Omi Hino Shonin Furusato-kan

Last month in September 2015, I got a sneak peek and taste of a new Japanese dining experience that will start later this month on Oct. 20 at the Omi Hino Shonin Furusato-kan (近江日野商人ふるさと館) in Hino. This is the former grand residence of Hino merchant Yamanaka Shokichi (旧山中正吉邸) that has been restored to serve as a local museum and community center. It is right on the road leading to the entrance of Umamioka Watamuki Shrine. Yamanaka Shokichi was a Hino merchant born in 1809. He became a sake brewer in Shizuoka Prefecture. By the 1920s, his family became one of Shizuoka’s most

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Shiga Prefecture Videos

Updated: June 17, 2020 Organized index of my videos of Shiga Prefecture on YouTube. I currently have about 90 Shiga videos on my YouTube channel (photojpn). Mostly matsuri festivals. Links go directly to YouTube. Videos by City and Town Aisho-cho Videos | Higashi-Omi Videos | Hikone Videos | Hino-cho Videos | Koka Videos | Konan Videos | Kora-cho Videos | Kusatsu Videos | Maibara Videos | Moriyama Videos | Nagahama Videos | Omi-Hachiman Videos | Otsu Videos | Ritto Videos | Ryuo-cho Videos | Taga-cho Videos | Takashima Videos | Toyosato-cho Videos | Yasu Videos Latest and Most Popular Videos NEW! Shigaraki Fire Festival 信楽火まつり・紫香楽太鼓

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Zensuiji showing hidden Buddha

Zensuiji is one of the three Tendai Buddhist temples (called Konan Sanzan 湖南三山) in Konan, Shiga Prefecture designated as a National Treasure. The elegant lines of the thatched roof, Japanese gardens, and colorful autumn leaves make Zensuiji one of Shiga’s most aesthetic and popular temples. Its main object of worship (Honzon 本尊) is Yakushi Nyorai Ruriko Nyorai (薬師瑠璃光如来), the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. It is a statue of a seated Buddha normally hidden from view in the Hondo main temple hall built in 1366. However, for the first time in 14 years, this main statue will be exposed for public

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Otsu Matsuri karakuri puppets

Video link: http://youtu.be/52tjGe470eA In 2018, the Otsu Matsuri Festival will be held on Oct. 6th and 7th, 2018 (Sat. and Sun.). Embedded above is my acclaimed video of Otsu Matsuri (大津祭) filmed on Oct. 12-13, 2013. It’s about 28 min. and the most comprehensive English video about the festival. It includes the Yoimiya festival eve and the festival’s main day. The video spotlights the karakuri mechanical puppets. I also got on-camera comments from foreign participants (mostly American, including Shiga’s JET Programme teachers and interns from Michigan who were in Otsu in autumn 2013). Otsu Matsuri is an annual festival of thirteen ornate floats

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Pharrell Williams HAPPY – From Lake Biwa

Video link: http://youtu.be/FKchoOLG2TY Pharrell Williams scored a huge hit with his song Happy last autumn. It has since become a worldwide phenomenon with people in cities around the world making street dance videos with the song. Pretty amazing. The videos show a good bit of the respective locality along with some great dancers. The vids were inspired by Pharrell’s own music video which is the world’s first 24-hour music video with Happy played repeatedly for 24 hours. Fortunately, we can pause and resume the video at will. I’m not one who usually gets on a faddish bandwagon, but I immediately recognized Happy’s PR potential for local destinations. So I

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Top 20 train stations in Shiga Prefecture

Yokaichi Station

Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 滋賀県の一番美しい駅舎 〜心に残る駅舎〜 The train station is a gateway to the local area. First-time visitors may get their first impressions of a city or town from the train station. It’s like the genkan (foyer) of your house where you might keep a vase of flowers or a painting to impress visitors. Although I don’t judge a place by its train station, I do take note of how nice the train station is. After seeing most of Shiga’s train stations (totaling about 120), I’ve picked and ranked Shiga’s Top 20 train stations. My selections and ranking are based on architectural and aesthetic design, incorporation of

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Shiga Food and Crafts Fair in Tokyo

Video link: http://youtu.be/aYVMeAMgaW8 My short video of the Omi-ten Shiga Prefecture Food and Crafts Fair (第26回 琵琶湖夢街道大近江展) held at Takashimaya Dept. Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo during Feb. 25-March 3, 2014. On March 2 (Sun.), we checked out some of Shiga’s trademark products including funazushi fermented fish, Omi beef, Biwa pearls, Otsu-e paintings, and the latest book from Sunrise Shuppan. Hiko-nyan also made an appearance on the rooftop stage. We bought quite a bit of food, but found no place to sit and eat inside the dept. store. The food section had a tiny dining area, but it was too crowded. There was the

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Lake Biwa Museum video

My video about Lake Biwa Museum in Kusatsu and Lake Biwa. My longest video yet at 1 hr. 6 min. I try to make my videos as short as possible, but I had to make an exception when it came to this museum and Shiga’s most prominent natural feature. But it’s a video so you can pause and resume playback at your convenience. Video link: http://youtu.be/WKvSP9zmnb8 (Also see links to specific segments below.) For this video, I visited the museum three times last year. A short bus ride from JR Kusatsu Station. Open 9:30 am – 5 pm, closed Mon. and the

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