Monday, January 25, 2010

Attention: Readers

I have continuously written six blogs over the last four months so far. However, I’ll have a short break in writing blogs for the sake of my hectic schedule this year, 2010. I take the education exam to become teachers in July this year, so I decided to spend most of my time on studying for the exam. I am sorry for the temporary interruption. I’ll resume writing blogs after the exam.

Thank you very much for reading my blogs, and hope you will read my blogs again.

I would appreciate if you could keep reading my blogs.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Attention Skiers and Snowboarders all over the world

The ski season is coming at long last, which all skiers and snowboarders have been looking forward to. It’s time to enjoy winter sports.
As Shiga Prefecture is surrounded with lots of mountains, in winter, Shiga becomes a popular place which is crowded with tourists enjoying winter sports. All of the mountains are covered with beautiful and favorable snow for them to go skiing or snowboarding, so almost all of the tourists seem be satisfied with such wonderful snow there and enjoy winter sports. In addition, because of such popular snow on the mountains, not only Japanese people but also foreign people visit ski resorts on the mountains and enjoy skiing or snowboarding.
There are currently nine ski grounds available, and two popular places covered with such nice snow this season are written down below.

Biwako Valley
This is where people can overlook beautiful snowy scenery, which has eight courses enjoyed by all people, who are from beginners to advanced skiers or from adults to children.

Okuibuki Ski Resort
This is one of the most large-scale ski grounds in the Kansai area, which has a big amount of snow now, so people can enjoy the powdery snow.

Baseball Christmas 2009

About thirty professional Baseball players came to the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus of Ritsumeikan University, which is in Kusatsu City, for the Baseball Christmas on December 6, 2009. No less than 23,000 baseball fans took part in the event. The players were all very famous players, such as Takahiro Arai in the team called Tigers, gathered from all 12 professional baseball teams. The Baseball Christmas is one of the biggest scale fan events for fostering contact between players and fans of the professional Baseball Organization, which takes place annually in Japan after the baseball season finishes. Additionally, this was the third event. The fans joining the event all enjoyed talking to the players, playing catch with them, and even playing small baseball with them.

I think this kind of sports event is very precious for fans, because there are few opportunities to have a close contact between players and fans. Therefore, it is the only time that fans can do something together with players and have fun together.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Truly Interesting Museum, Lake Biwa Museum

There is a museum I strongly recommend you to visit in Shiga Prefecture. I visited there to attend an educational lecture a few weeks ago. I was quite surprised that the galleries of the museum are so sophisticated and very modern. To be honest, this is because it was my first time to visit the museum, even though I have lived in Shiga since I was born there. There are numerous species of creatures from the lake on display.

For one of the activities the museum offers I could have an experience dissecting foreign fish like black basses or bluegills. It was initially too repulsive to anatomize such a slimy and stinky fish, but as soon as I cut the fish’s abdomen to open it, I found the complex viscera and noticed that the heart was still slightly moving. At that time, I could finally understand why the experiment of an anatomy was one course of the educational workshops. I could learn how important life is through the anatomical experiment. It is truly important not only for me but also for anyone to realize the importance of life.

Furthermore, there are more exhibitions shown, such as ancient fossils of extinct creatures, endangered species, and model buildings of old-time living.
Just visit Lake Biwa Museum, and you will understand what I mean.

Click on this for further details.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The 400th anniversary and the 150th anniversary held in Hikone City

Hikone City is one of thriving cities in Shiga and was once the second largest centre of commerce and industry next to Otsu City which is a capital city. There is a castle in Hikone City and it is one of the most famous castles in Japan. The castle was raised by Naomasa Ii, who was one of Ieyasu Tokugawa’s feudal vassals, in 1607. Therefore, it means that the 400th anniversary finished two years ago, but there is an attracting event coming up concerning Hikone Castle. The event is the 150th anniversary of the Amity Commercial Treaty between Japan and the United States. It seems to be irrelevant to Hikone City, but it has something significant to do with Hikone City. This is because that the treaty with the United States was concluded by Naosuke Ii who was a remote descendant of Naomasa Ii. The event is currently open and finishes in March, 2010.
Finally, One thing I have to introduce to you is the memorial character, Hikonyan. This character was originally made to represent the lord of Hikone Castle, Naomasa Ii. It is now one of the most popular characters in Japan. Therefore, it is a suitable souvenir from Hikone City.

Click on this for further details.

For any questions and further information, please feel free to ask me at any time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall turning the leaves

In recent days an autumn wind has quite blown and we are feeling rather cold in the morning and evening. As you may know, the four seasons are clearly defined in Japan, and now it is the autumn season that we live comfortably. This season is well-known for playing sports, eating, and reading books in Japan. In addition, there is one more thing I would like to mention. That is about the beautiful colored leaves. Shiga is a prefecture surrounded with a large number of mountains, such as Mt. Hiei, Mt. Ibuki, and Mt. Kira. Therefore, there are many places we can see such wonderful colored leaves around Shiga, and thousands of people go there in order to go hiking and viewing them. Here are two places that I recommend:
1. “Hiei-zan-Momiji-Matsuri (Ko-fu-kai)”, which means the festival of maple trees.
There are no less than two thousand maple trees or cherry trees with beautiful colored leaves all along the driveway from Hiei-zan to Okubie.

Date: Oct. 31 (Sat.) - Nov. 23 (Mon.) in 2009
Place: Yokokawa, Enryakuji, Hiei-zan, Moto-machi, Sakamoto, Ohtsu-shi, Shiga
Further information:

2. “Momiji-Matsuri”, which means the festival of maple trees.
Some traditional events will take place in Hiyoshi shrine, where there are around three thousand maple trees.

Date: Nov. 1 (Sun.) – Nov. 30 (Mon.) in 2009
Place: Hiyoshi shrine, 5-1-1, Sakamoto, Ohtsu-shi, Shiga
Further information:

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Song made by 51 middle-aged men for others

While it has been an endless recession in recent years, 51 men working in Shiga voluntarily released a CD in August, cooperating with a local TV station. The men, aged between 30 and 60, who work so hard for their family members, were assembled to make the song for a project by the local TV station.

Koh Nishikawa, who wrote and composed the song, just hopes that the song will cheer up middle-aged men devoting their all time to work in such a depressed economy and they will be motivated by the song even just a little. The lyrics include cheerful messages and his tough experiences. For instance, he has apologized to clients without good reason and has worked overnight almost every day.

Many events where the song is promoted currently have been held these days. One of the participants in an event, who is an office worker, said that he had sat up straight to apologize to clients, so he could feel sympathy with this song.

The CD sells at 1500 yen through the Internet and at any CD shop. For any questions and further information, please feel free to ask me.

Published by the Chunichi Newspaper on 15 October, 2009