Autumn festivals and foliage November 2018 in Shiga Prefecture

Recommended festivals (matsuri), events, exhibitions, and fall leaves in Shiga Prefecture in November–December 2018. (Most official Web sites are in Japanese only.)

Compiled by Philbert Ono. Updated: Nov. 14, 2018

Little Edo Hikone Castle Festival Parade

Little Edo Hikone Castle Festival Parade

November 3, 2018
♦ Little Edo Hikone Castle Festival Parade, Hikone Castle, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Very elaborate costume parade of mainly kids dressed as samurai and Edo-Period ladies. Highlights include the Hikone Gun Battalion giving a matchlock gun demo (in front of Horse Stable), Ii Naosuke played by an actor on horseback, fireman acrobatics, and Sarugaku dancers. The parade route starts from Joto Elementary School and proceeds along the road to the castle and passes in front of the Umaya Horse Stable. Video here. Short walk from JR Hikone Station. Map | Video | Photos
小江戸彦根の城まつりパレード
English: http://www.hikoneshi.com/en/event/articles/220
Japanese: http://www.hikoneshi.com/jp/event/articles/c/parade

Saimyoji

Saimyoji

November 18th-25th, 2018
Koto Sanzan Temple Trio autumn foliage, Kora, Aisho, and Higashi-Omi
Koto Sanzan (湖東三山) is a trio of large Tendai Buddhist temples famous for autumn leaves in eastern Shiga. They are Saimyoji (西明寺) in Kora, Kongorinji (金剛輪寺) in Aisho, and Hyakusaiji (百済寺) in Higashi-Omi (see map below). They are also famous for structures that are National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.

During the autumn foliage period, convenient shuttle buses (Koto Sanzan Shuttle Bus) run every day between Hikone Station and these three temples. For more details and the shuttle bus schedule in English, click here.

Eigenji

Eigenji

November 3rd-30th, 2018
Eigenji Temple Autumn Foliage and Light-up, Higashi-Omi, 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm for light-up
Although this temple is not one of the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio, it’s also famous for autumn leaves with 3,000 maple trees. Along with Saimyoji, Eigenji is also one of Japan’s 100 Grand Autumn Foliage Sites. Established in 1361, Eigenji belongs to the Zen Rinzai Buddhist Sect (Eigenji School). Since it’s a different sect, Eigenji is not a member of the Koto Sanzan trio of Tendai Sect temples. Impressive during the day, but also beautiful at night when the leaves are illuminated along with the walking paths. Admission 500 yen.

From Ohmi Railways Yokaichi Station, go to Bus stop 1 and take the bus going to Eigenji Shako (永源寺車庫) and get off at Eigenji-mae (永源寺前). Takes about 35 min. Bus schedule (in Japanese) from Yokaichi Station on weekdays | Saturday | Sunday. Note that from Eigenji-mae, the last bus for Yokaichi Station leaves at 7:16 pm on Sat./Sun. and 8:27 pm on weekdays. Map
永源寺 ライトアップ
Japanese: http://eigenji-t.jp

Zensuiji

Zensuiji and maples.

November 10–December 2, 2018
♦ Konan Sanzan Temple Trio Autumn Tour, Konan, all day
Not to be confused with Koto Sanzan, Konan Sanzan is a trio of Tendai Buddhist temples in the city of Konan. A small city like Konan is lucky to have as many as four National-Treasure structures at the three Konan Sanzan temples. Like Koto Sanzan, Konan Sanzan temples are also noted for autumn leaves. During this period, a convenient shuttle bus plies between the temples and train stations.

The temples are Jorakuji (常楽寺), Chojuji (長寿寺), and Zensuiji (善水時). Jorakuji has not one, but two buildings that are National Treasures: the Hondo main hall and three-story pagoda. Chojuji means, “Long Life Temple,” and its small, but distinctive Hondo hall is a National Treasure. Zensuiji has the largest and most impressive Hondo hall (National Treasure) bearing elegant roof lines. Not to be missed by architectural buffs. The three temples are all in quiet, rural neighborhoods.

One thing you have to understand is that two of the temples (Jorakuji and Chojuji) are on one side of the train tracks and the third temple (Zensuiji) is farther away on the other side of the tracks. So there are two separate bus routes going to the three temples and there’s a train ride between Jorakuji/Chojuji and Zensuiji.

