Things to know before visiting Shiga Prefecture

1. Shiga Prefecture is easy to find on a map of Japan. Just look for the large blue lake near the center of Honshu island. It is next to Kyoto. From Tokyo, Shiga is on the way to Kyoto. 2. Shiga Prefecture’s claim to fame is Lake Biwa (Biwako), Japan’s largest lake and water supply for 14 million people in the Kyoto-Osaka area. Lake Biwa is one of the world’s oldest lakes dating back 4 million years, home to over 70 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. 3. Shiga’s most famous tourist sights include Enryakuji Temple (World Heritage

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Shiga History May–August 2018

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for May–August 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. 2018-05-02 20:04:00 Excellent cheese cake at Cafe & Bar Tonarimachi Parlor (#隣町パーラー) next to JR Maibara Station (West exit). Also great for breakfast or a nightcap for guests staying at Toyoko Inn next door. Nice interior design with lots of wood.  2018-05-09 00:16:03

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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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Summer 2018 fireworks in Shiga Prefecture

Here’s the 2018 summer fireworks (hanabi) schedule for Shiga Prefecture (Shiga-ken hanabi) listed by date. Keep in mind that foul weather is always possible and fireworks can be postponed or canceled. “More info” links go to Japanese-language pages. (No information in English except on this page. That’s why I create this page every year.) 滋賀県の花火大会情報・日程2018年 Updated: Aug. 8, 2018 Compiled by Philbert Ono –July 15, 2018– ♦ Takamiya Noryo Hanabi Taikai in Takamiya, Hikone, 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Near the Inugami River Muchinbashi Bridge. 10-min. walk from Ohmi Railways Takamiya Station. If rained out, to be postponed to July

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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

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YUtour, tour guide extraordinaire in Shiga Prefecture

by Philbert Ono, photos courtesy of Seita Mori and selected by Philbert Ono It’s about time I introduce YUtour (悠ツアー), a licensed tour guide service for foreign tourists in Shiga Prefecture run by my friend MORI Seita (森 聖太) in Otsu. YUtour is a one-man operation with Seita-san as YUtour’s one and only English-speaking guide. All indicators (such as TripAdvisor comments) show that he is doing an outstanding job. And after having a long lunch with him the other day in Otsu, I believe it. YUtour’s guided tours in English focus on the rural areas, ecotourism and nature, and traditional

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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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Shiga Image Quiz

Updated: Jan. 30, 2018 Take the Shiga Image Quiz and learn more about Shiga Prefecture! Shiga Image Quiz has 50 questions showing 50 images of Shiga’s most iconic sights and attractions you should know about. This quiz is an excellent visual introduction to Shiga. This quiz is easy for people familiar with Shiga. For newbies, some questions might be difficult, but you will still learn a lot about Shiga since the correct answer is displayed immediately after each question. You will see 25 questions per page. After answering 25 questions, click on “Continue” at the page bottom to see the next page. If

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