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Amenomori is Takatsuki's showcase and flagship area. It's a quiet, rural part of town with waterwheels, roadside streams and flowers. Charming and picturesque.
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This waterwheel has become one of the symbols of this area. It's in front of the Amenomori Hoshu-an museum.
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Road in front of Amenomori Hoshu-an museum dedicated to Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755), a Confucian scholar and leading diplomat to Korea during the Edo Period.
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Front gate to Amenomori Hoshu-an museum built in 1984. Known as the East Asia Exchange House Amenomori Hoshu-an Museum. 東アジア交流ハウス雨森芳洲庵 MAP
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Large zelkova (keyaki) tree at the museum. Takatsuki has numerous old and distinguished trees.
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Amenomori Hoshu-an museum. Built on the land where Amenomori Hoshu's house once stood. Born in Amenomori, Amenomori Hoshu (1668-1755) was a Confucian scholar and leading diplomat to Korea during the Edo Period.
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Entry to the Amenomori Hoshu-an. It exhibits things, books, documents, etc., related to Amenomori Hoshu. Admission 250 yen. Hours: 9 am - 4 pm, closed Mon. Phone: 0749-85-5095
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This is the museum room with various exhibits related to Amenomori Hoshu and Japan-Korean relations during the Edo Period. Hoshu was based in Tsushima in Nagasaki, an island close to Korea.
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Route of the Korea's royal embassy procession to Edo. The Korean kingdom sent an official mission to Edo when there was a significant occasion, such as the installation of a new shogun. They traveled along this route which also passed through Shiga.
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At age 18, Hoshu went to Edo and studied Confucianism under Confucian scholar Kinoshita Jun'an. He was later employed by the Tsushima clan and was put in charge of Korean relations at age 22.
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Statue of Hoshu. At age 25, Hoshu learned Chinese. At age 36, he lived and studied Korean in Pusan for 3 years during 1702-1705.
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Statue of Amenomori Hoshu. He is regarded as a pioneer in Korean-Japanese relations and an internationally-minded person ahead of his time.
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Hoshu rightly believed that language represented the culture, and learning the language was thus essential to understand the country.In 2017, Amenomori Hoshu's documents related to Japan-Korea relations during the Edo Period will be inscribed as a UNESCO Memory of the World.
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Assembly hall. The museum sometimes holds events. Once a year, they conduct a homestay program for students from South Korea.
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Faces of Hoshu on the wall.
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Tea ceremony room.
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Japanese garden at Amenomori Hoshu-an museum.
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Amenomori Hoshu monument (not grave). Hoshu is buried in Tsushima, Nagasaki.
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Approach to Doganji (also called Kogenji) Temple. 10-min. walk from JR Takatsuki Station. 渡岸寺観音堂(向源寺)MAP
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Kogenji Temple in Takatsuki, Nagahama belongs to the Buddhist Jodo Shinshu Sect (Otani school). On the left of this main hall is the Doganji Kannon Hall where the 11-face Kannon statue (National Treasure) can be viewed. 渡岸寺観音堂(向源寺)
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Inside Kogenji Temple main hall. Admission to see the Kannon statue is 300 yen. Open 9 am - 4 pm. Parking available. Appointment not necessary to see the Kannon statue.
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Picture taking of the Kannon statue is not allowed. The statue was carved by Taicho 泰澄 in the 8th century for Emperor Shomu. During the war between the Azai and Oda Nobunaga, the temple was burned. But the statue had been buried and was saved.
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Kannon Folk History Museum (Kannon no Sato Rekishi Minzoku Shiryokan) has various exhibits about Kannon and the town's historical persons. 観音の里歴史民俗資料館 MAP
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Inside Kannon Folk History Museum, which is near Doganji and 10-min. walk from Takatsuki Station. The museum opened in 1984. Admission 250 yen. Museum hours 9 am - 4:30 pm. Closed Mon., the day after national holidays, and year end/New Year's.
