Fewer JR train runs in Shiga

From April 2011, JR trains in Shiga and the Kansai area will be running less frequently. West Japan Railway Co. announced that factories in Tohoku and Ibaraki Prefecture which make train motor parts are inoperative. They still do not know when the parts can be procured again. Without these parts for train motors, JR West is unable to maintain their trains properly. Therefore, to reduce the trains’ maintenance requirements, they will run trains less frequently from April. In Shiga from April 11, the JR Kosei Line between Kyoto and Omi-Maiko will have only three train runs per hour between 10

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Shiga student confirmed dead in NZ quake

Sad to hear that Hirabayashi Yuko (平林祐子), a 28-year-old woman from Nagahama (Kinomoto) who was missing in Christchurch, New Zealand after the earthquake struck, has been confirmed dead by the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Her death along with the death of a Japanese woman from Chiba were announced. Due to DNA testing, it’s been slow-going to confirm the identity of bodies. Her parents departed on March 12 from Kansai Airport for New Zealand to claim the body which will be cremated in New Zealand. Hirabayashi Yuko was a licensed nurse who graduated from Torahime High School and Kobe University’s School of

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Go and Azai Sisters Expo

In concert with NHK TV’s year-long Taiga Drama called Go–Himetachi no Sengoku (Go–Noble Ladies of Feudal Japan), Nagahama is holding a year-long mini expo called Go and Azai Sister Trio Expo (Go–Azai Sanshimai Hakurankai 江・浅井三姉妹博覧会) from Jan. 15 to Dec. 4, 2011. The expo spotlights the three Azai sisters (Chacha, Ohatsu, and Go). The expo has three pavilions (see below) in three different locations: central Nagahama, Odani, and Azai. The three pavilions are linked with a shuttle bus that runs every 40 min. (weekdays) or 30 min. (weekends) starting from Nagahama Station’s west exit at 10 am on weekdays and

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NHK Taiga Drama: Go–Himetachi no Sengoku

This is to help you better understand the historical background of Go–Himetachi no Sengoku (江〜姫たちの戦国〜) which I translate as “Go–Noble Ladies of Feudal Japan.” The TV series will be broadcast on NHK Sogo TV from Jan. 9 to Nov. 27, 2011 every Sunday at 8 pm to 8:45 pm (except Jan. 9 when it will be broadcast from 8 pm to 9:15 pm) and rebroadcast on the following Sat. at 1:05 pm. What is Go–Himetachi no Sengoku? It is NHK TV’s year-long, historical drama TV series to be broadcast weekly in 2011 from Jan. 9 to Nov. 27, 2011 in Japan.

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NHK Taiga Drama “Go” excites Shiga

The tourist industry in Shiga is abuzz and excited over NHK TV’s Taiga Drama for 2011 called Go-Himetachi no Sengoku (Go–Princesses of Feudal Japan 江〜姫たちの戦国〜) starting on Jan. 9, 2011 at 8 pm on NHK Sogo channel. The NHK Taiga Drama is one of Japan’s most famous TV series, going back 50 years. Each year, a different historical theme is depicted in year-long, weekly episodes of 45 min. Most of the years have featured feudal-era Japan with well-known samurai appearing. But in 1984, Sanga no Moyu was about the Japanese-American internment in the US during World War II. “Go” is

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Shiga History 2010

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s news bits for January-December 2010. Compiled by Philbert Ono. Jan. 1, 2010: Nagahama merges with six towns in northern Shiga Prefecture: Torahime, Kohoku, Takatsuki, Kinomoto, Yogo, and Nishi-Azai. Feb. 14, 2010: ITO Miki, native of Hino, places 12th in the finals of the women’s freestyle moguls competition at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. March 10, 2010: Google Maps street views start including photos of the streets of Shiga, mainly in Otsu, Kusatsu, and the road going around Lake Biwa. March 21, 2010: Omi-Hachiman and the town of Azuchi merge, becoming a new city of about 82,000 residents.

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Free Azai sister trio for New Year’s postcards

Shiga Prefecture is now offering free high-res downloads of manga characters depicting the three Azai sisters for your New Year’s postcards (nengajo). For personal and non-commercial use, you can freely use the graphic to print on your New Year’s postcards. There is a variety of graphics available, all centering on the three characters above depicting Chacha, Go, and Hatsu who were the daughters of Lord Azai Nagamasa and Oichi (younger sister of Lord Oda Nobunaga). They lived in Odani Castle in Nagahama in the turbulent 16th century. Shiga is making a big fuss over these sisters because from Jan. 9,

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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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