Most viewed - HigashiOmi 東近江市
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San-mon Gate. Built in 1802. 三門259 views
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Take off. On cue, the people pulling the kite start running and the kite starts to lift off. Also see the video at YouTube.238 views
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Gokasho is famous for the grand, old homes of wealthy Omi merchants. Three of them are clustered together for us to visit inside. They are the former residences of Tonomura Uhee (外村 宇兵衛), Tonomura Shigeru (外村 繁), and Nakae Jungoro (中江 236 views
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Located in Higashi-Omi and established in 1361, Eigenji is a temple of the Zen Rinzai Buddhist Sect (Eigenji School) and well-known for fall colors with 3,000 maple trees. Touristy entrance to Eigenji. Map233 views
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Inside Hondo temple hall, Eigenji227 views
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Former home of Omi merchant Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎邸).220 views
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Living room of former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Shigeru.219 views
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Yokaichi giant kite coming up.217 views
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Held on May 4 by Sanposan Shrine in Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, Iba-no-saka-kudashi Matsuri has three portable shrines hauled down a steep mountain (Kinugasa-yama) for about 500 meters. 199 views
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Although not part of the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio (all Tendai Buddhist temples), most visitors also visit Eigenji together with the Koto Sanzan temples. Accessible by bus taking 30-40 min. from Yokaichi Station on the Omi Railway Line or from Hyakusaiji. 195 views 4 comments
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No wind. This flight lasted only about 30 sec. We ran about 50 meters, then the kite fell back to Earth. Also see the video at YouTube.194 views
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Kite train or "rendako." These kites are pretty to watch. 連凧172 views
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My YouTube video of the Iba-no-saka-kudashi Matsuri.171 views
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Hillside garden170 views
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Former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Shigeru (外村 繁邸). Map163 viewsTonomura Shigeru (外村 繁), Tonomura Uhee (外村 宇兵衛), and Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎)
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About the Iba Goten Palace. 伊庭御殿遺跡162 views
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Eigenji Hondo temple hall. Built in 1765.160 views
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Raising the kite. Long bamboo poles are used to prop the huge kite upward to meet the wind.157 views
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Higher and higher...157 viewsIt went up to about ?? meters.
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Echigawa River empties into Lake Biwa.153 views
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During July-Aug. 2007, I helped to make the Yokaichi giant kite at the annex of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Museum.where the giant kite is made. Every three years, the giant kite, flown every May in Higashi-Omi, is replaced by a new kite bearing a new design.152 viewsThe new kite was made during July-Aug. 2007, taking about 30 days. The kite is made by volunteers from the public under the instruction of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Preservation Society. For the first time, I helped make this giant kite which was first flown successsfully on May 25, 2008 at the annual kite festival.
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Yokaichi Odako giant kite Air borne147 views
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Festival poster147 views
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The kite flew quite high for about 3 min. 35 sec. Also see my YouTube video here.146 views
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Former residence of Omi merchant Fujii Hikoshiro (1876-1956) (藤井 彦四郎邸). Now a history museum.140 views
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The Big One. The size is equivalent to 100 tatami mats or about 12 meters x 13 meters (156 square meters).139 views
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After the flight, we could see the kite up close. A sacred sakaki tree branch adorned the back of the kite. Also many paper stickers with people's wishes were pasted on the back.138 views
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Inside Hondo temple hall133 views
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Sutra Repository 経堂133 views
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Hyakusaiji temple133 views
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Eigenji Dam132 views
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On May 25, 2008 at the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival, the new giant kite was flown for the first time. The wind conditions was good.129 views
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It had rained the night before and in the morning. The ground would've been muddy, but they spread a layer of rocks to make the ground dry. It must have been hard to pull the kite and run on these rocks.128 views
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Mini kite contest. Kite contestants show off their kite designs at their tents.127 views
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Entrance Gate. This is where you pay admission. 総門127 views
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Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形127 views
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Tarobo-gu is a shrine complex on a small mountain, featuring grand views of Yokaichi and a pair of Wedded Rocks. It is 1.1 km from Tarobogu-mae Station on the Ohmi Railway Line. The shrine's real name is Aga Jinja 阿賀神社. [url=http://goo.gl/map125 viewsMap of Tarobo-gu. You can drive up halfway up the mountain (called Mitsukuriyama 箕作山) which is 350 meters high. If you don't have a car, climb over 700 steps to reach the shrine's main hall.
