Countries of the World - Culture
A life in Japan...from Osaka - Shiga


Trips to Shiga

Camping in Makino

We liked Makino highland when we visited
in spring, so came back for camping.

Rice field and mountains in Takashima,
west coast of Biwa lake.

Back is a camping site, and the building
on the right is Onsen, hotspring, "Sarasa".
We took bath at night there.

We reserved wood area for camping.
The site was full of campers, and very crowded.

My parents prepared the site for the night, and
I prepared Somen noodle for my family.

I met many insects there!
(I release soon after I watched and recorded.)

We cannot see this kind of big insects in the city.

We BBQ at night and had hotdogs
in the morning.

My favorite Hammock to see stars at night.

They had events to catch fish.

I got one, too!

They cook them there,

and it was good!

We played in the river,
I saw many frogs tadpoles and small fish.

It was a very fun camping.
I wanted to stay more.

Mt. Ibuki

Ibukiyama is in the Northeast of Lake Biwa.

We drive the driveway to the 9th station of the mountain.

We can walk up to the summit.
It was about 30 minutes hiking.
The path was very well maintained.

The summit is almost there.

The summit is very windy and cold,
but I was very happy.

I wanted to have hot noodle at the top,
but the restaurant was already closed.

We had Daifuku from the shop.
It was very soft and sweet.
We had hot noodle and curry with rice
at the 9th station later.

Ibukiyama Driveway

There are three courses.
We took the shortest course to go down.

Sun was going down.

We decided to wait to see the sunset.
I was very hungry, so I had bread and sausage.

The sunset was beautiful!

We came down to the 9th station.

There were many telescopes.
Ibukiyama is a popular place to see stars.

Star watching event was held.
We were lucky to have a fine weather.

I love hiking, but my legs hurt and cannot walk
for a long time, so my parents took me this place.
It was a easy and short hike, and my legs were OK.
I enjoyed hiking and watching sunset and stars.
It was a wonderful day!

Nangou Fisheries Center

Nangou Fisheries Center is a place where
you can get familiar with fish.

First we got some fish food.

The big one is called "fu"
(a breadlike food made of wheat gluten).

We can feed this to carps.

These carps are so big.

And they are very hungry...

They are very strong!

There is a kids fishing pool.
The rod was bamboo.

We can fish gold fish here,
and practice fishing.

It was my first time to take off the hook
from the fish mouth.
At first it was scary, but I got used to do it.
Now I am ready for the bigger fish.

Nangou suisan center

Eating Grilled Rainbow Trout I fished

Now, I fished rainbow trout!

I got three.
These are to eat for lunch.

We pay by weight.

They clean up and grill with salt for us.


Salty fish goes very good with rice balls.

I wish to go fishing in the nature next time,
in the rivers, lakes, and on the boat in the sea!

Aqua Biwa

After we left Nangou suisan center,
we talked to a man at the parking.

He was a very nice man, and recomended us
to go to the museum just by the parking.
So, we went there.

The history of Lake Biwa is also the history of water disaster.

We can learn about disaster prevention here.
We can learn about dams and channels around Lake Biwa.

We can experience the heavy rain by special machine.

The lake biwa has many kinds of fish.
Recently the problem of alian species is very serious.

Aqua Biwa

There is a small museum in Nangou Suisan center, too

We can learn about fishing of Lake Biwa.

Thanks to the old man, I had a lot of fun learning about the lake.

Staying in a guesthouse

We stayed in a guest house for a night.

In Japan, there are many hotels or hostels
which are not so expensive.
Guesthouses are very cheap, but good enough to stay.

A family can stay in one room together.

This is Japanese room with Tatami and Futon.
In Japanese room at home, we put our futon
in a closet called Oshi-ire.
So we can use the room freely during day time.

They have Kitchen that we can use anytime.
We cooked curry and rice with salad.
And at night, we had cup-a-noodle.

There were many people staying in the hostel.
I wanted to talk to some tourists from overseas,
I was to shy to say hello, and ask where they are from.
Next time, I will try to talk!

There were many books to read.

It was really fun to stay there.

Beach combing at Lake Biwa

It was raining very hard at night,
but we could see the sunshine in the morning.
We see the lake from the room.

We decided to walk to a beach.

It was about 5 minutes walk away.

It looks like sea!

Water is clear and nice.
In summer, we can swim here.
Today, we picked up glasses.
Not sea-glass, but lake glass.

It was very fun morning walk.


Now, I am on the boat to go to Okishima.
It takes about 10 minutes from a small port in Omi-hachiman.

Okishima is an island on Lake Biwa.
It is only here that people live on an island in a lake in Japan.
There are about 300 people living on this island.

It is a small island with no cars and no trafic signs.

Streets are narrow, so bicycle are the major transportation.