The Konan Community bus called Meguru-kun runs from JR Ishibe Station (JR Kusatsu Line) to Jorakuji and Chojuji once an hour from 8:24 am to 3:45 pm. From Jorakuji, you can take the bus to Chojuji. From Chojuji, take the bus back to JR Ishibe Station and catch the train to JR Kosei Station one stop away.

From JR Kosei Station, take the bus to Zensuiji (get off at the “Iwane” stop). The last bus leaves Zensuiji (Iwane) at 5:16 pm for JR Kosei Station. You can also tour the temples in reverse order, starting with Zensuiji.

In the morning, buses leave JR Kosei Station (north exit Kita-guchi) for Zensuiji at 8:28 am, 9:25 am, 10:15 am, 12:20 pm, 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:50 pm (except on weekends and holidays). Bus fare is ¥250 per ride for adults. ¥130 for kids.
Konan Sanzan info and bus schedule in Japanese | Map
湖南三山めぐり

Hiyoshi Taisha torii lit up in autumn.

November 10th–25th, 2018, 5 pm–8:30 pm
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine Maple Festival Light-up, Otsu
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine at the foot of Mt. Hie in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture is the head shrine for all Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno Shrines in Japan (around 2,000). The spacious grounds includes two shrines that are National Treasures and 3,000 maple trees lit up at night 5:00 pm–8:30 pm during this period. Even the green leaves look great against the dark sky. The shrine also has a chrysanthemum display around the same time. Highly recommended if you’re in that part of the city. Near Hiezan Sakamoto Station on the JR Kosei Line and Keihan Line’s Sakamoto StationMap | Photos
もみじ祭
http://hiyoshitaisha.jp/event/momiji/

Ishiyama-dera

Ishiyama-dera

November 16–December 2, 2018
Ishiyama-dera Temple Autumn Foliage Light-up
, Otsu, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (enter by 8:30 pm)
Founded in 749, Ishiyama-dera, belonging to the Shingon Buddhist Sect, is the 13th Temple of the Saigoku Pilgrimage. The temple is noted for National Treasure architecture, cherry blossoms, and fall leaves. The maples are nice even during the day, but the evenings will include LED lights. Mini-concerts on weekends at 6:30 p.m. Admission ¥600. Map
三井寺 秋のライトアップ
English:
Japanese: https://www.ishiyamadera.or.jp/guide/event/atarayo

November ??, 2018
♦ Miidera Temple Autumn Foliage Light-up
, Otsu, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (enter by 8:30 pm)
Established in the 7th century, Miidera temple, or Onjoji, is one of Otsu’s major temples and one of Japan’s four largest temples. It is the headquarters temple of the Tendai Jimon Buddhist Sect and former rival of Enryakuji temple on Mt. Hiei. It is a complex of numerous structures including National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The temple bell is famous for being one of the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi) depicted in ukiyoe prints. During this period, the temple’s three-story pagoda will also be open to the public. Map
三井寺 秋のライトアップ
English:
Japanese:

Hyozu Taisha

Hyozu Taisha garden

November ??, 2018
Hyozu Taisha Shrine Garden Autumn Foliage Light-up, Yasu, 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm (until 9 pm on weekends and holidays)
Established in 717 (Nara Period), Hyozu Taisha Shrine has a noted Japanese garden with a pond ringed by small rolling hills and autumn leaves. The fall leaves certainly look colorful and impressive when illuminated in the evenings and reflected in the pond. Events and merchandise booths will be held on weekends.

A short bus ride from JR Yasu Station’s North Exit (Kita-guchi). Take the Yoshikawa Line (going to Nishi Kawahara 2-chome 西河原2丁目 or Ayame-hama あやめ浜) and get off at Hyozu Taisha 兵主大社. Buses are infrequent (schedule here). The last bus leaving Hyozu Taisha for Yasu Station leaves around 9:02 pm on weekdays and around 7:17 pm on Sat./Sun. Or take a taxi (costing about 2,000 yen from Yasu Station). Map
兵主大社庭園紅葉ライトアップ
Japanese: http://www.yasu-kankou.com/

Genkyuen

Genkyuen autumn foliage light-up.