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I saw the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival (Odako Matsuri) for the first time on May 23, 2004. The site is alongside the Echigawa River near the Yachiyo Bridge. A free shuttle bus from Yokaichi Station is provided, taking about 10 min. 123 views
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And lift off...123 views
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OK, RUN NOW!! This is the most exciting part when we start running with the rope. It was like a stampede, and I let go after a few seconds to avoid getting runned over by the mob behind me.119 views
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From the Ohmi Railways' Gokasho Station, you can walk to the Fujii Hikoshiro House (藤井 彦四郎邸), which is also a history museum, and to the modern Ohmi Merchant Museum (近江商人博物館).116 viewsOhmi Railways Gokasho Station 近江鉄道五箇所駅
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Giant Kite sake. The food and souvenir booths sold a variety of merchandise including this locally-brewed sake, complete with a label showing this year's kite design.112 views
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Sutra Repository 経堂112 views
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100 kite pullers111 views
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Located in Higashi-Omi and established by Shotoku Taishi in 609, Hyakusaiji temple is Shiga Prefecture's oldest temple and one of Japan's oldest. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist Sect. Map111 views
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Bike path map110 views
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Room with Hina festival dolls and entrance to the Tonomura Shigeru Literature Museum. 雛祭りの雛人形110 views
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Garden and former home of Omi merchant Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎邸).110 views
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Notogawa Station on JR Tokaido/Biwako Line. Beautifully designed station resembling a water wheel, the symbol of the town. East Exit. 能登川駅109 views
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Yokaichi Giant Kite Preservation Society. This is the group responsible for producing, maintaining, and flying the giant kite. 大凧保存会108 views
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The temple is built along the Echi River. Admission 500 yen. For the elderly, these many, but not impossible, steps might be difficult. At least we can soon enjoy the fall colors in Nov.108 views
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Echibashi Bridge over Echi River. Nice views of the river can be had from this bridge.108 views
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Hina festival dolls108 views
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Sagamihara kite team invited. Sagamihara city in Kanagawa Prefecture also has a giant kite festival, and they were invited to fly a smaller version of their kite at Yokaichi. (Yokaichi was also invited to Sagamihara's kite festival in April.)107 views
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Inside Hondo temple hall107 views
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Symbol of Notogawa105 views
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Notogawa giant water wheel in Higashi-Omi, Shiga. Map104 views
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Bell tower and offertory box. In front of the temple hall. 鐘楼104 views
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Ready for flight103 views
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Autumn foilage greets you in Nov.103 views
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Bell tower 鐘楼102 views
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Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形102 views
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Sagamihara kite in flight. Due to a lack of wind, this flight didn't last long.96 views
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Notogawa in Higashi-Omi is famous for its giant water wheel. Bike path to Notogawa, another area in Shiga with a good and scenic bike path.94 views
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Namako wall94 views
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Launch pad. The kite is carried to the take off point and pointed toward the wind, which unfortunately very weak this day.92 views
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Main temple hall (hondo), Hyakusaiji. Important Cultural Property.87 views
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Carved paper86 views
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Notogawa Station, West Exit, also designed as a water wheel. This is one of Shiga's best-designed train stations. Beautifully designed station resembling a water wheel, the symbol of the town.85 views
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2nd floor with Hina festival dolls85 views
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Mini kite flying contest84 views
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Garden and pond. This house has a nice garden.82 views
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Kite corner81 views
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Mt. Kinugasa (Kannonji)81 views
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San-mon Gate81 views
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May 27, 2007 was a bad day for giant kite flying in Yokaichi, as the giant kite crashes head-first into a bamboo grove on its first and last flight during the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival.81 views
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Stringing the kite79 views
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Mini kite flying contest. The flying portion of the kite contest is held.79 views
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Wall of former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Shigeru (1902-1961) (外村 繁邸).79 views
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Entrance to former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Shigeru (外村 繁邸).78 views
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Snapped part being repaired.77 views
