Shiga’s Internet TV channels

I didn’t find out until recently that the Shiga Prefectural government has finally created a YouTube account where they are posting videos. They should’ve done this a long time ago. The prefectural government’s Public Relations Dept. has the YouTube username of shigakoho. As far as I can tell, at least one of their vids is in English (embedded above). It’s about Lake Biwa, and it’s quite informative.

Another Internet TV channel is called Konbanwa Shiga (Good Evening Shiga), a local TV news program broadcast in Shiga Prefecture by the Biwako Broadcasting Co. (BBC) on Thursdays from 8:55 pm to 9 pm. Also rebroadcast on Saturdays from 6:35 pm to 6:40 pm. The 5-min. program is in Portuguese hosted by a Brazilian who works at Shiga Prefecture’s International Affairs Office.

They also upload each edition to YouTube in multiple languages. They have a separate YouTube channel for each language besides Portuguese (click on the link to go to the respective channel): English, Tagalog, Chinese, and Spanish. I’ve embedded one of their vids below. It is about an American well integrated in Hino town working to preserve and improve the town’s traditional architecture and townscape.

The problem with both the shigakoho and Konbanwa Shiga channels is that they fail to provide a description of each video uploaded. So you don’t know what the video is about unless you start watching it. This makes it impossible for us to decide which video we would be interested in. But at least they are doing something to reach out to us. Even for a 5-min. program, translating and narrating all that in multiple languages is a major undertaking. Hope it continues.

Shiga fireworks in summer 2010

Here’s the fireworks (hanabi) schedule for Shiga Prefecture in summer 2010 listed by date:

July 17, 2010
Echigawa Gion Noryo Hanabi Taikai in Aisho, 7:30 pm – 9:20 pm
Along the Echigawa River bank near Miyukibashi Bridge. If rained out, to be postponed to July 18.
愛知川祇園納涼祭花火大会
More info: 愛荘町秦荘観光協会/愛荘町愛知川観光協会 TEL:0749-37-8051
http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~e-machi/new/hanabitaikai.html

July 24, 2010
Kashiwabara-juku Yaito Matsuri fireworks, 9 pm – 9:20 pm
Near JR Kashiwabara Station in Maibara.
柏原宿やいとまつり
More info: 中山道柏原宿やいと祭実行委員会 TEL:0749‐57‐0256
http://yaito.kashiharasyuku.com/

Aug. 1, 2010
Hikone Dai-Hanabi Taikai at Matsubara Beach, Hikone, 7:45 pm – 8:30 pm
30-min. walk from Hikone Station. If rained out, to be postponed to Aug. 4.
彦根大花火大会
More info: (社)彦根観光協会 Phone: 0749-23-0001
http://www.hikoneshi.com/event/?itemid=641

Ogoto Onsen Noryo Hanabi Taikai in Ogoto Port, 8 pm – 8:30 pm
20-min. walk from Ogoto Onsen Station. Fireworks can be seen from most ryokan in Ogoto.
おごと温泉納涼花火大会
More info: おごと温泉観光協会 Phone: 077-578-1650
http://www.ogotoonsen.com/sightseeing/hanabi/

Omi-Imazu Furusato Natsu Matsuri, 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Climax of Imazu’s summer festival starting from 1 pm.
近江今津ふるさと夏祭り やっさ!今津!!2010
More info: 近江今津ふるさと夏まつり実行委員会事務局 Phone: 0740-22-2108
http://www.takashima-kanko.jp/new/20100620_613.html

Hachiman Tenbin Matsuri in Omi-Hachman, 7:30 pm
At Kitanoshosawa area. Shuttle buses provided.
八幡てんびんまつり
More info: 八幡てんびんまつり事務局 Phone: 0748-32-6654
http://tenbinmaturi.hp.infoseek.co.jp/

Aug. 5, 2010
Nagahama Kita-Biwako Hanabi Taikai at Nagahama Port, 7:30 pm
10-min. walk from Nagahama Station. Very crowded so go early to save a spot or pay 3,000 yen for special seating. If rained out, to be postponed to Aug. 9.
長浜・北びわ湖大花火大会
More info: 長浜市観光振興課 Phone: 0749-65-6521

Aug. 6, 2010
Biwako Dai-Hanabi Taikai at Hama-Otsu and Nagisa Park, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
This is the big one, but prime viewing areas all charge admission of about 4,000 yen (even for children above age 3). The free area is farther away and terribly crowded. People are no longer allowed to save a place with vinyl mats, etc., until the fireworks day. Would you believe people saved a viewing place on Nagisa Park as early as 2 weeks before the fireworks day? If rained out, to be postponed to Aug. 10.
びわ湖大花火大会
More info: びわ湖大花火大会実行委員会 TEL:077-511-1530
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/hanabi/index.html

Aug. 7, 2010
Makino Summer Carnival at Makino Sunny Beach in Takashima
マキノサマーカーニバル2010
More info: 四季遊園マキノ交流促進協議会事務局 Phone: 0740-28-8002
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_12577.html

