JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.

Image search results - "azai"
as096-20110506_0324.jpg
In 2011, the Go and Azai Sisters Expo is publicized everywhere in Nagahama. This is the east side of Nagahama Station.
as097-20110506_0033.jpg
Go to the west side of Nagahama Station to catch the shuttle bus going to the Go and Azai Sisters Expo pavilions. Buy the roundtrip bus ticket at the little office near the bus stop at the train station.
as098-20110506_0034.jpg
The 1,000 yen ticket includes admission to all three pavilions and roundtrip shuttle bus fare. Best to go the Odani pavilion first, then the Azai pavilion, and the central Nagahama pavilion on the way back.
as099-20110506_0035.jpg
The shuttle bus leaves once or twice an hour. It comes with a bus guide.
as104-20110115_0243.jpg
The Odani pavilion is at the foot of Odani Castle. Shuttle buses run between the three pavilions. Best to take a shuttle bus from Nagahama Station (West exit) and go directly to this pavilion.
as105-20110115_0246.jpg
Path to the Odani pavilion called Odani–Go no Furusato-kan (小谷・江のふるさと館).
as106-20110115_0249.jpg
Fence modeled after a samurai battle fence.
as107-20110115_0247.jpg
as108-20110115_0252.jpg
Odani–Go no Furusato-kan (小谷・江のふるさと館) in Odani.
as109-20110115_0267.jpg
Rear view of Odani–Go no Furusato-kan (小谷・江のふるさと館) pavilion. The building in the foreground is a small gift shop.
as110-20110115_0250.jpg
Outside the pavilion are food stalls and covered picnic tables.
as111-20110115_0269.jpg
Food stall named "Ogo-chan."
as112-20110115_0248.jpg
Map of area surrounding the Odani pavilion.
as113-20110115_0255.jpg
Inside the Odani pavilion is this samurai costume which you can wear and take pictures of yourself.
as114-20110115_0258.jpg
Also replica matchlock guns.
as115-20110115_0260.jpg
as116-20110115_0261.jpg
The Odani pavilion's most impressive exhibit was this scale model of Mt. Odani with Odani Castle in its heyday. On the left, you can also see Mt. Toragozen where Nobunaga's troops were perched to attack Odani Castle.
as117-20110115_0266.jpg
Model of Odani Castle. The mountain is quite steep and it was a difficult place to live logistically so normally, the castle lord and his family lived in the valley on the left side of the mountain.
as118-20110115_0254.jpg
Map of Mt. Odani. From the Odani pavilion, there are shuttle buses going to Odani Castle. The roundtrip fare is 500 yen. It is a guided tour to the main parts of Odani Castle ruins. Photos here.
as118-20110506_0037.jpg
At the Odani pavilion at the foot of Mt. Odani, a shuttle bus to Odani Castle with a tour guide is provided for 500 yen roundtrip during 2011. A lot easier than walking up the mountain.
as119-20110115_0268.jpg
Outside the Odani pavilion is this outdoor stage. On weekends, a drama troupe performs.
as120-20110506_0036.jpg
Samurai
as122-20110115_0279.jpg
Entrance to Odani Castle Sengoku Historical Museum (小谷城戦国歴史資) opened in fall 2007. The museum is in the valley adjacent to Mt. Odani. Although the castle was atop the mountain, the castle lord and his family (Azai sisters) normally lived i
as123-20110115_0278.jpg
Odani Castle Sengoku Historical Museum. Admission 300 yen (not included in the expo ticket price). Can't take photos inside, but there are two small exhibition rooms explaining about the Azai clan and Odani Castle. No English.
as124-20110115_0221.jpg
The third and main pavilion is in Azai. This is where the expo's opening ceremony was held on Jan. 15, 2011 with Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko and actor Tokito Saburo in attendance.
as125-20110115_0224.jpg
Statue of the Azai family in front of the Azai pavilion. As soon as they arrive here, most visitors take a picture of this sculpture.
as126-20110115_0225.jpg
About the Azai family sculpture. There's Nagamasa, Oichi, Chacha, Ohatsu Go, and Manpukumaru. They are gazing at Lake Biwa and Chikubushima from Odani.