The port is really quiet and peaceful.

Cherry blossom are very beautiful here, but
I think we were a week too early to go.
This year we have very cold weather...pitty.

I really like the atmosphere here!
There are no restaurants or shops,
or no special sightseeing spot.
But it is really nice just to walk around.

We could have Udon noodle at the fish market place.

It was a chilly day, so hot Udon was so nice.

There was a small shop of cooked fish
for souvenir.

70% of the people are in fishing business.

There is an elementary school on the island,
with about 20 students.
I wish if I could live in a place like this.

Cat island

Okishima is known as "cat island".
There are a several famous "cat island" in Japan.
Cat island is an island with many cats.
Sometimes more cats than people...

I have always wanted to go to one of them.
So one of my dream came true.

There were many cats as I expected.
Oh, how cute they are!!!

This is a cat lover's heaven.

Of course, tourists should not feed them.
It is a bad manner.
People living on this island are
kindly taking care of them with a good balance.

I just wait and I touch them only when they want me to.

They follow us, and come to say hello.
Cute! Cute! Cute!
I really want to live on this island!

Just looking at these relaxed cat makes me relax, too.

Nekojima in Japan

Taneya, Omihachiman
近江八幡 たねや

Omi-hachiman is a town in the East of Biwa lake.

It is a riverside district with many old buildings.

There is a famous sweet shop called Taneya.
Taneya sweets are in many department stores, too.

Here, we can have an original sweet called

We can eat the one just made in the shop.
The atomosphere of the shop is really nice.
They served us tea with the sweet.

It is a small ball of mochi and sweet been paste inside.
I think I can eat hundreds of them! Yummy!

Taneya has another popular shop in La Collina, Omi-hachiman.
We visit there every season to eat Dorayaki.

In spring, strawberry is in Dorayaki.
Summer, mango and icecream, and autumn, chestnut paste.
Of course we had one this time, too!

Taneya company
La Collina

Tobita-kun (Tobidashi-boya)

Tobidashi-boya is a boy shaped road sign
for warning drivers that kids might jump out
from narrow street.
We see them throughout Japan, but Shiga prefecture is famous
because there are so many of this sign.

His nickname is Tobita-kun.
And there are so many version of him.

This I found in Oumi-hachiman.
He is in school uniform.

I think he is a fisherman.

This one, I found in Okishima,
an island in the Lake Biwa.

This is said to be the original type
of Tobita-kun.

He became really famous and popular.
So many goods are sold as souveniors
in the shops in Shiga.



Nagahama is a town on the Northeast side of Lake Biwa.
The last time we went there, we visited Nagahama Castle.
This time, we went to "Kurokabe Square"

This area has many old buildings remained,
and many of them have black walls.
Kurokabe means black walls.

I found an original Tobita-kun here!

Since "black" is the theme color of this area,
we find many snacks and sweets with black color.

Our plan was to have this icecream, but it was too cold.
And we found this! Omi beef croquette!

I have never seen croquette like this!

They used bamboo charcoal for the black color.
It was very hot and actually tasted very good!

Guide to Kita Biwako
Kaiyodo Figure Museum

The reason we went Nagahama was
to visit this museum.

Kaiyodo is a famous figure manufacturer.
We can learn the history of figures
made by Kaiyodo, and see many type of figures.

Many of them are Animation characters.
My parents were enjoying to see the characters
they know from their childhood.

You can see the art figure
made by proffesional creators.

It is just amazing to see.

They have so many figures to see.

Not only anime character, but animals,
plants, insects, dinasours, monsters,
cars, trains, planes, tanks,
working people, samurai, buildings,
foods, and more!

I think small figures are loved by Japanese people
because we get free figures when we buy chocolate,
snacks, magazines, and even beer!

Once you start collecting them,
you cannot stop it...
They are tiny, but looks real and well made.

They are from buiscuit box.
You can see Pokemon there, too.

These are for carmel box.
It is called "Glico no Omake".
All Japanese kids should know that.
Above are from the time of my grand parents.

Look how tiny they are!
So amazing!

I think they are for Gacha, capsule toys,
sold in Asahiyama zoo in Hokkaido.
I want to go there, and get one like these!

(Makino kogen)
Makino Highlands

Here you can enjoy skiing in winter,
and camping and picnic in summer.

There are fields and woods for camping,
and a small river to play.

There are hot springs and orchard park
near by the place, too.
It is in the westside of Lake Biwa.
Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan.

This is Torii, the gate to Shirahige shrine by Lake Biwa.
People in Osaka and Kyoto take water
to drink from this lake.

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A life in Japan...from Osaka - Shiga (Countries of the World - Culture)    -    Author : Manaka - Japan

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Last update : 2021-12-01 >> Countries of the World >> Blog #31311

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