Videos of 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, May 3 is Constitution Day, May 4 Greenery Day, and May 5 Children’s Day. It is prime time for matsuri festivals in Japan and Shiga has a load of them. There are so many matsuri in Shiga during this time that it took me at least 4 or 5 years to see most of them because many are held at the same time. You really have to decide which one to see. Here is a collection of my video

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Pharrell Williams HAPPY – From Lake Biwa

Video link: http://youtu.be/FKchoOLG2TY Pharrell Williams scored a huge hit with his song Happy last autumn. It has since become a worldwide phenomenon with people in cities around the world making street dance videos with the song. Pretty amazing. The videos show a good bit of the respective locality along with some great dancers. The vids were inspired by Pharrell’s own music video which is the world’s first 24-hour music video with Happy played repeatedly for 24 hours. Fortunately, we can pause and resume the video at will. I’m not one who usually gets on a faddish bandwagon, but I immediately recognized Happy’s PR potential for local destinations. So I

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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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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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More GW festival videos

Two more Golden Week (late April – early May) festival videos and photos. Held on May 4 near Notogawa Station, the Iba-no-saka-kudashi Matsuri Festival is said to be one of the most unusual festivals. Young men carry (or drag) three heavy portable shrines down a steep mountain riddled with rough spots. I stayed near the bottom or finish line and declined to go up any further because I was too heavy with camera equipment and the slope was too steep. Here’s the video: Video link: http://youtu.be/r_FYQwW_l-4 Photos: https://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=829 Another festival I saw was at Namura Shrine in Ryuo on May 5,

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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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Mitsui Outlet Park, Shiga Ryuo opens

Shiga now has another megamall, the much-publicized outlet mall called Mitsui Outlet Park, Shiga Ryuo (三井アウトレットパーク 滋賀竜王) in Ryuo-cho. Opened today on July 8, 2010, the mall is near the Ryuo Interchange on the Meishin Expressway, making it readily accessible by car for shoppers coming from Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Gifu. It also targets Chinese tourists traveling from the Kansai area to Mt. Fuji and further. Merchants do accept Chinese credit/debit cards. It is the first outlet mall in the Kyoto-Shiga area. The two-level mall has 165 stores, 145 of which are outlet shops. Most are clothing shops and some

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Golden Week 2010 in Shiga

We saw fine weather during Golden Week in Shiga from late April to early May 2010. I went to see a slew of festivals in Shiga during this time. I traveled to Maibara, Ryuo, Tsuchiyama (Koka), Takashima, Yasu, and Kora. I’m trying to see all the major Golden Week festivals in Shiga. The problem is, many of them are held on the same day and at the same time. It will still take me a few more years to see them all, but after this GW, I can say that I’ve see more than half of them. Here’s what I

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