Shiga Prefecture Hazard Maps

The recent massive flooding in Western Japan from Kyushu to Gifu has made many of us living in Japan check the vulnerability of our own homes to severe flooding. One way to do this is to check the hazard maps published by local governments. As listed below, Shiga Prefecture has published online hazard maps for floods, landslides, earthquakes, and nuclear power plant radiation leakage. The hazard areas are color-coded and quite detailed (you can zoom in and scroll around your neighborhood). The green “running man” icon indicates refuge areas (parks, schools, etc.). All the hazard maps are in Japanese only,

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Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri 2018 Festival Schedule

Video link: https://youtu.be/3zYuarHUHXs Updated: April 13, 2018 Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri (長浜曳山祭) is a major float festival held annually on several days centering on April 15 by Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine in the city of Nagahama in northern Shiga Prefecture. The main highlight is child kabuki actors (boys age 5 to 12) performing on four ornate wooden floats pulled through the main streets. (If you can read Japanese, download the festival’s official guide brochure.) 2018 Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Schedule (Main highlight dates in red, times are approximate) April 7 (Sat.), 10 am–3 pm: At Hikiyama Museum, exhibited floats to be replaced. Details here. April 9th–12th, from 8

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Biwako Shuko no Uta 100th Anniversary

June 2017 was the 100th anniversary of Biwako Shuko no Uta (琵琶湖周航の歌 aka Lake Biwa Rowing Song), Shiga’s most famous song and one of Japan’s best hometown songs. To mark this milestone, a series of events were held in late June 2017 in Shiga. They included a four-day rowing excursion around Lake Biwa during June 24–27, a choir contest in Imazu on June 25, the unveiling of a new song monument in Nagahama on June 25, and a major concert at Biwako Hall in Otsu on June 30. I didn’t see everything, but I did get a glimpse of the major

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Child Kabuki Festival at Asakusa Shrine, Tokyo

This afternoon on July 9, 2017, a joint child kabuki performance by actors from Asakusa (Tokyo) and Nagahama (Shiga Prefecture) was held at Asakusa Shrine (next to Sensoji temple) in Tokyo. The shrine is famous for Asakusa Sanja Matsuri Festival held in mid-May in honor of the three men who founded Sensoji Temple. It was a blistering hot day. 浅草神社 神楽殿 It was a special event to mark Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of 33 “Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan” in Dec. 2016. It is not an annual event. Two

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Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri 2017 Festival Schedule

NagahamaHikiyama10.14.39-PM

<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> Video link: https://youtu.be/3zYuarHUHXs Click here for the 2018 Nagahama Hikiyama Festival Schedule. All 13 Nagahama hikiyama floats appearing in 2017! YOISA!! Held annually on several days centering on April 15 by Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine, Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri (長浜曳山祭) is a major float festival in Nagahama in northern Shiga Prefecture. The main highlight is child kabuki actors (boys age 5 to 12) performing on four ornate wooden floats. On Dec. 1, 2016 (JST), Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of the 33 “Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in

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Nagahama Kannon exhibition in Tokyo 2016

Another rare and magnificent exhibition of Kannon statues from Nagahama is being held in Tokyo at The University Art Museum (東京藝術大学美術館), Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) from July 5 to Aug. 7, 2016 near Ueno Station. Kannon is also known as the Goddess of Mercy. The exhibition is titled, Life and Prayer, Kannon Sculptures from Nagahama II (観音の里の祈りとくらし展 II-びわ湖・長浜のホトケたち). Organized by the Tokyo University of the Arts and the city of Nagahama, it is the followup to the first Nagahama Kannon exhibition held in 2014 at the same venue. This second Kannon exhibition has been greatly expanded with over 40 Kannon and Buddha statues from Nagahama, over

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Biwako Nagahama Kannon House in Tokyo

The city of Nagahama boldly opened a little museum in Ueno, Tokyo called “Biwako Nagahama Kannon House” (びわ湖長浜 KANNON HOUSE) on March 21, 2016. It exhibits one precious kannon Buddha statue (Goddess of Mercy) brought over from Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture. The exhibit changes every two months so Tokyoites can see six different kannon statues from Nagahama every year. The museum is small, but nice. It has only one medium-size room divided into the kannon exhibition space and a mini theater showing a video about Nagahama. The small exhibition space is enclosed by a wooden, temple-like fence modeled after a Kannon-do (観音堂) or small kannon worship hall. The wood is hinoki cypress

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Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Schedule

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Updated: Click here for the 2018 Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri Festival Schedule. The Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri is a major float festival held in mid-April in Nagahama in northern Shiga Prefecture. The highlight is child kabuki actors performing on four ornate floats. On Dec. 1, 2016 (JST), it was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of 33 “Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan.” The festival is held near JR Nagahama Station on the JR Hokuriku Line. Here is a schedule of major festival events in 2016 (times are approximate): April 13 6:00 p.m. to around 8:30 p.m.: April 13 evening

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