November 17–December 2, 2018
Genkyuen Garden Autumn Foliage Light-up, Hikone, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (enter by 8:30 pm)
Adjacent to Hikone Castle, Genkyuen was built as a castle garden in 1677 by Ii Naooki, the fourth lord of Hikone Castle. I would call this Shiga’s best place to view autumn foliage illumination. The pond’s reflection of the colorful autumn leaves at night doubles the impact. Hikone Castle in the background is also lit up for a perfect night scene. Reminds me of a master painter using a black canvas. Admission ¥700 (¥350 for jr high and younger). Short walk from JR Hikone Station. Map
錦秋の玄宮園ライトアップ
English:
Japanese: http://www.hikoneshi.com/jp/event/articles/c/kinshu

November 15–December 5, 2018, 5:30 pm–7 pm (enter by 6:30 pm)
Kyorinbo Garden Autumn Foliage Light-up, Azuchi, Omi-Hachiman
Beautiful Japanese garden designed by Kobori Enshu. Part of a temple at the foot of Mt. Kinugasa. Autumn foliage at night is reputed to be most beautiful. Of course, you can also go during the day. Tripods/monopods and food are not allowed. No photography inside the buildings. The garden is usually open only on weekends and holidays, but it will be open every day during the evening light-up days. Admission 600 yen (200 yen for jr high and younger). From JR Azuchi Station, take a taxi for 10-min. ride. Google Map
石の寺 教林坊 紅葉ライトアップ

Toyosato

Toyosato Elementary School (Image: toyosato-kanko.jp)

November 24–December 25, 2018, 5 pm–10 pm
♦ Former Toyosato Elementary School Evening Illumination, Toyosato
Pretty outdoor and building illumination in the evening. Christmas concert on Dec. 22 at 3 pm in the hall. Designed by William Merrell Vories the school has become nationally famous as the backdrop for the popular K-ON! anime/manga series. For groups of four or more, guided tours of the old school are provided for a fee.
Japanese: http://toyosato-kanko.jp/event/illumi2017/
豊郷小学校旧校舎群ライトアップ&イルミネーション

Shaka-do

Shaka-do

October 27–November 25, 2018
Hie Momiji Matsuri Maple Festival, Otsu
In the Yokawa complex of Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, lots of maple leaves in autumn. From the ropeway station, take the shuttle bus to Yokawa complex. 比叡のもみじ
Japanese: https://www.hieizan.or.jp/archives/3218

November 23–December 2, 2018
Metasequoia (dawn redwood) trees, Makino, Takashima
A pretty road lined with Metasequoia trees turn color in autumn. At JR Makino Station, take the Makino Kogen bus and get off at the Makino Picland bus stop. メタセコイア並木
Japanese: https://takashima-kanko.jp/2018/07/post_642.html

November 25, 2018
♦ Tonda Ningyo Puppet Show
, Nagahama, 1:30 pm
The famous Tonda puppet troupe will perform three acts at Lute Plaza. Admission 1,200 yen at the door. For info, call 0749-63-7400.
At JR Nagahama Station, go to Bus stop 1 and take the bus at 12:27 pm going to Nagahama Shiyakusho Azai-shisho-mae (長浜市役所浅井支所前) and get off at Biwa Shisho-mae (びわ支所前). Takes about 20 min. Only three buses go there on Sunday. Or take a taxi if you’re rich or going with friends.
Japanese: http://www.city.nagahama.lg.jp/0000005315.html
Google Map
人形浄瑠璃「冨田人形」

December ??, 2018, 6:30 am
Hot Air Balloon Over Lake Biwa, Takashima, early morning
Dramatic sight of hot-air balloons crossing Lake Biwa. They start off very early in the morning at Omi-Shirahama Beach so you would have stay near this beach in Takashima. The balloons aim to land in Notogawa in Higashi-Omi across the lake. Note that weather conditions can cancel the event.
熱気球琵琶湖横断
http://www.takashima-kanko.jp/

Tarobogu Shrine Fire Festival

Tarobogu Shrine Fire Festival

December 2, 2018
Tarobogu Shrine Fire Festival, Higashi-Omi, Noon – 4:00 pm
Held annually on the first Sunday of December, the Tarobo Shrine Fire Festival burns a big pile of pine tree branches and 100,000 wooden prayer tablets called goma (護摩) collected from believers all over Japan. The tablet is written with the believer’s name, address, and prayer wish. The fire burns as a prayer for family health and safety. After the fire settles down, barefoot priests and anyone can walk over the not-so-hot ashes. Very dramatic festival (photos).
Short walk from Ohmi Railways Tarobogu-mae Station. Map
太郎坊宮お火焚大祭
http://www.tarobo.sakura.ne.jp/posts/news7.html

For art and museum exhibitions in Shiga, see Kansai Art Beat’s exhibition schedule for Shiga museums.