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Banzai from Sagamihara. After the kite's flight, the Sagamihara team give a few banzais to themselves and to Yokaichi.77 views
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Kite pullers wanted. This booth, next to the giant kite, is where you can apply to pull the kite. Anybody can apply to pull the giant kite. I applied and got a little kite pin and a pair of gloves.74 views
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Uses a water wheel to grind rice.74 views
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Visit a Koto Sanzan Temple at Hyakusaiji.74 views
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Statue of Omi merchant peddler carrying his trademark "tenbin" pole.74 views
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Ready for another flight73 views
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Poster for dragon canoe race in June73 views
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Crowds72 views
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People's fortune stickers on the kite. 願い札72 views
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Road to Mt. Kinugasa.70 views
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Inside the bus for Notogawa Station, about 15 min. ride.69 views
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Iki-ikikan-mae bus stop for JR Notogawa Station.69 views
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The two main areas are the hillside garden and the main worship hall. Most people visit the garden before climbing up the stone steps to the main worship hall. This is the long route to the temple. The tour buses go up to a closer gate.68 views
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Inside hondo, Hyakusaiji67 views
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Garden64 views
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Tokonoma alcove and scroll63 views
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Almost finished. This paper cutting step took 3 days to complete.63 views
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Canoe Land62 views
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Entrance to former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Shigeru.62 views
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Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形60 views
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Omi merchant statue.60 views
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Wedded Rock59 views
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View from 2nd floor56 views
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Woman's hairdressing room.55 views
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The hillside garden gives a good view of Lake Biwa. The main temple hall worships an 11-faced Kannon statue carved by Shotoku Taishi. Admission 500 yen.54 views
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Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形54 views
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2nd floor room54 views
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Temple bell. Visit the next Koto Sanzan Temple at Saimyoji in Kora.53 views
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Former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Uhee (1777-1820) (外村 宇兵衛邸).52 views
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External view of house51 views
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Tokonoma alcove with scroll.51 views
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Niomon Gate with giant straw sandals50 views
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Stone lantern in garden50 views
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Attic49 views
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View from 2nd floor balcony49 views
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At slightly past noon with medium-force winds, the giant kite is launched. The kite immediately went straight up. The giant kite is 13 meters high and 12 meters wide, and weighs 700 kg.49 views
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View from Tarobo48 views
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See the paper flaps pasted over the edge.48 views
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Niomon Gate47 views
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Furo bath wirth wooden barrel (heated by firewood)47 views
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Tonomura Shigeru Literature Museum (Bungakukan). Shigeru had a passion for writing, so he entrusted the family business to his younger brother. 外村 繁文学館46 views
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Hyakusaiji temple Garden45 views
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Entrance to the shrine. The shrine has a long history, spanning 1,400 years beginning with Shotoku Taishi who built Kawaraji temple on this mountain and also prayed at Tarobo shrine known for making miracles happen. Map45 views
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Entrance for tour bus passengers and car owners. This is the short-cut way to the temple.44 views
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View from top. Hazy weather made it difficult to see the scenery.44 views
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View from Tarobo. "Tarobo" is the name of the Tengu goblin serving as the guardian of this shrine. The shrine god is known as the "God of Victory," for business prosperity, winning something, beating a disease, or passing an exam.44 views
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Autumn leaves. In its heyday, the temple was home to 1,300 priests, before the temple was burned by Oda Nobunaga.43 views
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You can drive up halfway up the mountain (called Mitsukuriyama 箕作山) which is 350 meters high. If you don't have a car, climb over 700 steps to reach the shrine's main hall.43 views
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The new kite design was then announced. Called Han-jimon (判じもん), the design expresses a certain theme using word play with a pair of animals and one or two kanji characters. 八日市大凧は3年に一度図柄を変える。43 views