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Guide to Kannon statues in Takatsuki. On the left is the National Treasure Kannon statue at Doganji temple. One of seven 11-face Kannon statues in Japan which is a National Treasure. This one is said to be the most beautiful. 十一面観音立像
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Tourist map of Takatsuki which has quite a few temples with a Kannon statue.
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Takatsuki Kannon Temple (Daienji temple) is also near Takatsuki Station, in the south. Temple noted for a 1000-arm Kannon statue. 大円寺 MAP
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Entrance to Takatsuki Kannon Temple (Daienji temple).
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Takatsuki Kannon Temple (Daienji temple), main hall. 大円寺
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Inside Takatsuki Kannon Temple (Daienji temple).
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Autumn at Takatsuki Kannon Temple
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One of Takatsuki's eye-catching buildings is this Yanmar Kaikan Public Hall in Higashi Atsuji. It is the birthplace of Yamaoka Magokichi, founder of Yanmar Co. ヤンマー会館 MAP
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This public hall was built and donated to the town by Magokichi. It has a Gothic architecture. In 1912, at age 24, he established Yamaoka Hatsudoki Seisakusho 山岡発動機工作所, the forerunner of Yanmar Diesel Co.
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Inside Yanmar Kaikan. Mainly meeting rooms. Also see photos of Yanmar Museum in Nagahama.
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Monument marking the birthplace of Yamaoka Magokichi (1888-1962) 山岡孫吉, founder of Yanmar Diesel, Co. In 1933, he developed the world's first compact diesel engine.
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Built in 1992, Deai-no-Mori Public Library is part of a lush, green park. 10-min. walk from Takatsuki Station. Hours: 10 am - 6 pm, closed Mon., Tue., national holidays, and year end/New Year's. 出会いの森図書館 [url=http://goo.gl/maps/DW6c3]
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The public library's 2nd floor has this Inoue Yasushi Memorial Room. Inoue (1907-1991) was a famous novelist who visited Takatsuki a lot and wrote novels featuring Takatsuki's Kannon statues. 井上靖記念室
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Inoue Yasushi Memorial Room recreates his room where he wrote novels. He also wrote Furinkazan, which was made into an NHK Taiga period drama in 2007. 井上靖記念室
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The novel "Hoshi to Matsuri" 星と祭 mentions Kannon statues in Takatsuki and northern Shiga. In 1950, he won the Akutagawa Prize, one of Japan's most prestigious literary prizes.
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Nishino Water Tunnel is near Lake Biwa at the foot of the Yamamoto-yama mountains. There are three tunnels. The original one was built in 1845 by a local priest to alleviate frequent flooding. 西野水道 MAP
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Near the tunnel entrance is a rest house where you can borrow rubber boots and flash lights for free.
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Near the tunnel entrance is the Nishino Horinuki Park with various monuments. 西野ほりぬき公園
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Statue and monument at Nishino Water Tunnel entrance.
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Tunnel monument and song monument.
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The monument shows tunnel laborers.
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Monument for a song about the tunnel digging, titled "Nishino Suido Uta."
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Lyrics to the song, "Nishino Suido Uta." 西野水道歌
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This is the original Nishino Water Tunnel built in 1845. Engineered by a Buddhist priest named Esho and with the help of fellow villagers, it took 6 years to dig through the mountain for about 220 meters. The tunnel drained excess water to Lake Biwa.
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You can enter and go through the Nishino Water Tunnel. Water does not flow through anymore, but it's still quite muddy and wet.
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The problem is, it's pitch black on the inside, and the tunnel size is quite small and craggy. Hard hats required. Not recommended, especially if you are taller than a 10-year-old.
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This is the other end of the original tunnel. The air was cold on this end.
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This is the second water tunnel, next to the original tunnel and running parallel.
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Entrance to the second water tunnel. This is much larger, large enough for a car to pass through. No longer used as a water drainage tunnel. We could easily walk through this tunnel.
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Floor of second water tunnel. Some water still flows through. Boots recommended.
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Other end of the second tunnel. This tunnel is no longer used for Yogo River. It is now mainly used by people wanting to go fishing.