as127-20110115_0231.jpg
The Azai pavilion is called Azai–Go no Drama-kan (浅井・江のドラマ館). It displays kimono worn by the actresses (Ueno Juri, Miyazawa Rie) and samurai armor worn by the actors playing Oda Nobunaga and Azai Nagamasa. There’s also a small video
as128-20110115_0232.jpg
Food stalls
as129-20110115_0233.jpg
Table for food stalls.
as130-20110115_0236.jpg
Vending machines with Azai sisters moif.
as131-20110115_0237.jpg
Inside the ift shop. This is the expo's largest gift shop. Buy your Azai sisters souvenirs and guide books here next to the Azai pavilion.
as132-20110115_0238.jpg
Gift shop
as133-20110115_0241.jpg
Go and Azai Sisters Expo banner.
as134-20110115_0239.jpg
Shuttle bus to go to the next pavilion. They start from Nagahama Station's west exit and go to all three pavilions with stops at major attractions along the way. A bus guide is aboard the us.
as136a-20110115_0287.jpg
Otemon-dori shopping arcade in central Nagahama with banners showing the way to the Go and Azai Sisters Expo venue. The expo has three pavilions in three different locations: central Nagahama, Odani, and Azai.
as136b-20110115_0281.jpg
Across from the Nagahama Hikiyama Museum is the first Go and Azai Sisters Expo paviion called Nagahama Kurokabe Rekishi Drama 50-saku-kan (長浜黒壁・歴史ドラマ50作館).
as136c-20110115_0283.jpg
This pavilion is actually a small exhibition room on the 2nd floor of a small shopping complex. It has panel displays of past NHK Taiga Dramas (50 of them) and a small video theater.
as136d-20110115_0282.jpg
Photography is not allowed inside the pavilions except for certain objects. Model of Odani Castle. This pavilion next to the Hikiyama Museum does not have much. See it only if you have time or if you're a Taiga Drama fan.
as137-20110506_0323.jpg
Heiwado dept. store in front of Nagahama Station.
as138-20110506_0325.jpg
Inside Heiwado dept. store in front of Nagahama Station.
as139-20110506_0326.jpg
Lots of Azai sisters merchandise on sale in Heiwado.
as140-20110506_0327.jpg
as141-20110506_0328.jpg
as142-20110506_0337.jpg
Top floor of Heiwado had this exhibition of Azai sisters-related crafts by local school children.
as143-20110506_0334.jpg
Splendid work of Azai sisters made of small rolls of paper.
as144-20110506_0335.jpg
Oda Nobunaga
as145-20110506_0332.jpg
Odani Castle and the Azai sister trio.
as146-20110506_0336.jpg
as147-20110506_0330.jpg
Calligraphy of Azai sisters-related words and phrases.
as148-20110506_0331.jpg
Calligraphy of Azai sisters-related words and phrases.
as149-20110506_0339.jpg
Drawings of the three Azai sisters by local children exhibited in Heiwado in Nagahama.
as150-20110506_0340.jpg
Drawings of the three Azai sisters by local children.
as151-20110506_0341.jpg
as152-20110506_0342.jpg
as153-20110506_0344.jpg
ic098-20090208_2880.jpg
Sign for Oichi-no-Sato, a complex consisting of a public library and folk history museums. Named after Ichi, the wife of Lord Azai Nagamasa who resided at Odani Castle. She was also the younger sister of warlord Oda Nobunaga.
ic099-20090208_2883.jpg
Oichi or Ichi (1547–1583) gave birth to three daughters who associated with famous men. They were Chacha (Toyotomi Hideyoshi's concubine), Hatsu (married Kyogoku Takatsugu), and Ogo (married Tokugawa Hidetada).
ic100-20090208_2885.jpg
Map of Oichi-no-Sato. The biggest building on the left is the Azai Public Library. If you don't have a car, catch the Kokoku Bus (Takayama Route) at Nagahama Station and get off at Plaza Fukura no Mori-mae (プラザふくらの森前). Walk 10 min.
ic100-20090208_2886.jpg
Oichi-no-Sato includes Azai Public Library on the left. Its entrance looks like a castle gate. Address: Oyoricho 528, Nagahama. 大依町 Phone: 0749-74-0101 浅井図書館
ic101-20120505_6769.jpg
Within Oichi-no-Sato is the Azai Folk History Museum, a small complex of history museums.
