Monster Centipede on Mt. Mikami

Tawara-no-Tota Hidesato Slaying the Giant Centipede俵藤太秀郷ムカデ退治(俵藤太物語) Adapted in English by Philbert Ono based on an old folktale. Once upon a time during Japan’s Heian Period in the 10th century, there was a young warrior prince named Fujiwara Hidesato (藤原 秀郷), also known as Tawara-no-Toda (俵藤太). One day, when he was going to cross the Seta Karahashi Bridge in Otsu (Shiga Prefecture), he saw a big commotion at the end of the bridge. “How awful!! What should we do??” “Look at how big it is!!” “I’m too frightened to cross the bridge!” People were fraught with fear and anxiety. When Hidesato

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Biwa-ichi Cycling Around Lake Biwa and Shiga Prefecture

Comprehensive guide to cycling around Lake Biwa and Shiga Prefecture.By Philbert Ono, updated: Sept. 7, 2019 Bicycling around Lake Biwa has become so popular that there’s a buzzword for it: “Biwa-ichi” (ビワイチ). It’s short for Biwako isshu (びわ湖一周), meaning “going around Lake Biwa.” Technically, we can go around Lake Biwa (Biwako) by car, train, boat, or on foot, but “Biwa-ichi” (also spelled BIWAICHI) is mainly associated with cycling around Lake Biwa. No one seems to know who coined “Biwa-ichi” and when it came to the fore, but a local cycling association official says that it was found on the Internet as

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Shiga History January–April 2019

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for January–April 2019 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT). Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts are limited to 280 English characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter). Dates and times below are based on GMT, not Japan time. 2019-01-01 00:53:59 Happy New Year 2019! Hope we see more good news than bad this new year. https://t.co/vhpHzDmoRE 2019-01-05 07:32:58 CNN Travel has included Saimyoji Temple in Kora, Shiga as one of the “36 of Japan’s most stunning places.” #西明寺 #甲良町 https://t.co/NK6JCZMtdZ 2019-01-28 04:02:23 Higashi-Omi has

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Shiga Prefecture in 2018

A year in review of the top 2018 news headlines in Shiga Prefecture compiled from Shiga Headlines (Twitter). Major construction continues in front of JR Nagahama Station (east side). They are building a pedestrian deck. pic.twitter.com/XiA6SeEgYy — Shiga Headlines (@ShigaHeadlines) January 18, 2018 For 5 years in a row in 2017, more people moved out of Shiga than those who moved in. Cities in southern Shiga, especially Kusatsu (+690), Moriyama (+369), and Otsu (+238) saw gains, while Higashi-Omi (-497), Nagahama (-427), Konan (-408), & Takashima (-361) saw losses. — Shiga Headlines (@ShigaHeadlines) February 2, 2018 From fall 2018, Shiga will

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Shiga History September–December 2018

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for September–December 2018 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT). Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts are limited to 280 English characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter). Dates and times below are based on GMT, not Japan time. 2018-09-04 03:51:10 Typhoon No. 21 (Jebi) will reach Shiga and the Kinki Region this afternoon peaking at 3 pm to 6 pm with heavy rains and winds. Train services have been suspended. Current status of JR train lines here: https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt 2018-09-04 15:08:29 In Shiga, Typhoon

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Autumn festivals and foliage November 2018 in Shiga Prefecture

Recommended festivals (matsuri), events, exhibitions, and fall leaves in Shiga Prefecture in November–December 2018. (Most official Web sites are in Japanese only.) Compiled by Philbert Ono. Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 November 3, 2018 ♦ Little Edo Hikone Castle Festival Parade, Hikone Castle, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Very elaborate costume parade of mainly kids dressed as samurai and Edo-Period ladies. Highlights include the Hikone Gun Battalion giving a matchlock gun demo (in front of Horse Stable), Ii Naosuke played by an actor on horseback, fireman acrobatics, and Sarugaku dancers. The parade route starts from Joto Elementary School and proceeds along the road to

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Koto Sanzan Temple Trio autumn foliage 2018

In 2018, the Koto Sanzan autumn foliage season will be November 17th–25th, 2018. Shuttle buses will run between Hikone Station and the three Koto Sanzan temples. The shuttle bus day pass is ¥1,500 (Momiji kippu) sold at Hikone Station’s west exit bus stop. Koto Sanzan (湖東三山) is a trio of large Tendai Buddhist temples famous for autumn leaves in eastern Shiga. They are Saimyoji (西明寺) in Kora, Kongorinji (金剛輪寺) in Aisho, and Hyakusaiji (百済寺) in Higashi-Omi (see map below). They are also famous for structures that are National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. Each temple has its own unique characteristics. Saimyoji’s main temple and pagoda are both National Treasures that you can enter.

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Things to know before visiting Shiga Prefecture

1. Shiga Prefecture is easy to find on a map of Japan. Just look for the large blue lake near the center of Honshu island. It is next to Kyoto. From Tokyo, Shiga is on the way to Kyoto. 2. Shiga Prefecture’s claim to fame is Lake Biwa (Biwako), Japan’s largest lake and water supply for 14 million people in the Kyoto-Osaka area. Lake Biwa is one of the world’s oldest lakes dating back 4 million years, home to over 70 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. 3. Shiga’s most famous tourist sights include Enryakuji Temple (World Heritage

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