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Shiga History January–April 2018

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for January–April 2018 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT).

Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts are limited to 280 English characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter). Dates and times below are based on GMT, not Japan time.

2018-01-01 11:21:58 迎春 Happy 2018! Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and productive new year. Thank you for reading Shiga Headlines, Shiga Blog, & https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB. I’ll be adding more top-quality content in 2018. It’s the details that make it interesting and useful, and fun to write. https://t.co/kP1UPj0zm4
2018-01-06 02:12:23 Bilingual video of Kyoto University’s Biwako Shuko no Uta 100th anniversary celebration held on Nov. 25, 2017. Lake Biwa Rowing Song also sung in English. 京都大学「琵琶湖周航の歌」誕生百周年記念事業のダイジェスト版動画(66分)。グリークラブ、吹奏楽団等。https://t.co/Hj9cwLn4x6
2018-01-08 12:09:53 As of Oct. 1, 2017, Shiga had 53,211 males & 54,493 females (7.7% of Shiga’s pop.) born in the Year of the Dog. The lowest figure among the 12 Oriental zodiac years. Age 48 (b. 1970) had the highest number of Dog Year people at 20,631, while 1,458 Dog people were age 96 or older.
2018-01-11 11:52:37 The fire-walking ceremony (火渡り神事) that was held annually in Feb. by Sugawara Shrine (菅原神社) in Yasu will be canceled indefinitely from this year. The shrine’s priest passed away in Oct. and his son is unable to take over the ritual performed to dispel illness & disasters.
2018-01-11 12:00:37 Influenza warning has been issued for all of Shiga as the number of patients (1,320 as of Jan. 7) is expected to increase further. Both Type A and B have been found in Shiga. Wash your hands, etc., and take care even if you got your flu shot.
2018-01-15 10:45:13 Beautiful view of Mt. Hiei from Aeon Mall Kusatsu early this afternoon. The Food Court on the 3rd floor has large picture windows, very clean. Short bus ride from JR Minami-Kusatsu Station. #イオンモール草津 https://t.co/6IZOMZAjuQ
2018-01-18 06:55:53 Major construction continues in front of JR Nagahama Station (east side). They are building a pedestrian deck. 
2018-01-20 02:06:38 The old Otsu PARCO shopping complex that closed last Aug. will reopen as a new shopping complex in late April with about 40 stores including Heiwado, Yamada Denki, a sports shop, and bookstore cafe.
2018-01-24 13:39:30 Private email account of an instructor at the University of Shiga Prefecture was hacked from overseas, resulting in the leak of personal info on 168 students (their names, addresses, academic records, post-graduation plans, etc.). Poor students…
2018-01-25 02:48:28 Due to snow, trains are delayed on the Biwako/Tokaido Line between Maibara and Kyoto. Trains between Maibara and Nagoya also delayed, but running. Ohmi Railway trains are delayed on most lines. Lots of snow in northern Shiga. Great for skiers. https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2018-01-27 06:37:15 Maibara City Hall worker Mori Atsushi (39, 森篤志) pleaded guilty at Otsu District Court on Jan. 26 for bid-rigging a construction project to expand a childcare facility in Maibara. He leaked the bidding info to a construction company he favored. Sentenced to 18 months in jail.
2018-01-27 06:37:28 In 2017, the annual number of stalker cases reported to Shiga Police reached a record high of 351. Many stemmed from couples who broke up. 21 stalker arrests were made, and 58 police warnings were issued. Be careful of who you date.
2018-01-27 06:39:00 Sadly, Dr. Ikai Tsuyoshi (68, 猪飼剛) & son Satoshi from Shiga apparently accidentally skiied off course at Lotte Arai Resort in Myoko, Niigata on Jan. 24 and could not be rescued in time. Their bodies will be recovered later. A reminder to skiers to never ski in the backcountry.
