 images of Shiga’s most iconic sights and attractions you should know about. This quiz is an excellent visual introduction to Shiga.

This quiz is easy for people familiar with Shiga. For newbies, some questions might be difficult, but you will still learn a lot about Shiga since the correct answer is displayed immediately after each question.

You will see 25 questions per page. After answering 25 questions, click on “Continue” at the page bottom to see the next page. If you don’t see the “Continue” button, it means you have not answered all the questions. Scroll backward to answer any unanswered questions. The questions are displayed in random order.

The quiz mentions Shiga’s 19 cities and towns as follows: Aisho, Higashi-Omi, Hikone, Hino, Koka, Konan, Kora, Kusatsu, Maibara, Moriyama, Nagahama, Omi-Hachiman, Otsu, Ritto, Ryuo, Taga, Takashima, Toyosato, and Yasu.

Anyone is free to use these quiz questions at parties, in the classroom, etc. For example, you can project it on a screen for students to answer. (Internet connection will be required.) This quiz requires no registration and no fees. You shall remain anonymous and no personal data about you will be collected. Quiz authored by Philbert Ono.

There is also the more challenging Shiga Quiz with 100 questions. Try this quiz too when you have time.

Click or tap on “Start Quiz” below. It may take a few moments for the quiz to load…

Shiga Image Quiz (Version 1.00)

Shiga Quiz

Updated: Jan. 30, 2018

Take the Shiga Quiz and see how much you know about Shiga Prefecture!

Shiga Quiz has 100 wide-ranging questions covering Shiga’s culture, history, historical figures, art, and major sights and products. It’s a long quiz that may require 45 min. or longer to complete. However, there’s no time limit to finish the quiz.

The quiz is relatively easy for people familiar with Shiga. For newbies, some questions might be difficult, but you will still learn a lot since the correct answer is displayed immediately after each question. The quiz is heavily illustrated, so it should sustain your interest to complete the quiz.

You will see 25 questions per page. After answering 25 questions, click on “Continue” at the page bottom to see the next page. If you don’t see the “Continue” button, it means you have not answered all the questions. Scroll backward to answer any unanswered questions. A few questions have many answers (as many as 20!) to choose from. On older browsers, the questions might not be displayed in the proper order.

The quiz mentions Shiga’s 19 cities and towns as follows: Aisho, Higashi-Omi, Hikone, Hino, Koka, Konan, Kora, Kusatsu, Maibara, Moriyama, Nagahama, Omi-Hachiman, Otsu, Ritto, Ryuo, Taga, Takashima, Toyosato, and Yasu.

Anyone is free to use these quiz questions at parties, in the classroom, etc. For example, you can project it on a screen for students to answer. (Internet connection will be required.) This quiz requires no registration and no fees. You shall remain anonymous and no personal data about you will be collected. Quiz authored by Philbert Ono.

There is also the shorter Shiga Image Quiz with 50 questions.

Click or tap on “Start Quiz” below. It may take a few moments for the quiz to load…

Shiga Quiz (Version 1.00)

Shiga History September–December 2017

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for September–December 2017 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT).

Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts were limited to 140 characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter) until early Nov. 2017. After that, the limit was increased to 280 characters in English. Dates and times below are based on GMT instead of Japan time.

2017-09-01 15:34:24 Due to North Korea’s missile threat, Hikone Higashi School has canceled a 4-day class trip to Guam scheduled for this Nov. for 317 students.
2017-09-03 10:58:28 Ropeway to Biwako Valley/Terrace had mechanical problems this morning, stranding most of the 600+ visitors who had to hike down the mountain
2017-09-03 11:12:37 RT @onyanlif:びわ湖バレイの公式サイトの今日の営業案内の書き方おかしいと思う(笑)

