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 This character was originally made to represent the lord of Hikone Castle, Naomasa Ii.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.