JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "setagawa"
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PR poster designed by Tetsuo OshiroPoster for the race.

京都大学ボート部OBの尾城徹雄様に作成したポスター。大学内や大津市石山商店街などで張り出された。
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Karahashi Bridge as the starting point for alumni races
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Kyoto Univ. in dark blue T-shirts
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Finish line 300 meters later
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Tokyo Univ. (Todai) crew return to land after a race
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On July 29, 2007, this regatta was held for the second time. It targets mainly beginner rowers. Organized by the Seta Rowing Club which seeks to have more people enjoy water sports on Lake Biwa. Seta-Karahashi Bridge was the regatta's starting line. The Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD was awarded to all the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in all five categories.
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Univ. of Tokyo alumni crew in light blue T-shirts
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Sixty rowing teams (300 people) rowed in five categories, including beginner and expert rowers, ranging in age from junior high to senior citizens.
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Kyoto Univ. alumni crew in dark blue T-shirts
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This is the boat dock where people got on and off the boats. The boats were provided by local rowing organizations. The regatta was organized by the Seta Rowing Club in Otsu.
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Kyoto Univ. alumni crew at start line
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A rowing team leaves the dock for Seta-Karahashi Bridge seen in the background.
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On Karahashi Bridge
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Seta-Karahashi Bridge, the start line.
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Race starts for Kyoto Univ. alumni
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Up to four rowing teams raced down a 250-meter straight course.
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Kyoto Univ. alumni
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Kyoto Univ. starts to veer off course
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Kyoto Univ. is unable to correct their misdirection
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All the boats are held stationary with a rope provided from the bridge.
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A faulty rudder runs them aground
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4-man crew alumni boat race
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8-man crew alumni in their 20s and 30s at starting line
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Most races were not close.
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Kyodai alumni in their 20s and 30s
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The 250-meter course is very short, and each race ends within a minute or two.
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Kyodai alumni in their 20s and 30s
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Finish line. In the background is the Kyoto University Rowing Club's boat house.
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One of the main events, the 4-man boat race between Todai and Kyodai on a 3200-meter course.
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Todai's 4-man crew in the lead
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The race had to be stopped for a few minutes each time this cruise boat passed by.
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Kyodai's 4-man crew try to keep up
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The Lake Biwa rowing Song CD was also sold.
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Todai's 4-man crew rowing
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Kyodai's 4-man crew rowing
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The Lake Biwa rowing Song CD was also sold during the regatta which lasted from 9 am to 4 pm.
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Kyodai's 4-man crew rowing with dark-blue blades
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CDs
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Todai won this one.
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Sketch of regatta course
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Main race: 8-man crew for Todai and Kyodai coming round the bend on the 3200-meter course
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Dragon boat
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Dragon boat
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Free rides on this dragon boat were also provided.
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Kyodai is clearly in the lead
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Kyoto Univ. rowing to victory
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Dragon boat
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Rowing on the dragon boat
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Univ. of Tokyo rowing
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Dragon boat going to the Seta-Karahashi Bridge.
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Kyoto University's winning rowing crew
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Carrying the boat back
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A taiko drummer sits at the front of the dragon boat.
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We rowed according to the taiko drum beat.
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View of Seta River race course, Karahashi Bridge on far left. Tokyo vs. Kyoto Univ. Regatta
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Awards ceremony
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Kanpai!
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Writing names on award certificates.
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Alumni race starting at Seta no Karahashi Bridge
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Celebrations
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Some of the prizes awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Notice the Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs (75 copies).
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Body tossing
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Awards ceremony
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Celebrate by jumping in the water
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A representative from each winning team went to receive a medal and Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD. Each team had 5 members, so 5 CDs per team.
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Singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" (Biwako Shuko no Uta)
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The Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs were donated by Philbert Ono.
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Singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" (Biwako Shuko no Uta)
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The junior category team receive their medals and CDs.
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Singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" (Biwako Shuko no Uta)
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The beautiful 15-page program included an ad for the Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD.
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View of Seta River race course from Karahashi Bridge
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Truck to carry the boats
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Todai and Kyodai coming round the bend
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Kyoto Univ. goes on to win the main race of the day in 10 min. 11 sec., over 20 sec. ahead of Todai.