「ロープウェイの安全確認の為…」

いやいや私らには「動かなくなったからお待ちください」って言って4時間待って結果「まだ修復してないので泊まって頂くか、下山して頂くか」って言って宿泊…

2017-09-04 02:42:48 After waiting 4 hours, they were told to hike down Biwako Valley, taking them 2.5 hours while the ropeway had mechanical problems. https://t.co/b8mwnArvw2
2017-09-07 19:45:37 Due to North Korea’s missile threat, Torahime High School also changed its class trip destination from Guam to Okinawa this year. #交通事故の方が危険
2017-09-09 11:49:45 Biwako Valley and Biwako Terrace will be closed until Oct. due to cable replacement work on the ropeway that had mechanical problems since Sept. 3.
2017-09-09 13:24:45 Hikone-native Kiryu Yoshihide, the 1st Japanese to run 100 meters in less than 10 sec. (9.98 sec.) at intercollegiate meet in Fukui today. https://t.co/O6M4mH0Vo1
2017-09-10 02:59:28 Hikone-native sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu is front-page news in almost all Japanese newspapers this morning. #桐生祥秀9秒台 https://t.co/FZ45VKwGIl
2017-09-12 12:28:33 Shiga’s ineptness during disasters became evident when Ane River overflowed last month. Disaster info systems had errors or didn’t work.
2017-09-13 03:30:02 Pre-1903 old photo of Nagahama Station from my friend’s family collection. Going semi-viral. Lots of railway fans in Japan. https://t.co/OOnETWge6s
2017-09-14 01:04:26 Tanaka Kazuma (23,田中一真), employee at National Printing Bureau’s Hikone Plant arrested for groping and hitting age-20 college coed in Hikone.
2017-09-14 01:07:42 New edition of Japan Post Office’s die-cut postcards (gotochi form card) are out. Shiga’s latest one shows Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri. https://t.co/4ziI5UeDB6
2017-09-15 12:22:38 Age 31 Hino High School male teacher fired for DUI hit-and-run accident in Osaka in June. Also fined ¥300,000 for improper disposal of docs.
2017-09-15 12:32:48 Age 48 Kokusai Joho High School male teacher (soccer club advisor) reprimanded for losing docs containing soccer club members’ personal info
2017-09-15 12:42:29 Shiga police sergeant (40s) received a warning for unauthorized use of police database to check criminal record of his wife’s male friend.
2017-09-16 02:56:41 Typhoon No. 18 rains expected to hit Shiga tomorrow the 17th from around noon.
2017-09-17 02:45:57 Due to the typhoon, the Inazuma Rock Festival has been canceled today. Tickets will be refunded. See website: https://t.co/k0tKpKaMI9
2017-09-17 03:52:19 Created the “Shiga Travel Alerts” section on https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB home page. Because nobody does it, not even in Japanese. Poor tourists.
2017-09-23 12:15:54 今日のツーリズムEXPOジャパン(東京ビッグサイト)の滋賀のステージはさすがにつまらない。ご当地キャラとくだらないおしゃべりだけ。(その出張費が勿体無い。)ステージってやっぱり踊りなどのパフォーマンスがないとダメです。来年には土山のケンケト踊りでも披露したらいかがですか? 
2017-09-23 12:22:10 At Tourism Expo Japan today at Tokyo Big Sight, friendly staff (including this American lady) at the Omi-jofu (#近江上布) hemp fabric booth. 
2017-09-28 17:05:57 On Sep. 23 at Hikone Castle Resort and Spa, 29 people at a banquet suffered from food poisoning. Hotel’s kitchen was shutdown until the 29th.
2017-09-28 17:23:05 A recent survey found 141 Airbnb-type “minpaku” lodges operating in Shiga and 110 of them operating without a hotel business license.
2017-09-29 12:55:34 Former Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko will run for Shiga’s House of Representatives District 1 Diet seat in the Oct. 22 election. A shoo-in.
2017-10-01 15:01:28 Ceremony held today for Ohmi Railways Hino Station now completely renovated, looks like new. Will miss the old station from 1916.
