Mitsui Outlet Park, Shiga Ryuo opens

Mitsui Outlet Park. Click image to see more photos.

Shiga now has another megamall, the much-publicized outlet mall called Mitsui Outlet Park, Shiga Ryuo (三井アウトレットパーク 滋賀竜王) in Ryuo-cho. Opened today on July 8, 2010, the mall is near the Ryuo Interchange on the Meishin Expressway, making it readily accessible by car for shoppers coming from Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Gifu. It also targets Chinese tourists traveling from the Kansai area to Mt. Fuji and further. Merchants do accept Chinese credit/debit cards. It is the first outlet mall in the Kyoto-Shiga area.

The two-level mall has 165 stores, 145 of which are outlet shops. Most are clothing shops and some are first-time outlet shops. There are many big names including Burberry, Gap Outlet, Barney’s New York Outlet, Armani, Paul Smith, Coach, Beams, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Bebe, Edwin, Vans, Levi’s, Puma, and Adidas. The shops open from 10 am to 8 pm. They expect to attract 4 million shoppers annually.

One shop we have to visit is called Umi-no-Eki Shiga Ryuo (湖の駅滋賀竜王 おいしやうれしや) where they sell Shiga products. The food court includes a restaurant serving local Omi beef, Kua’aina (Hawaiian hamburgers), and Tully’s Coffee. There’s also a Family Mart convenience store.

If you don’t have a car, you can take a local bus from Omi-Hachiman Station or Yasu Station. The ride takes 30 min. in normal traffic. Buses leave twice an hour, costing 510 yen one way from Yasu Station and 500 yen from Omi-Hachiman Station. Expect heavy traffic and crowds during the first few weeks, especially on the weekends until July 19, 2010, when many of the shops will hold an opening fair with special sale prices.

Mitsui Outlet Park is actually a chain of 10 outlet malls developed by Mitsui Fudosan real estate co. All are called “Mitsui Outlet Park” and tagged with the respective location. That’s why “Shiga Ryuo” is part of the mall’s name.

Official Web site in English: http://www.31op.com/shiga/english/

Golden Week 2010 in Shiga

We saw fine weather during Golden Week in Shiga from late April to early May 2010. I went to see a slew of festivals in Shiga during this time. I traveled to Maibara, Ryuo, Tsuchiyama (Koka), Takashima, Yasu, and Kora. I’m trying to see all the major Golden Week festivals in Shiga. The problem is, many of them are held on the same day and at the same time. It will still take me a few more years to see them all, but after this GW, I can say that I’ve see more than half of them.

Here’s what I saw during Golden Week 2010 in Shiga Prefecture (in chronological order):

Photos: Sakata Shinmeigu Yakko-buri Procession 坂田神明宮の蹴り奴振り

Photos: Yuge Fire Festival 弓削の火祭り

Photos: Kenketo Matsuri Festival and Odori Dance ケンケト祭・踊り

Photos: Omizo Matsuri Festival 2010 大溝祭

Photos: Shichikawa Matsuri Festival 2010 七川祭

Photos: Hyozu Matsuri Festival 兵主祭

Photos: Takatora Summit in Kora 2010 高虎サミットin甲良

More spring festivals in Shiga

During this rainy season, I’m staying at home to sort through the thousands of photos I took in Shiga during spring. Here are a few more festivals in Shiga which I photographed during spring.

Sanno Matsuri held by Hiyoshi Taisha in Otsu (Part 1 and 2):
Video link Part 1: http://youtu.be/ZwaS6fxHhb0
Video link Part 2: http://youtu.be/waDS12Umx5E


Sanno Matsuri photos: Sanno-sai Festival 山王祭

Minakuchi Hikiyama Matsuri is a festival of floats paraded during April 19-20:
Video link: http://youtu.be/qVIMVXchZXI

Minakuchi Hikiyama Matsuri photos here.

Kenketo Matsuri in Ryuo (Photos here):
Video link: http://youtu.be/isdfpgLUa54

Naginata Odori in Moriyama (Photos here):
Video link: http://youtu.be/1-Ti5JQTt_o

Taga Matsuri (Photos here):
Video link: http://youtu.be/M_Gg3rMEex4

I have more spring festivals to show and a full update will be posted soon on my home page (shiga-ken.com).

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