JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Hikone Castle 彦根城
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Hikone Castle and plum blossoms.46 views
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Lake Biwa as seen from Nishinomaru.45 views
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After visiting the Hikone Castle Tower. There are a few ways to exit. One way is going through this Otemon Gate to Kyobashi Bridge.45 views
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Hikone Castle moat in autumn from Kyobashi Bridge.45 views
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Statue of Ii Naosuke near the Hikone Castle moat. Lord of the castle and also an important historical figure. 井伊 直弼45 viewsIi Naosuke was the Tokugawa shogunate's Chief Minister (Tairo) who favored and concluded commercial treaties with the Western powers and thus broke Japan's isolation from the world. Foreigners were then allowed to trade with Japan and take up residence in cities like Yokohama and Hakodate. Ii was later assassinated in 1860 by samurai radicals from Mito (Ibaraki) who sought to oust the foreign "barbarians."
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Choshoan tea house was originally the bell ringer’s rest house.45 views
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Biwa instrument displayed in Hikone Castle Museum.44 views
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For ¥500, you can try matcha tea and a small confection. It’s operated by members of a tea school started by castle lord and tea master Ii Naosuke.44 views
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Matcha tea and confection at Choshoan tea house, Hikone Castle.44 views
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Hiko-nyan appears outside the Taikomon near the main Hikone Castle tower.44 views
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Plum blossom ume tree given by the city of Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture.43 views
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About Kannon-dai temple 42 views
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Hikone Castle admission fees in 2017.42 views
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Hikone Castle and plum blossoms.42 views
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View from top floor of Hikone Castle's Nishinomaru turret.42 views
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View from top floor of Hikone Castle's Nishinomaru turret.42 views
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The boat is powered by very silent, battery-powered outboard motors.41 views
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Hikone Castle tower lit up at night.41 views
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On the way to the main castle tower (tenshu), you can take a tea break at this small tea house called Choshoan (聴鐘庵).40 views
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Top floor of Hikone Castle's Nishinomaru turret.40 views
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The second yakata-bune boat. They referred to old drawings, etc., and carefully built the boat to resemble Edo-Era yakata-bune.39 views
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Hikone daimyo's living quarters.39 views
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The name Tenbin refers to its similarity to a tenbin shoulder pole for carrying a piece of luggage tied to each end. Both east (right) and west (left) ends of the building has a two-story watchtower turret. They look symmetrical, but are not identical.39 views
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Hiko-nyan cutout in front of Hikone Castle. He appears daily.39 views
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It certainly gives you a different perspective of the castle as you see the moat, castle tower, and bridges from the water. The ride costs 1,200 yen.38 views
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End of the 50-min. ride. It was pleasant, and highly recommended. Boat landing for the Hikone-jo Ohori Meguri boat ride is near the entrance to Genkyu-en Garden.38 views
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Otemon Bridge37 views
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Tent selling local goods during spring.36 views
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Heading toward Otemon Gate/Bridge35 views
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Going under Otemon Bridge. Wooden boards protect the bridge posts from the boat.34 views
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Boat landing is near the entrance to Genkyu-en Garden.32 views
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Black swan in Hikone Castle's moat, a gift from Mito in Ibraraki Prefecture.31 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.30 views
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Otemon Bridge30 views
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The boat includes a narrator who explains about the castle and moat and swans.30 views
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End of the moat. The moat once was connected to Lake Biwa, but not anymore since the lake's water level does not match the moat's water level.30 views
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Castle tower as seen from the moat29 views
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Castle tower29 views
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The next Otemon Bridge27 views
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Ready to pass under Otemon Bridge again.27 views
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Postcard of Commodore Perry and Ii Naosuke to mark the 50th anniversary of Yokohama Port's opening in 1909.27 viewsAlso see Gotokuji temple in Setgaya, Tokyo where Naosuke is buried. http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=646
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A few of the stones in the wall are black. Some say those stones might have come from Azuchi Castle after it was burned to the ground.26 views
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End of the moat. Lake Biwa is right beyond. This is where we make a U-turn.26 views
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Sawayama Castle site as seen from Hikone Castle.18 views
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