2017-10-02 10:15:21 CUTE video of “Lake Biwa Rowing Song” sung in English by kids at ECC Junior in Konan city. Taught by our friend. GOOD JOB!!! #琵琶湖周航の歌英語版 https://t.co/IQhv8Uidp3
2017-10-06 12:16:17 今夜のNHK総合「歴史秘話ヒストリア」がよかったね。浅井長政の話で感動しました。この番組はいつも日本の歴史をわかりやすく説明するので大好きです。視聴者の皆さん、是非小谷城を訪れてください。10月15日午前0時05分に再放送されます。 https://t.co/ZNV7UqQDUe
2017-10-10 12:47:26 Enjoyed child kabuki at Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri on Oct. 9, Sports Day. #米原曳山まつり #旭山 #菅原伝授手習鑑三段目 
2017-10-11 13:45:52 Univ. of Shiga Prefecture Human Cultures male professor (age 63)-cum-former vice president punished for sexual harassment of female student.
2017-10-11 13:49:40 Former age 63 Vice President of University of Shiga Prefecture suspended for only 2 months for 1.5-year sexual harassment of female student.
2017-10-14 10:53:30 Matchlock gun shooting at Nagahama Castle this morning by gunners from Tanegashima (Kagoshima), Sakai (Osaka), and Hikone. #第34回長浜火縄銃大会 
2017-10-14 11:00:21 Colorful kimono today at the Nagahama Kimono Garden Party. Drawing also held, grand prize (trip to Hawaii) won by a Maibara lady. #長浜きもの大園遊会 
2017-10-16 13:45:08 「鶴瓶の家族に乾杯」がよく彦根へ来てくれた。しかし出会った市民はナーバスまたはシャイな方が多かったね(笑)。もっと明るく笑顔で迎えて欲しかったな。閉鎖的な県には苦手かもしれないが、よそ者にも心を開いてもっとフレンドリーにしよう。https://t.co/V1YkskvIPu
2017-10-20 03:46:34 Made in Echigawa: Toured UCC Shiga Factory that uses clean water from the Suzuka mountains to make coffee filled in capped cans and PETs. https://t.co/TzJMN2VAnp
2017-10-20 03:47:07 Made in Echigawa: Weaving hemp fabric for the 1st time at Omi Jofu Traditional Crafts Center in Aisho. #近江上布機織り体験 https://t.co/ADXvr96iB9 
2017-10-20 04:03:22 Made in Echigawa: Interviewed Nishikawa Yamato Gakki who makes koto. Beautiful instrument, beautiful sound! #西川和楽器 https://t.co/ObNR5h3XHy 
2017-10-21 07:54:57 Due to Typhoon Lan (No. 21) hitting Shiga on Sunday, Oct. 22, most festivals and events on this day have been cancelled in Shiga and elsewhere.
2017-10-21 13:38:38 Japan Meteorological Agency has issued heavy rain warnings for southern and eastern Shiga and Koka. https://t.co/DQ9P6R9AeE
2017-10-22 01:58:52 Typhoon Lan is expected to hit Shiga this evening, trains will be suspended or delayed from late afternoon. https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2017-10-23 02:02:44 A sinkhole in Konan and 3 broken utility poles blocking Route 8 in Ryuo are part of the typhoon damage in Shiga reported so far. No injuries.
2017-10-23 02:04:28 Over 18,000 households are still without power mainly in Otsu and Takashima. https://t.co/Ouyw6yS3EA
2017-10-23 02:12:18 Trains on JR Biwako, Kosei, Kusatsu, and Hokuriku Lines in Shiga have been suspended or reduced as of 11 am today. https://t.co/XWFzKVkzON
2017-10-23 11:38:18 Former Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko lost her bid for Shiga’s House of Representatives District 1 Diet seat against incumbent Ooka Toshitaka.
2017-10-23 11:39:00 Typhoon Lan tore off the white wall of Hikone Castle’s Tamon Yagura turret and broke 9 utility poles on the Kosei Line near Hira Station.
2017-10-23 12:01:35 Kosei Line running only between Yamashina and Katata. Ohmi Railways suspended between Hino and Minakuchi Stations due to landslide. Bus provided
2017-10-24 00:27:31 Imoko-no-Sato Michinoeki roadside station in Wani, Otsu is closed due to major typhoon damage (roof blew off). #道の駅妹子の郷
2017-10-24 00:28:51 Due to broken utility poles near Hira Station, JR Kosei Line is not running between Katata and Omi-Imazu Stations. Reduced runs beyond Imazu.
