Summer 2012 in Shiga Prefecture

Japan has re-entered the age of nuclear power, starting with Shiga’s backyard. Despite widespread opposition, the Japanese government has given the green light to restart the Oi nuclear power plants in neighboring Fukui Prefecture, Japan’s mecca of nuclear power plants. On July 1, 2012, they began firing up two Oi nuclear power plants amid protests near the power plant and many thousands of protestors in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Tokyo. The protesters have received relatively little Japanese media attention. It’s no wonder because many news media executives (including NHK) also serve (or served) in executive positions at the

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Golden Week festivals in Shiga

Golden Week is Japan’s spring vacation from late April to early May with a string of national holidays. April 29 is Showa Day (set to April 30 this year since the 29th is Sun.), May 3 is Constitution Day, May 4 Greenery Day, and May 5 Children’s Day. This year’s calendar in 2012 can make it a nine-day holiday for the working folk if they only take off on two working days (May 1 and 2). In Shiga, it is prime time for matsuri festivals. There are so many matsuri during this time that it took me at least 4 or

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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

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Hino Matsuri 2011

On May 3, 2011, Hino in eastern Shiga held its annual Hino Matsuri festival. This is a major festival of floats with sixteen ornate floats and three portable shrines paraded through the main streets and gathered at Umamioka Watamuki Shrine. This was the second time I saw this matsuri, but the first time I filmed it with a Full HD camcorder. Here’s the video: Video link: http://youtu.be/S5CG04vUdMA Photos here. Like or share this:

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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

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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

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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

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Hino’s Miki Ito going to Vancouver Winter Olympics

Miki Ito (伊藤みき) from Hino town snagged the silver medal (Uemura Aiko got the gold) for the women’s dual moguls of the FIS Freestyle World Championships in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture on March 8, 2009. This has assured her a spot on Japan’s winter Olympic team for Vancouver in 2010. Born in 1987, Ito graduated from Hino Jr. High School and Omi Kyodaisha High School. She’s currently a student at Chukyo University in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Both her sisters are also free-style mogul skiers. Vancouver will be her second winter Olympics. At Torino in 2006, she placed 20th. Like or share

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