Front view of Anegawa River Battle Memorial where Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Azai Nagamasa and the Asakura clan on Aug. 9 1570.
Statue of Ishida Mitsunari at his former residence in Nagahama.
Anegawa River ran red with the blood of fallen warriors in Aug. 1570.
On the other side of this Anegawa River were Oda Nobunaga's forces.
Wada Tumuli is the group of nine small tumuli in Ritto. 和田古墳群 MAP
Tumulus No. 5 with a reconstructed chamber made of stone in Ritto.
The tumuli in Ritto are estimated to have been built during the 6th to 7th centuries.
Site of Hachiman-yama Castle in Omi-Hachiman.
View of Mt. Mikami from across Lake Biwa
At Ishiyama-dera, inside Room of Genji is a lifesize doll of Lady Murasaki Shikibu who wrote Tale of Genji, one of Japan's most famous novels.
Lady Murasaki supposedly wrote the novel in this room at Ishiyama-dera in Otsu.
William Merrell Vories is one of the most famous historical figures in Shiga. His legacy remains in physical form in many places through former bank buildings, post office branches, schools, and Christian churches. MAP
Former Hachiman Post Office in Omi-Hachiman, designed by William Merrell Vories. Built in 1921 and served as a post office until 1960. MAP
On the right is the Hyde Memorial Building designed by William Merrell Vories. 近江兄弟社学園ハイド記念館(旧淸友園幼稚園)
Back view of the former Hachiman YMCA, the first building designed by William Merrell Vories in 1907. Inside is quite modern, except for one room. MAP
Maruyama Tumulus in Torahime, Nagahama.
At the foot of Mt. Mikami is Tempo Gimin Monument dedicated to the farmers who were tortured to death after the 1842 Tempo Ikki (天保一揆) uprising against the government's unfair land taxation surveys..
Stone foundation of original Nagahama castle tower. It is just slightly behind the current castle building is this small hill with stone walls.
Dotaku Museum in Yasu, Shiga Prefecture. Opened in Nov. 1988, the museum is near the site where Japan's largest bronze bell was unearthed. It has bronze bell exhibits and research facilities. Open 9 am to 5 pm (closed Mon.). Admission 400 yen.
On Aug. 20, 1881, two young lads were playing on Mt. Oiwa when they stumbled across three dotaku partially exposed in the ground. The next day, eleven more dotaku were discovered in the same area.
The dotaku were nestled inside each other. These bells are dated from around 100 BC to 300 AD. The bells were not really used as bells. They were more for decorative and religious purposes.
Monument marking the site where the dotaku were found. It's frustrating that none of the original dotaku discovered in Yasu are in Yasu. Another case of bungling and ineptness by local officials. Even one original dotaku would make the museum busier.
Adjacent to the Dotaku Museum is a replica of a Yayoi Period village. Yayoi Period (500 BC to 300 AD) is noted as when rice growing started in Japan.
Basho Matsuo's grave at Gichuji temple, Otsu. 芭蕉の墓
Basho Matsuo's grave at Gichuji temple, Otsu. 芭蕉の墓
To Mt. Azuchi where Azuchi Castle once stood in Omi-Hachiman. If you don't have a car, rent a bicycle at Azuchi Station (or ride a taxi). The castle site is not very far from Azuchi Station by bicycle.
A lot of impressive stone work remains of Azuchi Castle.
Site of Hashiba Hideyoshi's quarters at Azuchi Castle.
Azuchi Castle tower foundation stones still remain.
Azuchi Castle tower replica at House of Nobunaga. Very ornate and beautiful. both outside and inside.
This Azuchi Castle tower replica was displayed in the Japan Pavilion at the Seville Expo '92 in Spain before it was moved here.
The unique hexagonal base of the upper section of the Azuchi Castle donjon.
Nakae Toju's gravestone (left) in Adogawa, Takashima. 藤樹先生墓所
Built in 1882 as Nagahama Station's first station building. Nagahama Railroad Square 旧長浜駅舎 MAP
Koka Ninja House (Koka-ryu Ninjutsu Yashiki) is the former residence of Mochizuki Izumonokami, the leading Koga ninja family of the 53 Koka ninja families. 望月出雲守 MAPThe house is in its original location in the Koka area of Shiga Prefecture.
The Ninja House, built in 1703, is owned and maintained by a local medicine company having ninja roots. Many Koka ninja were makers of medicine as a front for their clandestine activities. This background also made them expert at making gunpowder.
Ladder going to the 2nd floor. There's also a trap door on the floor below the ladder where the ninja could hide. Notice the rope. The ninja hiding under the floor would tug the rope connected to the 2nd floor.
Little ninja at target practice.
Real ninja shuriken throwing star knives on display. Made of steel, they come in many different shapes.
Toju Shoin Study (drawing room). 藤樹書院
Monument for Sarutobi Sasuke, a famous Koga ninja who was born in Koka. However, he was only fictional character. Ninjas never tried to become famous. 猿飛佐助の碑
There he goes, not exactly walking on water. Just dragging himself across with the rope. This is only for anime-like amusement. This is not how the ninja did it.
Water spider: How the ninja did it. This drawing from the Koka Ninja House shows how it was done. The ninja sat on the board inside the wooden ring and waded through the water while partially submerged. His wooden clogs had small flippers.
On this street corner was where Russian Crown Prince Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (later Tsar Nicholas II) was attacked by a policeman guard (Tsuda Sanzo) on May 11, 1891.
Marker for the place where Russian Crown Prince Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (later Tsar Nicholas II) was attacked by a policeman guard (Tsuda Sanzo) on May 11, 1891.
Marker for the Battle of Shizugatake and the famous "Seven Spears" which refer to Hideyoshi's top generals in the battle.
Samurai statue on Mt. Shizugatake
Saikyoji is noted for the grave of Akechi Mitsuhide, the lord of Sakamoto Castle and temple patron who helped to reconstruct the temple.
Grounds of Sakamoto Castle site on the lake shore.
Statue of Akechi Mitsuhide at Sakamoto Castle site.
Omizo Castle in Takashima was originally built by Oda Nobuzumi in 1578, a nephew of Oda Nobunaga. It was built to oversee transportation on Lake Biwa along with Azuchi, Nagahama, and Sakamoto Castles on the shores of Lake Biwa.
All that's left is this stone foundation of Omizo Castle.
Designed by William Merrell Vories, the old Toyosato Elementary School building was built in 1937. This picture was taken in 2007, before renovations. This is the front gate.
Toyosato Elementary School after renovations. At a total cost of 650 million yen, the old building was repainted, reinforced against earthquakes, installed with an elevator, and preserved as much as possible.
Zaiji Hachiman Shrine, the family shrine of the Todo clan. This place in Zaiji (Kora, Shiga) was Lord Todo Takatora's birthplace. Takatora later became lord of Tsu Castle in Mie Prefecture. MAP
Torii gate to Zaiji Hachiman Shrine in Kora, Shiga.
Zaiji Hachiman Shrine also has wisteria which bloom in early May. Planted by Todo Kagemori, the founder of the Todo clan in the 14th century.
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