2018-01-27 06:39:20 On Jan. 22, 2018, Maibara reached a record 400 consecutive days (since Dec. 18, 2016) without any traffic accident fatalities. This is the longest such period among Shiga’s cities and towns. Local police have reinforced the monitoring of fatality-prone sections since last June.
2018-01-30 01:03:59 Take the Shiga Quiz! 100 basic (?) quiz questions about your favorite prefecture. Heavily illustrated. There’s no other quiz like it. https://t.co/HukbMwc2Rn
2018-01-30 01:06:08 Also take the Shiga Image Quiz. 50 questions showing 50 images of Shiga’s most iconic sights and attractions you should know about. An excellent visual introduction to Shiga. https://t.co/VyuAAuqIHc
2018-02-01 20:58:09 I didn’t know this until now, but Dr. Pryse Duerfeldt in Marquette, MI passed away in July 2017. I’ve never met him in person, but he emailed me a few times over the years & avidly supported https://t.co/MzT4BdgWjB & sister-city relations w/Higashi-Omi. My belated condolences.
2018-02-02 23:22:26 For 5 years in a row in 2017, more people moved out of Shiga than those who moved in. Cities in southern Shiga, especially Kusatsu (+690), Moriyama (+369), and Otsu (+238) saw gains, while Higashi-Omi (-497), Nagahama (-427), Konan (-408), & Takashima (-361) saw losses.
2018-02-02 23:22:35 Reservations for Lake Biwa Canal boat rides starting on March 29 between Otsu & Kyoto now being accepted online (in Japanese only). Fares start at ¥4,000 for a 55-min. ride from Miidera to Keage. Boats will run until May 28 & in Oct.–Nov. Should be fun. https://t.co/hGd2BTfvwg
2018-02-06 21:29:41 From fall 2018, Shiga will start issuing newly-designed car license plates showing Lake Biwa and Chikubushima island. The design was the overwhelming favorite among the four choices presented last fall for voting by Shiga residents. 
2018-02-06 21:31:00 Opened in July 2017, Ekimachi Terrace Nagahama in front of JR Nagahama Station is bleeding red ink. Nagahama’s deputy mayor has been promoted as its president. They will build a kids’ play area on the 2nd floor to attract more families to this customer-sparse commercial complex. https://t.co/4JhrrxGQ8v
2018-02-06 21:31:15 Koka City Hall’s General Affairs Dept. head & other managers committed ballot count fraud & coverup for the House of Representatives election on Oct. 22, 2017. Total ballots counted didn’t add up, so they stuffed invalid ballots to compensate. A missing ballot box was later found
2018-02-06 21:31:28 Too bad Shiga won’t have any athletes at PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Our last hope was freestyle moguls skier Ito Miki (30) from Hino aiming for her 4th Winter Olympics but didn’t do well enough (22nd place) at the Freestyle Ski World Cup in Mont-Tremblant, Canada in Jan.
2018-02-08 01:25:49 At Koka City Hall, a missing ballot box with uncounted ballots was found after ballot count managers had already stuffed invalid ballots to match the correct total. One manager then took home the uncounted ballots and burned them to coverup their illegal ballot stuffing.
2018-02-08 01:29:03 Due to heavy snow, trains are currently not running on JR Kosei Line between Omi-Imazu and Omi-Shiotsu, and on JR Hokuriku Line between Nagahama and Tsuruga. Check current status here: https://t.co/Q9oRi30kOt
2018-02-09 06:28:14 Wow, “Hello Otsu” Facebook page in English (by Otsu Tourist Association) has over 42,000 followers. Is that for real?? Their previous “Otsu Style” FB English page had only 344 followers. https://t.co/4F7dTU0Urt
2018-02-12 22:57:19 New York Times紙の記事が話題になりました。多数の有名人や政治家などがフェイクフォロワー(fake followers)を買っていると判明。ばれやすいし、詐欺と同等。信用は失われる。 https://t.co/rIRgYIfD67
2018-02-12 22:57:48 Koka City Hall’s General Affairs Dept. chief Yasui Tatsuya (57, 保井達也) & 2 other managers on the election committee who committed ballot count fraud & coverup last Oct. have been fired on Feb. 9. Koka will have an outside committee to investigate & propose preventive measures.