ic102-20120505_6775.jpg
Walk past the library and you come to the gate of the Azai Folk History Museum. Admission 300 yen. Open 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon. (open if a national holiday) and the day after a national holiday.
ic103-20120505_6773.jpg
Entrance to Azai Folk History Museum.
ic104-20120505_6776.jpg
Azai Folk History Museum has a few buildings around an iris pond.
ic105-20120505_6777.jpg
About the Battle of Anegawa.
ic106-20120505_6778.jpg
On the left is this modern structure called the Folk Studies Museum or Kyodo Gakushu-kan. It centers on the history of Odani Castle and three generations of the Azai Clan. 郷土学習館
ic107-20120505_6784.jpg
ic108-20120505_6782.jpg
In the rear is the thatch-roofed Shichirinkan 七りん館
ic109-20090208_2893.jpg
The Azai Folk History Museum (Azai Rekishi Minzoku Shiryokan) has two large thatched-roof houses. This one is called Itohime no Yakata which shows Azai's silk production history. 糸姫の館 MAP
ic109-20120505_6780.jpg
Itohime no Yakata
ic110-20120505_6800.jpg
Folk Studies Museum or Kyodo Gakushu-kan. It centers on the history of Odani Castle and three generations of the Azai Clan. 郷土学習館
ic111-20120505_6804.jpg
Entrance to Folk Studies Museum.
ic112-20120505_6805.jpg
Video room explaining the Battle of Anegawa River.
ic113-20120505_6807.jpg
Video screening room explaining the Battle of Anegawa River.
ic114-20120505_6808.jpg
ic115-20120505_6809.jpg
Model of Odani Castle on Mt. Odani.
ic116-20120505_6810.jpg
Model of Odani Castle.
ic117-20120505_6811.jpg
Exhibits about the Battle of Anegawa River.
ic118-20120505_6812.jpg
Order written by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to award any Shizugatake residents a reward for killing his enemy.
ic119-20120505_6813.jpg
Letter from Ishida Mitsunari.
ic120-20120505_6815.jpg
Thank you letter from Azai Nagamasa to a temple for their cooperation in civil construction work.
ic121-20120505_6816.jpg
Armor worn around the belly by low-ranking samurai to protect against spears and swords. Supposedly used in the Battle of Anegawa.
ic122-20120505_6818.jpg
ic123-20120505_6844.jpg
ic124-20120505_6845.jpg
ic125-20120505_6846.jpg
Azai Nagamasa, wife Oichi, son Manpukumaru (left), Chacha in the middle, Hatsu on the right, and Go in Oichi's arms.
ic126-20120505_6820.jpg
ic127-20120505_6821.jpg
Depiction of Oichi and her daughters being allowed to escape Odani Castle while it was under attack by Oda Nobunaga in 1573.
ic128-20120505_6824.jpg
Depiction of Oichi and her three daughters being allowed to escape Odani Castle while it was under attack by Oda Nobunaga in 1573.
ic129-20120505_6826.jpg
Oichi and daughter Chacha, Hatsu, and Go were led to safety by Fujikake Nagakatsu, a retainer of Oda Nobunaga. He took them to Gifu Castle.
ic130-20120505_6836.jpg
ic131-20120505_6829.jpg
A few years before the attack, Fujikake Nagakatsu, a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, had been assigned to Odani Castle to look after Nobunaga's sister Oichi. 藤懸永勝
ic132-20120505_6822.jpg
ic133-20120505_6830.jpg
About the castle gate.
ic134-20120505_6832.jpg
Right after their escape from Odani Castle, Oichi and her three daughters went to a nearby temple in Nagahama whose priest was Nagamasa's older sister. The priest hid the three girls in her robes when Nobunaga's men arrived.It is not known for sure where Oichi and the Azai sisters escaped to. This is only one supposition.
ic135-20120505_6835.jpg
ic136-20120505_6841.jpg
ic137-20120505_6842.jpg
Folding fan supposedly used by Oichi.
ic138-20120505_6839.jpg
ic139-20090208_2950.jpg
This folding panel greets you with a portrait of Lord Azai Nagamasa and wife Ichi.