Ujisato Matsuri Summer Gathering in Hino
Fireworks is the climax of this summer festival (bon dance, etc.) held in the northern parking lot of Hino Town Hall.
氏郷まつり「夏の陣」2010
More info: 日野町イベント実行委員会 Phone: 0748-52-6562
http://www.town.shiga-hino.lg.jp/contents_detail.php?co=cat&frmId=1386&frmCd=4-15-2-0-0

Kotonarie Summer Festa in Higashi-Omi’s Hibari Park
Part of an illumination festival.
コトナリエサマーフェスタ2010
More info: 東近江市湖東商工会 Phone: 0749-45-2571
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_373.html

Aug. 9, 2010
Ishiyama-dera Sennichikai and Setagawa fireworks, 8:30 pm – 9 pm
Fireworks along the Seta River near Ishiyama-dera. 10-min. walk from Ishiyama-dera Station on the Keihan Line.
石山寺千日会と瀬田川に煌く炎のページェント
More info: (社)石山観光協会 Phone: 077-537-1105
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_304.html

Aug. 16, 2010
Somagawa Natsu Matsuri near Kibukawa Station, Koka
Fireworks are part of the summer festival with taiko drummers and lantern floating on the river.
杣川夏まつり
More info: 甲賀市観光協会 Phone: 0748-65-0708
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_301.html

Aug. 17, 2010
Setagawa River Hanabi Taikai at Seta River in Otsu, 7:50 pm – 9 pm
Near Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge. Short walk from Karahashi-mae Station on the Keihan Line. Fireworks will climax a waterborne festival on boats.
瀬田川花火大会
More info: 瀬田川流域観光協会 Phone: 077-537-1105
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_303.html

Aug. 25, 2010
Kinomoto Jizo Dai-ennichi fireworks near JR Kinomoto Station
木之本地蔵大縁日 8月22日(日)~25日(水)(花火は25日のみ)
More info: ふるさと夏まつり実行委員会 Phone: 0749-82-5902
http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/event_12358.html

Ito Miki places 12th in freestyle moguls

ITO Miki, native of Hino, Shiga Prefecture, placed 12th in the finals of the women’s freestyle moguls competition at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2010. She looked quite happy after doing her run down the moguls hill. Obviously she did her best. (Didn’t fall or anything like Satoya Tae who placed 19th.)

All four of Japan’s freestyle mogul women skiers had passed the qualification round. A tearful UEMURA Aiko came in 4th, narrowly missing the bronze medal. However, she did better than last time at Turin when she placed 5th. I bet Uemura will try again at her 5th winter Olympics.

Some 400 people gathered at a community hall in Hino to watch and cheer Ito on a large TV screen.

Congrats to Miki for a good experience.

UPDATE:

Ito Miki returned to Japan early from Vancouver and visited Hino Town Hall in Shiga Prefecture on Feb. 23. She was welcomed by almost 100 people including the mayor of Hino. She thanked everyone for their cheering and support and commented that although she did not attain an outstanding result, she was happy to have skied her best. Her 12th place finish is an improvement over her 20th place finish at the Turin Olympics in 2006.

Shiga Olympians off to Vancouver

Among Japan’s athletes competing in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, two are from Shiga Prefecture.

ITO Miki (伊藤みき) hails from Hino, Shiga and Vancouver is her second Winter Olympics after Torino. She will compete in the freestyle skiing mogul event along with media darling Uemura Aiko. Born in 1987, Miki attended elementary and junior high school in Hino and graduated from the Omi Kyodaisha (Omi Brotherhood) Senior High School in Omi-Hachiman.

She placed 20th in Torino in 2006, but she’s looking much better now. Since she’s not getting much media attention (spotlight is always on Uemura), she has less pressure and may well deliver an outstanding result. (Japanese athletes often seem to perform best when they are not under the media spotlight.) She’s a student at Chukyo University in Nagoya and has two sisters who are also mogul skiers. Miki has been a competitive skier since 1996 (age 9).

The second Winter Olympian from Shiga is OKADA Rana (岡田 良菜), a native of Otsu. Born in 1991, she is a snowboarder competing in the halfpipe event. Encouraged by her parents, she started snowboarding while in the 2nd grade, and entered her first halfpipe contest in junior high. During the 2008-09 season, she won the All-Japan Championship. In Jan. 2009, she placed 8th at the FIS Snowboard World Championships. She is employed by a snowboard shop called Hood in Gifu Prefecture.

Their appearances will be broadcast on TV. The broadcast times will be listed here later.

Let’s wish them the best of luck, along with all the other athletes.

Ito Miki’s official profile in English:
http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-freestyle-skiing/athletes/miki-ito_ath1003961uy.html

Ito Miki’s Web site (in Japanese):
http://ameblo.jp/itomiki-blog/

Okada Rana’s official profile in English:
http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-snowboard/athletes/rana-okada_ath1004004Wd.html

Okada Rana’s Web site (in Japanese):
http://www.rana-okada.com/ (Offline)

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