Suijo Taiko Drum Dance and Hinade Sumo in Maibara

Held only once every 5 years, the Suijo Hachiman Shrine Taiko Odori Dance was held on Sept. 23, 2009 in the neighborhood of Suijo (春照) near the foot of Mt. Ibuki in Maibara. The dance was originally a rain-making dance. It features 15 yakko-furi men (with body paintings) who carry luggage for samurai, 35 flute players from the local elementary school, and about 50 taiko drummers. It was a very impressive and colorful performance. Got some great video footage and photos. Video in two parts. Google Map Video link Part 1: http://youtu.be/61q1TvodzOs Video link Part 2: http://youtu.be/XcDTbURRbZc Photos: Suijo Taiko Drum Festival

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Maibara Station east-west corridor opens

The new Maibara Station has been under construction since Feb. 2006. It will be completed in Aug. 2009. For a long time, we could not go through the train station from the west exit to east exit and vice versa without having a train ticket. (We had to go around far away through a tunnel.) We can now freely pass through the corridor between the east and west exits from March 21, 2009. This is the last major stage of construction to be completed. A ceremony was held on the 21st to mark the opening, complete with Shiga LakeStars cheerleaders.

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Maibara Sumo Tournament

On Oct. 17, 2008, an exhibition sumo tournament was held in Maibara’s Green Park Santo. It was called Ozumo Maibara Basho 大相撲米原場所. It was held from 8 am to 3:30 pm and included many interesting activities besides sumo wrestling. Unfortunately, Yokozuna Asashoryu was absent due to injury and recuperation in Mongolia. But all the other sumo stars were there: Ozeki Kotomitsuki/Kaio/Chiyotaikai/Kotooshu, popular Takamisakari, Kisenosato (photo), Baruto, etc. It was quite enjoyable because we could get autographs from the sumotori and take pictures with them. However, Takamisakari refused to sign autographs. He avoided the crowd by running past us. I guess

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Hokuriku Line sees little passenger increase

The Hokuriku Main Line running from Maibara Station to Tsuruga Station in Fukui Pref. converted to direct current power in Oct. 2006, enabling trains to run directly from Kyoto all the way to Tsuruga. Passengers no longer have to change trains at Maibara or Nagahama Station when going beyond Nagahama. Anticipating a substantial increase in visitors, the train stations along the line built new station buildings. However, by March 2008, the passenger increase was only 0.5 percent, far below the target 14% increase.

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Lake Biwa Rowing Song photo exhibition in Maibara

I don’t know if there’s anybody from Maibara in this community, but I currently have my Lake Biwa Rowing Song photo exhibition again, this time in Maibara until Aug. 3. The place is Lucci Plaza near JR Omi-Nagaoka Station on the Tokaido Line. This place also has a public library where people can borrow the CD. There’s also a nice restaurant with a view of Mt. Ibuki. http://plaza.city.maibara.shiga.jp/access.htm It is open from 10 am to 10 pm, closed on Mon. Free admission of course. This is my third photo exhibition this year in Shiga, after Yokaichi and Imazu. Many of

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