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JR Omi-Imazu Station on the JR Kosei Line is Imazu's train station.
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JR Omi-Imazu Station in spring with colorful azaleas.
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JR Omi-Imazu Station
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JR Omi-Imazu Station platform
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JR Omi-Imazu Station turnstile
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JR Omi-Imazu Station's tourist information booth where you can pick up pamphlets and rent a bicycle.
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Imazu is a lakeside town with Imazu Port where boats depart for Chikubushima island. Approaching Imazu by boat from Chikubushima.
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Besides taking the train, you can get to Imazu by boat from Nagahama (Chikubushima). Boat to Imazu
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Imazu Port and boat to Chikubushima.
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Arriving Imazu Port. MAP
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Biwako Shuko no Uta song monument at Imazu Port. In June 1917, a song called Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was composed by college student Taro Oguchi during a boat rowing trip around Lake Biwa.Lake Biwa Rowing Song. The boat goes to Chikubushima.
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Red flame monument for Biwako Shuko no Uta song 琵琶湖周航の歌 歌碑
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Oguchi Taro was a member of the rowing club at Dai-san High School (now Kyoto University). He composed it in Imazu, Shiga Prefecture during the second night of the trip.
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The song is about the boys rowing around Lake Biwa while mentioning famous places like Otsu (the starting point), Omi-Maiko, Imazu, Chikubushima, Nagahama, and Chomeiji.The song is about the boys rowing around Lake Biwa while mentioning famous places like Otsu (the starting point), Omi-Maiko (Omatsu), Imazu, Chikubushima, Nagahama, and Chomeiji.
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Imazu Port in spring.
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Waiting lounge at Imazu Port in winter.
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Song monument buried in snow at Imazu Port in winter.
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Song monument and snow
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Pier and Chikubushima in the distance
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The song became a national hit in 1971 when singer Tokiko Kato recorded it. Numerous famous Japanese singers and groups have since released cover versions of the song.
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One of the verses mentions a red fire on shore in Imazu. This is thought to be a lamp on the pier. This monument commemorates the song. More about the song here.
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Imazu Port, a 5-min. walk from Omi-Imazu Station. A nice restaurant is on the upper floor.
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Lake Biwa from Imazu shore. Mt. Ibuki in the distance.
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Chikubushima as seen from Imazu Port
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Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan Museum, dedicated to the Lake Biwa Rowing Song, Shiga's most famous song. 琵琶湖周航の歌資料館 MAPIn June 1917, a song called Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was composed by college student Taro Oguchi during a boat rowing trip around Lake Biwa. He was a member of the rowing club at Dai-san High School (now Kyoto University). He composed it in Imazu, Shiga Prefecture during the second night of the trip.
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Inside the song museum.The song is about the boys rowing around Lake Biwa while mentioning famous places like Otsu (the starting point), Omi-Maiko (Omatsu), Imazu, Chikubushima, Nagahama, and Chomeiji.
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Another boat mate matched Oguchi's lyrics to the melody based on the old song called Water Lilies as modified by a young Chiaki Yoshida.It soon became a popular dormitory song. The song became a national hit in 1971 when singer Tokiko Kato recorded it. Numerous famous Japanese singers and groups have since released cover versions of the song. The town of Imazu even holds an annual song contest in June when choir groups from around Japan sing the song in a competition. The town even has this museum dedicated to the song.
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Song museum's listening station where you can listen to many cover versions of the Lake Biwa Rowing Song recorded by Japanese singers and groups.
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List of cover versions by singers like Miyako Harumi, Kobayashi Akira, Watari Tetsuya, Baisho Chieko, Frank Nagai, and more.
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Model of fixed-seat boat depicted in the song. See the real one on Lake Biwa here.
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Made of wood. The seats do not move. It is an obsolete racing boat.
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Pictures of Lake Biwa Rowing Song monuments in Shiga. One for each of the six verses in the respective locations mentioned in the song.
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Exhibit about Oguchi Taro who created the song.
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Exhibit about Yoshida Chiaki who composed the original melody.
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Records of the song by various artists including Tokiko Kato.
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Comments about the welcome.
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Souvenirs also sold in the museum.
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Water lilies from the Niigata home of Chiaki Yoshida who composed the melody of Lake Biwa Rowing Song. From the original plant that Chiaki planted.
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Water lilies
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June 17, 2007 At the 11th Biwako Shuko no Uta choir contest, the "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," was sung in English for the first time by Jamie and Megan Thompson, posing in front of a banner.