2017-10-24 10:17:24 In Otsu, part of Shiga Jr. High School’s gym roof got blown off by Typhoon Lan. With no power and water, it remains closed. #志賀中学校
2017-10-25 02:31:23 DEC is holding its annual Cancer Walk at 10 am on Oct. 29 at Higashiomi Green Stadium. Donate for cancer research. https://t.co/0mk2j1wZ5S
2017-10-25 02:31:46 The entire JR Kosei Line is running again. Power returning to affected areas. Cable car from Sakamoto to Enryakuji will run from Oct. 26.
2017-10-27 01:33:45 Blog post reviewing UCC Shiga Factory tour in Aisho: https://t.co/oSLNdsivNL
2017-10-29 08:14:14 Due to winds, JR Kosei Line has been suspended between Katata and Omi-Imazu Stations for the rest of today. Reduced train runs to/from Katata.
2017-10-29 18:24:09 4th graders in St. Johns, Michigan sing the Biwako Rowing Song in Japanese. They hold an art exchange with Konan. https://t.co/Yyi2aqSjNK
2017-10-29 18:29:14 Shar Mohr in Michigan studied Japanese and visited Shiga for the 1st time in Sept. A local paper wrote about it. Nice! https://t.co/1MupokWdwM
2017-10-31 17:03:02 “CocoShiga,” Shiga’s new gift shop, eatery, and tourist info center opened in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on Oct. 29. General manager is from Okinawa.
2017-10-31 17:03:11 Yamaguchi Yuki (28,山口佑樹) math teacher at Moriyama Kita High School fired for trying to take an upskirt photo of a female student in class.
2017-10-31 17:04:18 Korean envoy documents from Nagahama-born Confucian scholar Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755) will be inscribed as UNESCO Memory of the World.雨森芳洲
2017-11-02 17:57:40 Typhoon-caused landslide cleared and Ohmi Railways running again between Hino and Minakuchi Stations after a week of stoppage.
2017-11-03 20:38:55 Drunken Maibara City Hall worker Yomori Tatsuya (41,世森達也) arrested for punching a taxi driver who drove him home on Nov. 3, 12:45 am. #米原の恥
2017-11-03 20:39:12 3 hikers from Kyoto who got lost on Mt. Bunagatake on Nov. 2, found safe by police next day. Avoid alpine hiking after typhoon! #観光客用危険情報不足
2017-11-05 07:15:17 I wonder if they also showed her Lake Biwa pearls. I hope they did… https://t.co/TxBfmshKEs
2017-11-09 04:34:18 I welcome Twitter increasing the max. characters to 280 per tweet. Now I don’t have to use abbreviations which my Japanese readers of English might not understand. But I will still try to keep my tweets as short as possible. I can now use English + Japanese in one tweet. Great!
2017-11-09 05:16:27 Lots of Shiga sake at CocoShiga next to Nihonbashi Station in Tokyo.品揃えは結構あるけど、素人には目玉商品がよくわからない。滋賀の「これだ!」というもの。一見でわかるPOP広告やキャッチコピーが必要。英語版HPもおかしい。”The Shiga’s story”はおかしい… https://t.co/gp9d3AexFB https://t.co/W8bjZxAQ28
2017-11-09 05:42:20 Funazushi-flavored potato chips will go on sale from Nov. 13 in the Kinki Region. They look like regular chips, but with a fishy taste.魚の味はするけど、鮒ずしではないな。守山市にあるモンレーブの「ふなずしパイ」の方がいい。CocoShigaで売って欲しい。話題性のある「甲賀コーラ」も。 
2017-11-15 03:27:06 Nakamura Haruto (34,中村治人), a child activity center instructor at Ikadachi Jido Club (伊香立児童クラブ) in Otsu, was arrested for using his smartphone to shoot upskirt video of a high school girl in a convenience store in Otsu on Oct. 14. He has admitted to the charges.
2017-11-15 03:27:18 During the nationwide test of the J-Alert nationwide disaster warning system on Oct. 14 at 11 am, Koka’s loudspeaker announcement did not work and Moriyama’s email warning system did not work. #Jアラート訓練2市で不具合