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This is the third water tunnel and currently in use. The Yogo River flows out of it to Lake Biwa. Built in 1980. Also a local fishing spot.
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Yogo River mouth outside the Nishino water tunnel. Lake Biwa ahead.
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Original Nishino Water Tunnel facing Lake Biwa.
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Rice paddies near Nishino Water Tunnel.
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Nishino Yakushido Kannon-do Hall is in western Takatsuki. Noted for two Kannon statues which are Important Cultural Properties. 西野薬師観音堂 MAP
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Welcome to Yakushodo. This is one of the most noted Kannon temples in Takatsuki. The temple's 11th priest, Esho 恵荘, was the one who engineered the Nishino Water Tunnel in 1845.
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Nishino Yakushido Kannon-do Hall, also called Jumanji temple. Inside this hall is one 11-face and fleshy Kannon statue and one Yakushi Nyorai statue. Photography not allowed. 充満寺
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Strongman's Stone. If you want to see the Kannon statues at Nishino Yakushido, call 090-8938-6369 in Japanese before you go.
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Slightly north of Amenomori is Okaido, a site where the ruins of numerous Yayoi-Period homes and canals and artifacts were found. 15-min. by taxi from Takatsuki Station. 大海道遺跡 MAP
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To mark the site, Okaido has a small park where two sample Yayoi-Period structures stand. This adobe is pretty much a hole in the ground with a thatched roof over it.
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Rice paddies next to Okaido.
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Katayama Tunnel, leading to Lake Biwa. 片山トンネル
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View after passing through Katayama Tunnel.
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Great view of Lake Biwa after passing through Katayama Tunnel.
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Map of Takatsuki
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JR Takatsuki Station on the Hokuriku Line. West side. This new station building was built in Oct. 2005. 高月駅
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JR Takatsuki Station on the West side. 高月駅
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JR Takatsuki Station corridor. Impressive new train station.
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JR Takatsuki Station stairway on the east side.
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JR Takatsuki Station on the east side.
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Tourist info and resthouse at JR Takatsuki Station on the east side. You can also rent bicycles here.
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Inside tourist info office which is also a souvenir shop.
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Chrysanthymum display
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Have a Nice Day wooden bench at the train station.
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Local community bus/van at Takatsuki Station.
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Train tracks to Takatsuki Station
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The old and small Takatsuki Station in 2004. Actually, I like this station better. It makes it more rural.
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Tourist map signboard in English too.
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Banner for the Furusato Matsuri held in early Aug.
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Kannon bus tour. People who visit the Kannon temples are elderly. No young people (except me) tour the Kannon temples. Tours are held during the Furusato Matsuri in early Aug. Usually sells out.
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One of Takatsuki's famous trees.
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Biwako Shokudo restaurant serves its specialty: Tall pile of vegetables in a boiling pot. びわこ食堂
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After cooking, the tall pile of vegetables (mainly Chinese cabbage) shrinks. This is for two people. Chicken and miso broth.
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After you eat the main dish, mixing udon noodles in the miso broth is also good (if you still have room in your stomach).
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The Kita-Omi Resort is mainly a natural hot spring facility with segregated baths. It is complemented by a few restaurants and even the Egypt Pavilion which was brought over in Sept. 2006 from the 2005 Aichi Expo.
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Hot spring facility, the centerpiece of the Kita-Omi Resort. MAP
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Egypt Pavilion at Kitaoumi Resort. The Pavilion was originally at the Aichi Expo in 2005.
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Kitaoumi Resort bought the entire Egypt Pavilion and brought it here in Sept. 2006.
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Inside the Egypt Pavilion. Everything inside are replicas of the real thing.
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Rosetta Stone
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The quality of the replica pieces is quite good.
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Even the replica mummy inside looked real.
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Very impressive, although Takatsuki has no connection with Egypt.
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Golden Throne
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Medicines
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Woman worker
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Woman worker
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Odd bicycles for rent
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Restaurant shaped like a pyramid.
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The company owner is a great fan of Egypt it seems. No Egyption food though.
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Lunch and dinner buffet for 1500 yen.
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Buffet restaurant
   
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