ic139-20090208_2951.jpg
Model of Odani Castle on a mountaintop.
ic139-20090208_2954.jpg
More exhibits about local history.
ic139-20090208_2955.jpg
Portrait panels of Nagamasa, Ichi, and their three daughters.
ic139-20090208_2957.jpg
Ichi or Oichi, wife of Azai Nagamasa.
ic139-20090208_2958.jpg
Lord Azai Nagamasa
ic139-20090208_2962.jpg
Map of the Battle of Anegawa where Lord Azai Nagamasa fought against Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga in 1570.
ic139-20090208_2965.jpg
Second floor of the museum with a fake stone castle gate.
ic139-20090208_2968.jpg
ic139-20090208_2969.jpg
Relics from Odani Castle
ic139-20090208_2970.jpg
Fan said to have belonged to Ichi.
ic139-20090208_2974.jpg
Blacksmith-related materials.
ic139-20090208_2977.jpg
Photo of an unusual ax.
ic141-20090208_2935.jpg
Inside Shichirinkan, a former blacksmith's house from the 19th century. 七りん館
ic141-20090208_2937.jpg
When I visited in Feb. 2009, there was an exhibit showing artifacts of a local Okonai Festival (held in various locations during Jan. to March to pray for a good harvest).
ic141-20090208_2938.jpg
Feast for Okonai Festival.
ic141-20090208_2941.jpg
Food for Okonai Festival.
ic141-20090208_2942.jpg
ic141-20090208_2943.jpg
ic141-20120505_6850.jpg
ic142-20090208_2934.jpg
Kitchen.
ic142-20120505_6853.jpg
ic143-20120505_6854.jpg
ic144-20090208_2928.jpg
Wooden bathtub
ic144-20090208_2930.jpg
How they bathed in the bathtub.
ic144-20090208_2931.jpg
Near the entrance was the wooden bath.
ic144-20120505_6852.jpg
Urinal
ic145-20120505_6863.jpg
Blacksmith's shop
ic146-20120505_6855.jpg
Inside Blacksmith's shop.
ic147-20120505_6862.jpg
ic148-20120505_6859.jpg
ic149-20120505_6865.jpg
ic150-20120505_6786.jpg
This is Itohime no Yakata which shows Azai's silk production history. 糸姫の館
ic151-20120505_6787.jpg
ic152-20120505_6792.jpg
ic153-20120505_6798.jpg
ic154-20120505_6801.jpg
ic155-20120505_6868.jpg
Inside Itohime no Yakata.
ic156-20090208_2909.jpg
Large exhibition rooms.
ic156-20090208_2910.jpg
Products which use silk threads made in Azai. They were mainly used for the strings of string instruments such as the koto, samisen, and biwa lute.
ic156-20090208_2911.jpg
Koto strings made of Azai silk threads. Numerous silk threads are twisted together to make a koto string.
ic156-20090208_2913.jpg
Biwa strings
ic156-20090208_2915.jpg
Biwa lute
ic156-20090208_2918.jpg
Silk cocoons.
ic156-20090208_2921.jpg
Room with a hearth.
ic156-20120505_6873.jpg
ic157-20120505_6872.jpg
Silk threads.
ic158-20120505_6871.jpg
ic159-20120505_6870.jpg
ic160-20120505_6877.jpg
ic161-20120505_6874.jpg
ic162-20120505_6876.jpg
Weaver
ic163-20120505_6879.jpg
ic164-20090208_2901.jpg
Model of silkworm racks.
ic164-20090208_2902.jpg
ic164-20090208_2903.jpg
A mannequin spinning silk thread.
ic164-20090208_2922.jpg
ic165-20120505_6883.jpg
Model of silkworm racks.
ic166-20120505_6890.jpg
ic167-20120505_6884.jpg
ic168-20120505_6885.jpg
Silk thread
ic169-20120505_6886.jpg
ic170-20120505_6888.jpg
ic171-20120505_6889.jpg
ic172-20120505_6799.jpg
ic173-20120505_6797.jpg
Iris pond
ic174-20120505_6802.jpg
na300-IMG_6917.jpg
Maruko-bune Museum (Maruko-bune no Yakata). The maruko-bune was commonly used to transport cargo over the lake from the Hokuriku region to the Kyoto-Osaka region during the 17th and 18th c. MAPThe museum is a short bicycle ride from Nagahara Station (JR Kosei Line). 滋賀県西浅井町大浦582 丸子船の館
na301-IMG_6947.jpg
Maruko-bune wooden boat which was a common sight on Lake Biwa in the old days before trains came to fore. Near this area was a major maruko-bune port called Oura.