2017-11-15 23:31:21 Otsu-based painter Brian Williams will have an exhibition at Takashimaya Department Store (6th floor) in Kyoto during Nov. 22–28. https://t.co/n2FNrd226F https://t.co/XJZI5VTxMh
2017-11-17 10:47:29 The next NHK Nodo Jiman TV program (amateur singing contest) on Nov. 19 at 12:15 pm to 1 pm will be held at Takashima Shimin Kaikan hall in Imazu, Takashima. Hope to hear Shiga’s famous songs. I applied to join the audience, but didn’t get in. Too bad! https://t.co/NYctY1LFiU
2017-11-17 10:52:24 Mt. Ibuki today. Dusted with the season’s first snow yesterday. 
2017-11-19 14:04:34 NHKのど自慢がよく今津に来てくれた。司会者が「琵琶県」と間違えて爆笑しました。一組(女子ペアの大学生)が「琵琶湖周航の歌」を歌ってよかった。思わず拍手。「今年は歌の百周年ですよ!」も言って欲しかったな。合格と思ったけどダメでした。皆さんお疲れ様でした。https://t.co/qToxwpsgJj
2017-11-21 04:39:26 In Maibara today, fall colors are peaking earlier than usual during a cold November. https://t.co/IcrlrCNYe5
2017-11-26 08:13:14 中日新聞、ありがとうございました! 
2017-11-26 08:15:38 A new song monument to mark the 100th anniversary of Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was unveiled at Kyoto University’s Yoshida-South Campus in Kyoto on Nov. 25, 2017. It’s in both Japanese and English. Watch this short video clip.「琵琶湖周航の歌」100周年記念碑除幕式 https://t.co/wAUT0vsBap
2017-11-28 02:31:56 Kyoto University Glee Club sang the 1st verse of Lake Biwa Rowing Song in English as part of the university’s celebration of Biwako Shuko no Uta’s 100th anniversary held at the university on Nov. 25, 2017. #京都大学グリークラブ #琵琶湖周航の歌百周年記念 https://t.co/ZrRn4jIaeh
2017-11-30 03:20:02 “Club Harie”を初めて聞いたとき,disco,スナック,高島市針江地区のジムとか思ったけど洋菓子屋でした。先日に彦根店の従業員にその名前の由来を聞いてみた。ClubとHarie(玻璃絵)の意味がわかったけど、なぜその社名にしたのか誰も知りませんでした。そのCaféのキッシュプレート(¥1080)は美味しかった。
2017-12-01 14:39:30 One wall (left in the photo) on Hikone Castle’s main tower was damaged by Typhoon No. 21 in Oct. The white plaster (shikkui漆喰) got soaked by horizontal rain and fell off. They can’t repair it until May since the new plaster cannot dry in the winter cold. It remains exposed. 
2017-12-03 14:08:55 Beautiful day today for Tarobogu Shrine’s annual Fire Festival in Higashi-Omi. It’s literally, “Holy smoke!” The smoke supposed to purify you for the new year. I really got smoked so I’m very pure. Firewalking (hi-watari) was fun too. I’m ready for 2018. #太郎坊宮お火焚大祭 
2017-12-04 14:36:31 Visited the old Biwako Hotel in Otsu. It’s now the Biwako Otsu-kan with a banquet hall, restaurant, and galleries. Larger-than-life building with great lake views. Built in 1934, it takes you back in time. Old photos of US Occupation forces using the hotel 1945–1957 are exhibited. 
2017-12-09 14:46:28 「琵琶湖周航の歌」はどう誕生したのか、オリジナルの朗読劇で披露された。2017年12月2日、滋賀県高島市今津町の今津東コミュニティセンターで「朗読劇団ムサシ」(森本純一代表)の6名のメンバーが披露しました。「針江よし笛の会」の生演奏も。その動画です: https://t.co/QaBlC9EbS4
2017-12-11 03:05:51 さすが彦根。この間は鶴瓶さん。そして先日の9日はNHK総合「ブラタモリ」。偶然か計画的か。または城の410周年のためか。近江さんも近江を訪れた。その名字の由来も聞きたかった。足軽屋敷の中も拝見できてよかった。色々面白くわかりました。再放送あり。https://t.co/M3AbpDRJI2
2017-12-11 14:45:53 Let’s pray that the tanuki (raccoon) mascot candidate for the Tokyo Paralympics will be selected. It would be great PR for Shiga, especially Shigaraki. Watch this official video that shows this mascot being born from Shigaraki tanuki. https://t.co/3sbewVP2uP
2017-12-12 18:33:56 In Yasu, the copper roofing on two smaller shrines at Osasahara Jinja Shrine (大笹原神社) was found to be torn off and stolen on Dec. 8. Shrine members plan to replace the roofing before New Year’s. Copper prices have been rising and have become a target for thieves in the past.
2017-12-12 19:50:58 My foodie friend Yukari introduced funazushi on NHK World’s J-Trip program about sushi (starts at 18:40): https://t.co/kUjHJy0TkG
