Rice-planting festivals in Yasu and Taga

I went to see two rice-planting festivals in Shiga, for the first time.

The first one was in Yasu on May 25, 2008. It’s held on the fourth Sunday in May in a sacred rice paddy near Mikami Shrine. Women and men in colorful costumes plant rice seedlings accompanied by singing, taiko drumming, and dancing. Started at 10 am with a Shinto ceremony, then the rice planting was held from 10:30 am to 11 am. The rice paddy is called Yuki Saiden (悠紀斎田記念田) which was the used to produce the rice used for the Showa Emperor Hirohito’s accession to the throne in 1928. It was a scenic area with Mt. Mikami in the background. Near Yamade-mae bus stop near the foot of Mt. Mikami. More photos here. Video link: http://youtu.be/JlETZh-jh7k

 

Yasu rice-planting festival

The second rice-planting festival was at Taga Taisha Shrine on June 1, 2008. It was more elaborate than at Yasu, with stage performances of taiko drumming and sacred dances. But they required a 500 yen donation to watch the rice-planting. It started at 1:15 pm and ended at 3 pm. The rice paddies were left unfinished though. More photos here. Video link: http://youtu.be/mbZbS9dYZmI

Taga Taisha rice-planting

Taga-cho’s awful English Web pages

I’m checking all the official Web sites for all of Shiga’s cities and towns. A few towns have English pages. 

Taga-cho has English pages, but unfortunately, they used automated (software) translation. The English is very bad, the worst in Shiga. 
http://www.tagatown.jp/frames/e-site.html 

However, the Board of Education has a separate page with the title: 
「多賀を世界に発信プロジェクト」 
http://www.tagatown.jp/educate/Introduce_taga/ 

It is a good idea for a project, and they have English descriptions of sightseeing spots in Taga-cho. The English is not bad. Probably one of their ALTs helped with the English. 

They need to make English links though, and coordinate or integrate with the bad-English page. 

Most towns are unable to create English pages. I think Shiga’s Biwako Visitors Bureau should help them with that.

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