2018-02-12 22:57:59 Hikone policeman Nishimura Hitoshi (32, 西村仁志) arrested & fired for DUI in Taga on Dec. 28. He was sleeping in his car at an intersection when another policeman approached & he sped home. Asked his family to lie & say they drove him home. Court fined him ¥500,000.
2018-02-12 23:01:27 NHK TV national news this morning spotlighted Shigaraki’s plight in trying to survive as its pottery production has dwindled to 1/4 or 1/5 of its peak. 信楽陶器工業協同組合、信楽町観光協会はまだ外国語版のホームページがありません。五輪はあと二年。
2018-02-15 03:38:34 The family of the Otsu City Public Enterprise Bureau worker in his 40s who overdosed on tranquilizers & died in March 2015 after suffering from power harassment by a male superior for a year will receive ¥8 mil. compensation from the city. Unnamed culprit received a mere pay cut.
2018-02-17 01:16:10 “Hello Otsu” Facebook page in English (by Otsu Tourist Association) now has over 47,000 followers. That’s 5,000 more than a week ago. What a miracle! Meanwhile, their Japanese FB page has only 1,500 followers. https://t.co/4F7dTU0Urt
2018-02-19 00:06:50 Hikone is now selling Hiko-nyan stickers for the LINE messaging app. For ¥120, you get a set of 16 stickers showing Hiko-nyan in new, cutesy poses such as “Thank you!” “Sayonara!” “Come here!” “No good!” and “Good night!” (in Japanese only). Includes Iinosuke stickers. 
2018-02-24 13:12:16 Nice to see a Shiga company being a major sponsor of Tokyo’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tokyo Marathon. Got my volunteer uniform today for the mega-marathon tomorrow (36,000 runners + 11,000 volunteers). 
2018-02-28 14:45:07 Too bad the tanuki and fox were not chosen as the official mascots for the Tokyo Olympics. They got only 35,291 votes. The futuristic superhero mascots (yet unnamed) won with 109,041 votes by Japanese elementary school kids. A tanuki mascot would’ve made Shigaraki very busy.
2018-02-28 15:00:46 Higashi-Omi has agreed to pay ¥32 million in compensation to the family of the age 73 man from Sakai, Osaka who died when the giant kite fell on him at the Odako Matsuri giant kite festival in May 2015. Still unknown when the kite festival will restart. Won’t be in 2018.
2018-03-01 11:59:07 After educating 530,000 5th graders about Lake Biwa for 35 years (since 1983), Shiga’s Uminoko “Floating School” completed its final voyage for 5th graders today. The aging ship’s replacement (also named “Uminoko”) will sail this May. Otsukaresama Uminoko (“Child of the Lake”)!! https://t.co/PTHQi73jpK
2018-03-02 13:46:19 The public can board and tour the old Uminoko “Floating School” at Otsu Port on March 11, from 9:15 am to 10:30 am before its official retirement ceremony. Your last chance to say “Good-bye and thank you” to this wonderful ship. #うみのこお別れ見学会 https://t.co/R1BBxGVuR4
2018-03-04 11:31:26 Kenyan Macharia NDIRANGU won the 73rd Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon today in 2:07’53”. NAKAMURA Shogo #中村匠吾 was 7th at 2:10’51”. Photo: Macharia (left) glancing at 2nd place Albert KORIR (also Kenyan) at Lake Biwa Canal a few km before the finish. #2018びわ湖毎日マラソン 
2018-03-10 08:16:10 In Omi-Hachiman today, visited one of the neighborhoods #宮内町building a festival float for the Sagicho Matsuri on March 17–18. Made of edible materials featuring the Year of the Dog. Takes about 2 months to build. This dog’s fur is made of jute fibers. Beautiful. #左義長まつり 
2018-03-20 17:41:45 さすが近江八幡。八幡堀の見つかりにくい駅行きのバス停の案内は英語にも表示。大いに助かる(白雲館前)。 Omi-Hachiman is tourist-friendly even for foreigners. Pointer to the bus stop at Hachiman-bori Canal. 
2018-03-20 17:42:12 Beautiful weather in Omi-Hachiman last weekend for 13 beautiful Year of the Dog floats (plus three children’s floats) at the annual Sagicho Matsuri. About 70,000 spectators enjoyed the float procession on Sat. and float battles and float burning on Sun. #左義長まつり #近江八幡 
2018-03-23 11:35:37 A landslide on the slope of Mt. Shizugatake hit the chairlift to the summit. The chairlift is now closed. Unknown when it will reopen.