2017-12-13 20:36:21 CocoShiga is Shiga’s new antenna shop in Tokyo. My blog post here: https://t.co/qMaT8Y1E3m
2017-12-15 15:06:53 Since 1977, for 41 years in a row in Dec., an anonymous person has again left bags of Omi rice at Hino Town Hall. Three 30-kg bags of rice were found at the entrance on the morning of Dec. 15. The town plans to give the rice to local nursing homes. No message was attached.
2017-12-15 15:18:13 National survey by Japan’s health ministry found that Shiga had Japan’s longest average life expectancy for men at 81.78 years as of 2015. For Shiga women, it was 87.57 years, the 8th longest in Japan and the longest in Kansai. Cancer was the leading cause of death in Japan.
2017-12-18 11:15:10 At Otsu District Court’s Hikone Branch today, former Kora Town Hall tax worker Kojima Takayasu (31) #小島崇靖 was convicted of embezzling ¥6 million from tax-paying residents. His 3-year jail sentence has been suspended for 5 years after his father paid the town ¥33 million.
2017-12-19 14:45:48 For the 4th time in Dec. 2017, copper roofing was stolen from a Shinto shrine in Shiga. On Dec. 19, copper roofing worth ¥20,000 on the Haiden hall of Taiho Jinja Shrine (大寶神社) in Hino was found to be torn off. Since June 2017, there have been 33 copper thefts in Shiga.
2017-12-20 15:38:00 私のTwitter followersは今まだ少ないですが、ほとんどのtweetは最低,数百件のアクセスがある.Shiga Blogのsidebarに自動的に表示されるので増えますが,たまに何千件のアクセスもある.例えば,12月1日の彦根城の漆喰の被害状況の写真は既に4千件以上のアクセス.なにが人気になるのか本当に予想できない.
2017-12-25 15:03:19 Faced with red ink (since mid-1990s) and aging rails and trains, Ohmi Railways is seeking serious talks with the five cities and towns it operates in to discuss its future. Either receive subsidies, replace train lines with buses, or create a joint venture with local governments.
2017-12-25 15:18:16 Age 25 math teacher at Hino High School fired (fined ¥700,000) for slandering a woman on social media and obscene acts with an underage girl. Also, a substitute teacher at Kamiteru Elementary School in Nagahama was fired (fined ¥500,000) for paid obscene acts w/age 16 girl in June.
2017-12-25 15:27:06 From Jan. to Nov. 2017, 88 arrests were made for crimes by foreigners in Shiga, including tourists, 19 more than the same period in 2016. 61 arrests were for shoplifting. Vietnamese were the largest group at 16 persons, followed by 10 Brazilians. No mention of Japanese arrests.
2017-12-25 15:57:56 After an invalid Nov. 26 referendum, the Yasu City Council has voted in favor of building a new municipal hospital (野洲市民病院) on the empty lot in front of JR Yasu Station’s South exit. Slated to open in 4 years to replace the current and aging Yasu Hospital in Koshinohara.
2017-12-25 16:07:22 To bring more tourists to western Shiga along the JR Kosei Line, a special express Haruka train will run from Kansai Airport to Omi-Imazu on Feb. 17, 2018 morning. It will be a special tour for 200 people to visit Ogoto Onsen and Imazu. Reservations being accepted until Jan. 31.
2017-12-25 16:22:54 In 2016, a record 50,767,300 tourists visited Shiga, a 5.9% increase over 2015 (+2.82 mil.) and the 1st time it exceeded 50 mil. 549,800 of them were foreigners, 74,000 (+15.6%) more than in 2015. However, lodging guests numbered only 3,777,300, a 1.5% decrease.
2017-12-25 16:28:27 In 2016, Shiga’s most popular tourist destinations were: 1. La Collina Omi-Hachiman (2.13 mil. visitors), 2. Kurokabe Glass Shop in Nagahama (1.97 mil. visitors), and 3. Taga Taisha Shrine (1.66 mil. visitors) in Taga.
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