Here’s my video of Otsu Matsuri filmed last year on Oct. 12-13, 2013. Finally got it done and in time for this year’s festival on Oct. 11-12, 2014. It’s about 28 min. The video spotlights the karakuri mechanical puppets. I also got on-camera comments from foreign participants.
Otsu Matsuri is an annual festival of thirteen ornate floats (called hikiyama) held in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture during the weekend before the second Monday of October. It is a festival of in Otsu.
The floats were built in 17th and 18th centuries. Each one belongs to a different neighborhood in central Otsu. The floats are wooden, about 6 to 7 meters tall, and has three large wooden wheels instead of four (like Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri floats. They are gorgeously outfitted with intricate wood carvings, tapestries (from China, Korea, and even Belgium), paintings, and other art work. Art museums on wheels.
If you like lakes (especially very old ones), fish, plankton, endemic species, or fermented fish, this video is for you. It’s quite long at 1 hr. 6 min., but you can pause/resume at anytime. Or just watch the first 5 min. and then decide whether to watch it to till the end. Within 5 min., you’ll know if you want to continue watching it or not. It’s pretty educational.
Hikone Castle in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture (next to Kyoto) is one of four Japanese castles designated as a National Treasure.
I tried to make the video as short as possible, but even so, it turned out to be 34 min. Goes to show how much there is to see at Hikone Castle. There’s quite a bit of English text which, if you read, will give you a good primer on what the castle and Hikone lords are about. Besides the castle, I cover official mascot Hiko-nyan, the adjacent Genkyuen Garden and palace, and two autumn castle festivals.
My video of the Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Festival (東近江大凧まつり Higashi-Omi Odako Matsuri) held on Sunday, May 26, 2013 in Shiga Prefecture next to Kyoto. Another one of my ongoing video series with local kids introducing the sights in English. The video also has a few cameo appearances by other local folks.