2018-03-24 11:35:37 Zeze High School got wiped out by Japan Aiviation High School Ishikawa 0-10 in their 1st game today at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament. Two other teams from Shiga will play soon.
2018-03-25 11:33:11 Saio Princess Procession today in Tsuchiyama, Koka. They arrived here at the National Historic Site of Tarumi Tongu, one of the palaces where the princess stayed on her way from Kyoto to Ise during the 9th–13th centuries. She wears a Juni-hitoe kimono. #あいの土山斎王群行 #甲賀市 
2018-03-28 05:15:52 Hikone Higashi High School beat Keio Senior High School (Kanagawa) 4-3 in their 1st game today at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament. Next, they will play on March 31 at 11 am against Hanamaki Higashi High School (Iwate). #彦根東高等学校
2018-03-31 12:04:06 Both Shiga high school teams lost their second match at the 90th Senbatsu Spring Koshien national high school baseball tournament today. Hikone Higashi High School lost to Hanamaki Higashi High School (Iwate) 0-1, and Ohmi lost to Seiryo (Ishikawa) 3-4. Both were close games.
2018-04-06 19:46:33 The evening illumination of cherry blossoms at Omi-Fuji Karyoku Koen Park in Yasu this weekend has been canceled because the flowers bloomed a week early this year and they are now mostly gone.
2018-04-06 20:00:30 The old Otsu PARCO shopping complex will reopen this month on April 27 as “Oh! Me Otsu Terrace” with over 30 stores including Friend Mart (Heiwado), Yamada Denki, a sports shop, TSUTAYA bookstore, Can Do, United Cinemas, Saizeriya, Shiga Bank, & Curves. https://t.co/FJdqcttTWJ
2018-04-09 15:19:33 The strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit Oda, Shimane Prefecture on April 9 at 1:32 am was also felt slightly in Shiga, M2 in places like Otsu, Nagahama, Maibara, Omi-Hachiman, and Takashima, and M1 in Hikone, Koka, and Higashi-Omi.
2018-04-09 15:19:56 Hikone-native swimmer Yui Ohashi #大橋悠依 set a new Japanese record in winning the Women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:30.82 at Japan Swim 2018 nat’l championships (第94回日本選手権水泳競技大会競泳競技) at Tatsumi, Tokyo on April 8. Also won the 200-meter individual medley.
2018-04-11 15:17:01 今夜4月12日18:30にNHK総合に放送される「おうみ発630」長浜市出身のバンド~Lefa~ボーカル北川陽大さん ~滋賀を音楽で盛り上げたい。Watch NHK Otsu TV news tonight at 6:30 pm to hear Kitagawa Akihiro sing a special song. 
2018-04-12 13:19:10 Founded in 1933 in Hikone, Takata Corporation (タカタ株式会社) that filed for bankruptcy in June 2017 due to the massive recall of defective and deadly automotive airbags has been taken over by Joyson Safety Systems in the US. After 85 years, its name “Takata” is now gone.
2018-04-12 13:40:32 Last night (April 11) inside the police koban in front of JR Kawase Station in Hikone, a rookie policeman (19) shot & killed police sergeant Imoto Akira 井本光 (41), a co-worker. He was angered by Imoto’s disparagement. He fled the scene in a police car, but was soon caught.
2018-04-12 13:51:47 Some cherry blossoms still remain at Lake Yogo today in Nagahama. Yaezakura is starting to bloom. 
2018-04-14 08:29:58 April 15 is Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri’s main day starting at 10 am at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine. Child kabuki will be performed on 4 floats in this order: Shojo-maru (猩々丸), Ho’o-zan (鳳凰山), Takasago-zan (高砂山), Kotobuki-zan (壽山). Photo:Shojo-maru https://t.co/ZLHtkV1SRC https://t.co/QxkBWyivw1
2018-04-15 10:42:31 Cold, windy, and rainy morning at the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri today. Rain stopped in the afternoon. Boat-shaped Shojo-maru float’s kabuki play titled “Kumagaya Jinya” ended with this “Titanic Moment” on the bow. #長浜曳山祭 #猩々丸 #熊谷陣屋の場 
2018-04-18 13:06:50 A 3-day survey conducted in Jan. by birdwatchers at 181 locations around Lake Biwa found about 110,073 waterfowl in the lake, about 18% fewer birds than last season. Of the 41 species observed, the Eurasian coot saw the steepest decline of 33% fewer birds than last year.
