JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Last additions - Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 スポレク滋賀
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The city of Maibara hosted the Sports Recreation aerobics tournament on Oct. 19-20, 2008. These are women in their 80s and 90s dancing. They were one of the winners.Nov 02, 2008
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Joint session.Nov 02, 2008
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Paint it yourself.Nov 02, 2008
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Sports Recreation aerobics tournament awards ceremony. See more photos of the aerobics tournament here.Nov 02, 2008
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Free shuttle buses took us from Kibogaoka Park and Yasu Station (or nearby parking lots).Nov 02, 2008
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Miyazaki's booth.Nov 02, 2008
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Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 aerobics tournament in Maibara.Nov 02, 2008
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Caffy-yaki sweet bean buns were popular.Nov 02, 2008
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Ayu sweetfishNov 02, 2008
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Exit. The booths and other festivities were held at Kibogaoka Park only during Oct. 18-19, 2008. While the sports tournaments were held at various venues until Oct. 21st. Official site here.Nov 02, 2008
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Kibogaoka ParkNov 02, 2008
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Miyazaki Governor Higashikokubaru is a celebrity and Miyazaki's top salesman. Unfortunately, this is only a cardboard cutout of him.Nov 02, 2008
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Sake from ShigaNov 02, 2008
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Ibuki goodies (Maibara)Nov 02, 2008
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Nov 02, 2008
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Caffy-yaki sweet bean bun.Nov 02, 2008
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Caffy dollNov 02, 2008
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The west side of the park had food and souvenir booths.Nov 02, 2008
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There were these large tents for resting and eating.Nov 02, 2008
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Most people tried to stay out of the hot sun.Nov 02, 2008
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Ryukoku University band entertains.Nov 02, 2008
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Caffy mascot dollsNov 02, 2008
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Booth for the city of Yasu.Nov 02, 2008
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Food boothsNov 02, 2008
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Blow dartsNov 02, 2008
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Yasu's booth had a replica of an ancient bronze bell, Japan's largest discovered in Yasu.Nov 02, 2008
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Free acupuncture.Nov 02, 2008
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There were various health-related booths. Free shoulder/head massages here.Nov 02, 2008
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Earthquake simulatorNov 02, 2008
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Jumping rope en masse.Nov 02, 2008
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Throwing BingoNov 02, 2008
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Sculpture for the Sky.Nov 02, 2008
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Sculpture for Humans.Nov 02, 2008
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Nov 02, 2008
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Toward the east side of the park was an area where you could try various new sports.Nov 02, 2008
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They had a whole bunch of Caffy mascots walking around. Caffy is modeled after the Lake Biwa Giant Catfish, a unique species found only in Lake Biwa.Nov 02, 2008
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Sculpture for Water.Nov 02, 2008
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Spo-rec flagsNov 02, 2008
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Caffy, the official mascot of Sports Recreation Shiga 2008, is modeled after the Lake Biwa Giant Catfish, a unique species found only in Lake Biwa.Nov 02, 2008
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FlagsNov 02, 2008
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Wish they actually flew the kite, but I guess there wasn't enough room.Nov 02, 2008
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The giant kite goes up. Normally, the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival is held in May.Nov 02, 2008
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A tall crane hoists up the Yokaichi giant kite.Nov 02, 2008
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This giant kite is actually an old one, from several years ago. They took it down after the opening ceremony was over.Nov 02, 2008
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Another activity for the sky...Nov 02, 2008
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For the finale, they released these little balloons shaped like doves. This was to represent the sky.Nov 02, 2008
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Dove balloons in the sky.Nov 02, 2008
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A taiko troupe performs.Nov 02, 2008
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Nov 02, 2008
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The ground transformed into a lake.Nov 02, 2008
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The next activity, representing water, was having a huge blue sheet covering the spectators. The opening ceremony had a theme based on water, humans, and the sky.Nov 02, 2008
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Then they tossed these small balls onto the sheet where they bounced all over.Nov 02, 2008
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Over 20,000 people competed in the sports tournaments held all over Shiga. They included soccer, softball, badminton, bowling, track, gate ball, folk dancing, aerobics, and trampoline.Nov 02, 2008
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This sports meet is designed for adults of all ages. You can be 95 years old and still participate. They call it a "life-long sports meet."Nov 02, 2008
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Giant balls were tossed to the audience. They slapped the balls toward the front, but many of them popped like a balloon.Nov 02, 2008
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Caffy capNov 02, 2008
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The contingent from South Korea also marched to their seats from the center stage.Nov 02, 2008
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On the right was a large stage for the band.Nov 02, 2008
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Large monitor shows Governor Kada declaring the opening of the Spo-rec event.Nov 02, 2008
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The opening ceremony stage was at the front and center, looking very tiny to most of us. Shiga Governor Yukiko Kada is in a yellow pants suit.Nov 02, 2008
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NaganoNov 02, 2008
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ShigaNov 02, 2008
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TokyoNov 02, 2008
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Flags for all the prefectures.Nov 02, 2008
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Athletes from Miyazaki Prefecture hold a sign saying "See you next year in Miyazaki!"Nov 02, 2008
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Shiga athletes applaud as the different athletes marched past.Nov 02, 2008
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Each flag had the name of the prefecture. This is Miyazaki.Nov 02, 2008
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GunmaNov 02, 2008
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Then representatives from all 47 prefectures marched through the crowd.Nov 02, 2008
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Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 opening ceremony at Kibogaoka Park, Yasu on Oct. 18, 2008. It was a sunny, cloudless day, and quite hot in sun. スポレク滋賀 開会式Nov 02, 2008
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The opening ceremony started at 12:30 pm with a line of Caffy flags each representing a different sport.Nov 02, 2008
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Athletes from Shiga at the opening ceremony.Nov 02, 2008
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Mt. Mikami (Shiga's Mt. Fuji) overlooks the park.Nov 02, 2008
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Site of the opening ceremony held on Oct. 18, 2008 at the center part of Kibogaoka Park.Nov 02, 2008
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Hand sculpture.Nov 02, 2008
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What are these large balls for? We'll find out soon.Nov 02, 2008
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Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" at Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 on Oct. 18, 2008 in Kibogaoka Park, Yasu, Shiga Pref.Nov 02, 2008
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Jamie and Megan Thompson sing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" at Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 on Oct. 18, 2008 in Kibogaoka Park, Yasu, Shiga Pref.Nov 02, 2008
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Then at 10:20 am, Jamie and Megan Thompson from Illinois, USA appeared and sang "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" (Biwako Shuko no Uta in English). スポレク滋賀、県民「夢」ステージNov 02, 2008
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MC Chiho Ono from FM Shiga (e-radio) asks the twins a few questions. Also see the video here. 司会者 小野千穂Nov 02, 2008
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A duo called Mellow Pair also performed. The keyboard player is from Shiga, while the singer on the right is from Miyazaki Prefecture which is the host of next year's Sports Recreation event in 2009.Nov 02, 2008
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Abbreviated "Spo-rec," this event was a very big deal for Shiga with over 20,000 visiting Shiga. Kibogaoka Park is a huge grassy park. There was an entertainment stage called Kenmin Yume Stage which can be seen at the center of this photo.Nov 02, 2008
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Entrance to Kibogaoka Park during the Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 festival during Oct. 18-21, 2008. It's an annual event held in a different prefecture. People from all 47 prefectures and South Korea participate in tournaments for 18 sports.Nov 02, 2008
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On the first day Oct. 18, 2008, this stage featured an entertainment program from 9:30 am to 11:15 am. It included this balloon session for kids.Nov 02, 2008
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