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Held annually in June since 1997, this choir contest has over 20 choirs, mainly from western Japan, competing for cash prizes. Takashima Shimin Kaikan Hall, venue of the choir contest. Near Omi-Imazu Station on the Kosei Line. 高島市民会館
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Our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs also on sale. 私どもの英語版CDも販売されていました。琵琶湖周航の歌資料館で電話で注文できます: (0740) 22-2108 詳細はここ.
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Twenty-five choirs, mainly from Shiga and neighboring prefectures, were competing. They sang the same song in various ways.
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To enter the choir competition, the choir must have at least 12 members. The entry deadline is late Feb. Entry fee is 5,000 yen per choir (3,000 yen for high school and younger choirs).
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Each choir had to sing two songs: One was Biwako Shuko no Uta, and the second one could be any song. Each choir had to sing both songs within 8 min.
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The choirs sang the same song in various ways. Most of them also had a piano player. The choir competition lasted from 10 am to 4 pm.
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At 12:15 pm, during lunch break, Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song." 昼休み中午後12:15からジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹が歌う。
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Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," all six verses. ジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹が歌う.
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Imazu Junior High School students roamed inside the hall lobby to announce free boat rides on a fixed-seat boat. 「フィックス艇の体験いかがですか?」Note that they do not offer these boat rides anymore.
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Sounded like fun, so we went to the lake shore and rowed on this fixed-seat boat. It is a replica of the boat used 90 years ago by Oguchi Taro and crew.
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We rowed for about 20 min. Great fun for total beginners. 今津中学校ボート部がフィックス艇の体験乗船もやって面白かった。
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The museum's 2nd floor is an exhibition space where I once exhibited photos of song monuments.
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Imazu's main road along the shore.
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Lakeshore road in winter
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Chikubushima and Mt. Ibuki as seen from Imazu.
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Imazu in winter
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Imazu beach
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On the shore is a small stone wall and foundation, the remains of the Kaga Clan's magistrate's office. Imazu was within the Kaga domain (centering on Ishikawa Prefecture) during the Edo Period.
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About the remains of the Kaga Clan's magistrate's office.
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Black kite going fishing トビ
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Lake Biwa shore in Imazu, with a boat landing in the distance
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Chojiya ryokan along the lake shore. From the roadside, it looks like a small building, but it has much depth toward the lake shore. 丁子屋
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Inside Chojiya. Very impressive Japanese-style inn with lake views. This ryokan is also well-known for duck dinners.
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Japanese-style room in Chojiya ryokan. Very quaint and quiet place fronting the lake.
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Inside Chojiya.
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Former bank building in Imazu, Shiga designed by William Merrell Vories. Now a coffee shop and exhibition space. MAP
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Inside the former bank building
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William Merrell Vories architecture map of Shiga.
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Former bank building
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Imazu Church, designed by William Merrell Vories. Next to the former bank building also designed by Vories.
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Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine 住吉神社
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Road from Imazu Port to Omi-Imazu Station.
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In winter, road toward Imazu Port
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Snowy seats
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Entrance to grove of Eastern Skunk Cabbage (zazenso) 座禅草
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Imazu is also noted for zazenso Eastern Skunk Cabbage flowers blooming in Feb. and March.
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Eastern Skunk Cabbage flowers 座禅草
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These flowers actually generate heat, so if it's a snowy ground, the snow around the flower would be melted.
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Eastern Skunk Cabbage flower 座禅草
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Eastern Skunk Cabbage flower 座禅草
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Path through the grove of Eastern Skunk Cabbage flowers 座禅草
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Confection in the shape of Eastern Skunk Cabbage flowers
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View of Imazu from a high-rise hotel
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View of Imazu from a high-rise hotel
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View of Imazu shore from a high-rise hotel
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Omi-Imazu Station on JR Kosei Line, East Exit
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Inside Omi-Imazu Station
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In front of Omi-Imazu Station, East Exit
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Omi-Imazu Station, west exit
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Omi-Imazu station, west side
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Omi-Imazu Station, west side
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Bus at Omi-Imazu Station with localized design.
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If you look closely, you can things that Imazu is famous for, like zazenso Eastern Skunk Cabbage flowers.
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There's also a line from Biwako Shuko no Uta (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). My kind of bus.
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Shopping arcade on the west side of Omi-Imazu Station
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Shopping arcade
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Scenic water on sunny day, Takashima
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