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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Autumn festivals and foliage November 2013 in Shiga Prefecture

Recommended festivals, events, exhibitions, and autumn leaves in Shiga Prefecture in November 2013. (Most official Web sites are in Japanese only.) Compiled by Philbert Ono. Oct. 26 – November 24, 2013 ♦ Kunimasu Trout Special Exhibit, Lake Biwa Museum, Kusatsu, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm A special and rare exhibit (the first in western Japan) of live kunimasu trout (Oncorhynchus kawamurae or black kokanee), previously thought to have gone extinct in the 1940s. Kunimasu was an endemic fish found only in Lake Tazawa in Akita Prefecture, but became extinct (along with most other fish species in the lake) in the 1940s when

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Autumn festivals Sept. 2013 in Shiga Prefecture

Here are some recommended autumn/fall events and festivals in Shiga in September 2013. September 1-30, 2013 ♦ Genkyuen Garden Insect Chirping Concert, Hikone, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm (enter by 8:30 pm) Genkyuen Garden next to Hikone Castle will be open in the evenings in September. If you miss the cicadas in summer, you can still hear insects chirping in the garden that will be lit up along with Hikone Castle in the background. Matcha tea will be served at cost and free gagaku and koto performances will be held on the weekends. Admission ¥500. Near JR Hikone Station. Google

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Summer 2013 festivals in Shiga Prefecture

Here are some of the many events and festivals in Shiga in summer 2013 (Web sites are in Japanese). If you want to see the fireworks schedule instead, click here. July 5 – Sept. 1, 2013, 9 am-5 pm – Biwako Hakodate-yama Lily Garden, Imazu, Takashima びわこ箱館山ゆり園 Lilies galore high up on Mt. Hakodate with views of Lake Biwa in Imazu, Takashima. From JR Omi-Imazu Station (Kosei Line), take a bus to the Hakodate-yama gondola station (15 min.). In winter, the place is a ski ground. The 1,800 yen fare includes the gondola (round trip) fare and admission to the lily garden.

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Google Map of Kusatsu now online

I’ve finally created an annotated Google Map of Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture in English. The major places of interest have been marked on the map. The sidebar lists them in alphabetical order (except for train stations and city hall which appear at the top of the list). Kusatsu was the only city left for which I didn’t have a map. I now have annotated Google Maps in English for all of Shiga’s cities and towns. Also, I’ve incorporated short URLs for all of the Google Maps. You can see them on the shiga-ken.com home page under Maps. Google Map for Kusatsu:

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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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Kusatsu Shukuba Matsuri canceled

Many festivals (matsuri) in Japan are being canceled or scaled back in consideration of the Tohoku disaster. It’s unfortunate since spring is prime time for festivals. The Kusatsu Shukuba Matsuri festival scheduled for April 23-24, 2011 has been canceled. It’s too bad since it’s a nice festival highlighted by a parade of women in kimono and men in samurai costume. I hope cancellation of matsuri will be minimal. Of course, we all feel sad about what happened in Tohoku, but cancelling these events where we can get together and relieve stress makes it more demoralizing and somber. Look at the

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