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One of Otsu's Big Three Festivals, the Senko-sai is a portable shrine procession on boats going down Seta River from Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge to Nango sluice and back. Held annually on Aug. 17 by Takebe Taisha Shrine. The festival starts at 5 pm.
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Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge had four bamboo poles indicating where the mikoshi (portable shrine) boats will pass under. These photos were taken on Aug. 17, 2010, a very hot day. MAP
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Sign says that people cannot enter the middle section of the bridge under which the mikoshi will pass.
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The Senko-sai festival personifies the marine journey of legendary prince and warrior Yamato Takeru. It also prays for water safety. Yamato Takeru is one god Takebe Taisha Shrine worships.
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The east bank of Seta River near Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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The two mikoshi boats have dragon heads.
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More boats to be in the procession.
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Pier scene near Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Mikoshi boats await the mikoshi.
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These two cruise boats (Lansing and Interlaken) were chartered for the festival.
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Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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The festival started at 5 pm when the mikoshi (portable shrine) procession departed Takebe Taisha Shrine about 500 meters from the east end of Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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The procession arrived at the east end of Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge at about 5:15 pm.
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Even though this is one of Otsu's Big Three Festivals (others are Sanno-sai and Otsu Matsuri), the crowd watching was surprisingly sparse.
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Shrine maidens
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Archer
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First was a children's mikoshi (portable shrine).
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Followed by another children's mikoshi.
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The third mikoshi was carried by women.
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Nagata Megumi, Biwako Otsu Tourist Ambassador for 2010, was also in the procession. 永田めぐみ
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The two Biwako Otsu Tourist Ambassadors for 2010. びわ湖大津観光大使:井上まどか、永田めぐみ
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Escorted by taiko drummers, the main mikoshi arrives at the east end of Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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They do a few maneuvers with the main mikoshi.
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The mikoshi carried by the ladies is loaded onto the boat.
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The main mikoshi arrives at the boat pier.
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Heading for the boat.
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Carrying the main mikoshi to the boat.
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Hauling the main mikoshi onto the boat.
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The two Biwako Otsu Tourist Ambassadors for 2010, Inoue Madoka and Nagata Megumi. Selected from among 21 applicants in April 2010. For one year, their job is to promote tourism in Otsu. びわ湖大津観光大使:井上まどか、永田めぐみ
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All the mikoshi are loaded up on the boats and ready to go.
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Boat pier north of the east end of Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge. This is where the crowd was concentrated. People gave a few speeches before the boats left.
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The main mikoshi all set on the boat.
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The boat with the three mikoshi aboard is pulled away by tugboat.
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Next, the boat carrying the main mikoshi is taken upstream.
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The main mikoshi on the boat during the Senko-sai festival on Setagawa River in Otsu.
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The three mikoshi head upstream.
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All the boats first head upstream toward Lake Biwa, then they make a U-turn and sail downstream down Seta River.
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The fireworks barge can be seen on the distance.
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Lansing going to rendezvous with the other boats. Most of Lake Biwa's cruise boats are named after Shiga's sister states (like Michigan) or cities. Lansing is in Michigan.
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After making a U-turn, the boats head downstream toward Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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The crowd watching the boat procession was sparse. It seems most people were waiting for the fireworks instead. It was a hot day too.
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Heading the boat procession is the main mikoshi now passing under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Boat with the main portable shrine pass under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Boat with the main portable shrine pass under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Boat with the three portable shrines pass under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Boat with the three portable shrines pass under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Other boats follow. They all proceeded to the shrine's Otabisho near the Nango sluice on Seta River. A Shinto ceremony would be performed there before they returned back to Seta Karahashi Bridge at 8 pm.
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A yakata-bune shrine boat passes under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge. This festival reminded me of the Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka, but on a smaller scale.
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Interlaken passing under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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Lansing passing under Seta-no-Karahashi Bridge.
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By 6 pm, all the boats left and we would have to wait 2 hours to see the fireworks when they returned. Unfortunately, I couldn't stand the heat and left. Perhaps I'll see the fireworks someday.
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Senko-sai video (embedded).
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