na302-IMG_6968.jpg
Maruko-bune, a traditional wooden boat mainly for shipping cargo across Lake Biwa in the old days. This used maruko-bune was donated by a local resident. 丸子船
na303-IMG_6962.jpg
Black copper plates decorate the bow (ダテカスガイ). This checkered pattern was unique to Lake Biwa boats. The wood seams are stuffed with conifer fiber (槙縄) to repel water.
na304-IMG_6961.jpg
Maruko-bune's trademark is this half-round cedar or cypress log on both sides. おも木
na305-IMG_6945.jpg
The bow's tip is studded.
na306-IMG_6957.jpg
Maruko-bune were a vital transportation link between northern Japan and Kyoto/Osaka. Goods coming and going via the Sea of Japan also went over the lake.
na307-IMG_6958.jpg
Rudder hangs down from a torii-like brace (かさ木), also used as a mast rest when the mast is laid down. Most of the wood is Japanese conifer (槇の木).
na308-IMG_6927.jpg
na309-IMG_6928.jpg
The sail is made of thick cotton material, replacing the old straw mat that didn't last long.
na310-IMG_6934.jpg
Major parts of a maruko-bune. For details see my video here.
na310b-IMG_6942.jpg
This maruko-bune is 17.2 meters long.
na311-IMG_6933.jpg
Top view of maruko-bune.
na312-IMG_6924.jpg
During the 17th and 18th-centuries, over 1,000 maruko-bune sailed on the lake. The busiest ports were Shiotsu in the north and Otsu. After railroads were built, maruko-bune dwindled. Today, there are no maruko-bune on Lake Biwa.
na313-IMG_6925.jpg
Maruko-bune transported rice, fish, kelp, and many other northern Japan goods bound for Kyoto/Osaka. From Kyoto, came cotton, confections, soy sauce, sake, kimono, textiles, tobacco, and more.
na313b-IMG_6938.jpg
Maruko-bune exhibits.
na314-IMG_6922.jpg
Diorama of Oura Port. MAP
na315-IMG_6937.jpg
Top view with roof partially removed for viewing.
na316-IMG_6950.jpg
Maruko-bune crew.
na317-IMG_6951.jpg
Maruko-bune boat hands.
na318-IMG_6953.jpg
na319-IMG_6959.jpg
The boat's bottom is flat, suited for shallow waters. Also see Maruko-bune photos at the Lake Biwa Museum.
na320-IMG_6970.jpg
Adjacent museum called Oura Furusato Shiryokan. A museum of local artifacts and knicknacks.
na321-IMG_6941.jpg
Adjacent museum showing things from Oura.
na390-IMG_6974.jpg
Bicycling to Sugaura.
na401-IMG_6977.jpg
Sugaura is a small settlement in Nishi-Azai along the northern shore of Lake Biwa. It is a quiet and scenic area with a nice lakeshore road and trail almost to the tip of the peninsula. Akasaki Maruko-bune park赤崎丸子船
na402-IMG_6979.jpg
na403-IMG_6980.jpg
Some scenery from the road between Nagahara and Sugaura.
na404-8710-13.jpg
Sugaura is one of the best areas of northern Shiga and northern Lake Biwa. Quiet, clean, and scenic.
na405-8710-14.jpg
na406-8710-15.jpg
na407-IMG_6990.jpg
na408-IMG_6995.jpg
na409-IMG_7000.jpg
Large maruko-bune displayed outdoors, without a mast.
na410-IMG_6997.jpg
The wooden maruko-bune boat was a common sight on Lake Biwa before railroads were built. They were mainly used for shipping cargo between Kyoto and the northern region of Fukui, Kanazawa, etc.
na411-IMG_6999.jpg
Large wooden paddle of a maruko-bune boat. The boat also had a sail. The boat had a round log on both sides.