2018-04-18 13:07:11 Omi-Hachiman’s mayor-elect KONISHI Osamu (59) 小西理 plans to go ahead with his campaign promise of canceling the construction of the new city hall that already started in Feb. A major sticking point against incumbent FUJITANI Eisho (71) whom he easily defeated on April 15.
2018-04-18 13:10:31 Sad that this large willow tree at Lake Yogo was knocked over by the typhoon last Oct. Famous as the tree where the swan maiden hung her clothes when she went skinny dipping in the lake. Glad it looks like the tree is still alive. Future swan maidens have to choose another tree. 
2018-04-18 13:11:03 Running since Aug. 1995, Steam Locomotive C56 “Pony” will make its final run as the “SL Kita-Biwako Train” on May 27, 2018 leaving Maibara Station at 1:16 pm and arriving Kinomoto Station 45 min. later. Due to old age, it will be retired and replaced by the D51 steam locomotive. 
2018-04-18 13:15:48 RT @LeavenworthKS: It’s been a cold few days, but our hearts are warmed by the beautiful blossoms on the cherry trees planted at North Esplanade Park in honor of our Sister City, Omihachiman, Japan.
2018-04-19 11:39:18 At Odani Castle in Nagahama, for the first time, 16th-century Shigaraki pottery pieces and remains of a drainage system were found where the Azai castle lord’s residence was believed to be located at the foot of Mt. Odani. #小谷城跡 #御屋敷跡
2018-04-19 11:39:50 The year-long NHK Taiga Drama historical TV series in 2020 titled “Kirin ga Kuru” (麒麟がくる) will be about Akechi Mitsuhide, lord of Sakamoto Castle in Otsu and most famous for assassinating warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1582. Mitsuhide will be played by actor Hasegawa Hiroki.
2018-04-19 11:40:10 To the relief of local residents, the koban police box in front of JR Kawase Station in Hikone where a junior policeman shot and killed coworker and police sergeant Imoto Akira (41) on April 11 has reopened today with two policemen on duty each shift.
2018-04-19 11:40:52 Otsu Basho sumo exhibition tourney will be held on July 30, 2018. Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi today requested the Japan Sumo Association to allow her to stand on the sumo ring for her speech that day. She & other female mayors will also submit a formal request to the Sports Minister. https://t.co/txa57hisur
2018-04-20 12:48:36 Otsu has been selected as one of the team camps for Wales and Fiji during the Rugby World Cup 2019. https://t.co/Hal1grL8WC
2018-04-20 14:03:24 Today, NHK World spotlighted Shiga Prefecture in a 30-min. news program. They covered a wide range of topics, but I thought the castle wall builder (AWATA Suminori) from Sakamoto building castle walls in the US was most interesting. Watch it online here: https://t.co/fM4TPzyuej
2018-04-22 08:33:36 第2回びわ湖音楽祭のプレイベントの一つとして関島秀樹コンサートが近江舞子のほとり・ポトリというカフェで4月21日に開催されました。自ら作詞・作曲された滋賀の歌を披露しました。橋板の歌も興味深いでした。とても良かったです。Sekijima Hideki performed in Omi-Maiko. 
2018-04-22 08:55:58 加藤登紀子プロデュースの「第2回びわ湖音楽祭」が2018年5月20日(日)に和邇に開催されます。入場料/6,000円。前日にも平和堂 和邇店に無料プレイベントが盛りたくさん。Singer Kato Tokiko and local artists will perform in Wani, Otsu on May 20. https://t.co/B7181FDE8b https://t.co/iUTmLqYM7W 
2018-04-27 11:17:39 Repair work has started on Hikone Castle’s white plaster walls damaged by Typhoon Lan (No. 21) last Oct. Repairs should be completed by Nov. this year. 
2018-04-27 11:25:15 About 2,500 shoppers were on hand today for the reopening of the old Otsu PARCO shopping complex renamed “Oh! Me Otsu Terrace” with over 30 stores including Friend Mart (Heiwado), Yamada Denki, TSUTAYA bookstore, Can Do, United Cinemas, and Shiga Bank. https://t.co/5gMYxdB8Q2
2018-04-28 22:59:50 My article about YUtour, tour guide for foreign visitors in Shiga. Operated by MORI Seita (森 聖太), a great tour guide. #悠ツアーhttps://t.co/YYaGK7ZwAl

Shiga History Sept.–Dec. 2017Chronological History of Shiga | Shiga History May–Aug. 2018

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