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Landmarks seen from hilltop (on clear days)42 views
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More steps42 views
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Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形42 views
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Entrance to Wedded Rocks41 views
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2nd floor balcony (Watch your head).40 views
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Entrance to former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Uhee.40 views
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Legend says that the god split the Weded Rocks in two. Legend also says that the rocks will crush any person who has a malicious heart or has told a lie. Most local kids therefore run through here to escape the god's crush.40 views
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Benten in stone40 views
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Bonsai plum and pine trees39 views
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You can hike up the hillside garden.38 views
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Picture of Tonomura Shigeru in the Literature Museum (Bungakukan). 外村 繁文学館38 views
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Shopfront with shopkeeper's desk.37 views
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Former home of Omi merchant Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎邸).37 views
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This narrow slit separates the Wedded Rocks, wide enough for people to pass through.36 views
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The top kanji is "yorokobu" (joyfulness) which can also be read as "ki." The pair of hawks 鷹 can be read as "yo." And the bottom kanji is "sei" (living). It's "Kyosei."36 views
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Steps to main temple35 views
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Kitchen area35 views
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Thanks to Masahiro Beniya for driving me to this must-visit place.35 views
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2nd floor balcony34 views
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2nd floor with more Hina dolls.34 views
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Kitchen area with dirt floor.34 views
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Former home of Omi merchant Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎邸).34 views
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Obata doll museum34 views
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Old photos of Omi merchants carrying their trademark "tenbin" pole.34 views
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Fresh produce grown by local farmers. They don't use pesticides.34 views
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Wedded Rock sacred rope34 views
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Path to next Omi merchant home.33 views
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Omi merchant dolls32 views
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It flew very high, up to about 150 meters, then veered to the right, over our heads.32 views
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2nd floor room looking toward the balcony.31 views
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Hina festival dolls in alcove.31 views
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Hinamatsuri dolls31 views
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Turn left there.31 views
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Living room31 views
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Garden31 views
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Window31 views
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Souvenir shop inside Iki-ikikan, run by local farmers who sell their goods here. The senbei crackers and cookies are delicious.31 views
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2nd floor room with Hina festival dolls. 雛祭りの雛人形30 views
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Inside former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Uhee. 玄関30 views
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Inside former home of Omi merchant Tonomura Uhee.30 views
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Bonsai30 views
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Saicho, founder of Tendai Buddhist Sect, also prayed at Tarobo. Up to when Shinto and Buddhism was separated during the Meiji Period, both Shinto and Tendai followers worshipped at Tarobo.30 views
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They introduced the three best designs. 最優秀作品はなく、3点の優秀賞作品を参考に保存会が決めた。30 views
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How they do it: First they cut along the outline of the picture leaving ample space. Then they cut it perpendicular to the edge to make paper flaps.30 views
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Senbei crackers29 views
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Of course, the Wedded Rocks is also good for married couples to maintain a good and happy marriage.29 views
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White stones (which you can buy) written with your wishes or prayers.28 views
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Pit for offering white stones28 views
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Twenty-six design entries were submitted this year. There was no top winner, so the final design was based on the three best designs. This design features the kanji "Yorokobu" or joyfulness. 今回のテーマは「いのち」28 views
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Tying the bamboo frame is considered to be one of the more tedious tasks, so we were rewarded with a pair of gloves with the kite design. These gloves will also give us higher priority to pull the kite during the kite festival.28 views
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Changing room next to bath.27 views
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Shopkeeper's desk.27 views
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Bonsai plum trees27 views
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