na412-IMG_6998.jpg
The big maruko-bune boat (17 meters long) was donated by a native of Nishi-Azai. It could hold 13 tons of cargo.
na413-IMG_7086.jpg
Lookout point, Chikubushima island in the distance
na414-IMG_7005.jpg
na415-IMG_7007.jpg
na416-IMG_7017.jpg
na417-IMG_7018.jpg
Chikubushima island in the distance
na418-IMG_7019.jpg
na419-IMG_7083.jpg
na420-IMG_7078.jpg
na421-IMG_1321.jpg
Sugaura as seen from Lake Biwa.
na421-IMG_1322.jpg
Sugaura as seen from Lake Biwa. The Oku Biwako Parkway Road can be seen going up the mountain.
na422-IMG_7021.jpg
The maruko-bune boat is a symbol of Nishi-Azai town which is now part of the city of Nagahama.
na423-IMG_7022.jpg
Going down to the lake shore of Sugaura.
na424-IMG_7024.jpg
Sugaura is a length-wise town hugging the shore of the lake.
na425-IMG_1390.jpg
Imazu Junior High School rowers on the shore of Sugaura. They row across the lake between Imazu and Nagahama every summer.
na426-IMG_1402.jpg
They row in a fixed-seat, wooden boat based on a traditional design circa 1917. Off Sugaura. Oku Biwako Parkway Road going up the mountain.
na440-IMG_7067.jpg
Entrance to Sugaura, a quaint lakeshore village on a peninsula. It is will be designated as an Important Cultural Landscape. A pleasant trail goes along the lakeshore trail.
na441-IMG_7068.jpg
Thatched-roof gate, called Shisokumon 四足門, on the west end used to monitor outsiders entering the village. Another one is at the east end. MAP
na442-IMG_7028.jpg
Suga Shrine, dedicated to Sugaura's patron god. The shrine also has a connection with Emperor Junnin (733-765). 淳仁天皇. 須賀神社須賀神社
na443-IMG_7069.jpg
Way to Suga Shrine. Emperor Junnin supposedly once lived in this area in secret.
na445-IMG_7070.jpg
Suga Shrine
na446-IMG_7073.jpg
na450-IMG_7072.jpg
Sugaura Local History Museum 菅浦郷土史料館. Contains historical documents related to the town. But it was closed when I went.
na460-IMG_7029.jpg
na461-IMG_7066.jpg
Thatched-roof gate, called Shisokumon 四足門, on the east end used to monitor outsiders entering the village.
na465-IMG_7033.jpg
Beyond the east end of Sugaura (beyond the east thatched-roof gate) is a scenic walking trail along the peninsula's shore.After you pass through the town, there is a hiking/bicycle trail along the peninsula.
na466-IMG_7034.jpg
Swimming area
na467-IMG_7035.jpg
Trail goes further.
na468-IMG_7037.jpg
Trail going up the mountain.
na469-IMG_7044.jpg
Scenic point at end of trail
na480-IMG_7050a.jpg
Panorama at end of trail
na481-IMG_1328.jpg
Scenic point at end of trail. Notice the hut.
na550-8710-16.jpg
One entrance to Oku Biwako Parkway is at Sugaura. It's not a toll road. The most trying part of bicycling around Lake Biwa. MAP
na551-8710-17.jpg
But the views can be marvelous. There is an alternate and less strenuous bicycling route behind the mountains, but there's no scenery like this.
na552-8710-18.jpg
Looking at Sugaura in Nishi-Azai.
na553-20080630_6439.jpg
na554-20040103.jpg
View from Oku Biwako Parkway
na555-20080630_6443.jpg
na556-20080630_6464.jpg
At the top of the Oku Biwako Parkway road is a lookout point.
na557-20080630_6446.jpg
There's a large parking lot at the top.
na558-20080630_6451.jpg
A few pretty good views from the top.
na559-20080630_6459.jpg
na560-20080630_6461.jpg
na561-20080630_6474.jpg
View from Oku Biwako Parkway
na562-20080630_6447.jpg
na563-20080630_6445.jpg
Hydrangeas
na564-20040103a.jpg
na565-8710-22.jpg
na566-8710-24.jpg
na567-8710-26.jpg
300 files on 2 page(s) 1