JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Yasu 野洲市
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A shrine with a view.43 views
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Just beyond the tree is the peak.43 views
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Entrance/Exit to Karyoku Koen-gawa Tozando43 views
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850 meters to Karyoku Koen flower park.43 views
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This park and surrounding area has a number of different things to see and do. Walk further more and you will reach Kibogaoka Park.43 views
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At the end of the pine tree path, the second torii is red, right after the Taikobashi Bridge.43 views
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They shout "Choitosa!" while carrying the mikoshi. チョイトサ43 views
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To the peak.42 views
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Sign at the summit.42 views
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"Take home your trash"42 views
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Chain railing really helps.42 views
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Water fountain42 views
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BBQ42 views
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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.42 views
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Looking toward Hyozu Taisha Shrine.42 views
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Nice to see a few foreigners too. Local English teachers perhaps.42 views
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Mt. Mikami41 views
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Grassy lawn41 views
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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41 views
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It would be a matter of time before walls were constructed below the roof.41 views
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When I visited this shrine before, I wondered what these stone markers were for. Now I know. They have the name of a portable shrine, indicating the place where the respective portable shrines can be parked along this path during the festival.41 views
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They crossed over the Taikobashi Bridge. あやめ神輿41 views
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A set routine is lowering and raising the mikoshi.41 views
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Almost got run over by this one.41 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.41 views
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Chain railing40 views
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Lots of ferns.40 views
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Tree trunk40 views
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Then representatives from all 47 prefectures marched through the crowd.40 views
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This elevated structure served as a storehouse.40 views
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Way back to the torii.40 views
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Festival crowd head for the shrine to pray.40 views
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Approaching Hyozu Taisha.40 views
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Log steps39 views
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On the right was a large stage for the band.39 views
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The contingent from South Korea also marched to their seats from the center stage.39 views
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Caffy cap39 views
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From JR Yasu Station, take a bus to Oshinohara which is this intersection. 大篠原39 views
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They come one after another, big and small.39 views
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The lost mikoshi.39 views
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The Ayame girls return.39 views
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Meanwhile a Shinto ceremony is held in the shrine hall.39 views
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The children's mikoshi start to leave Hyozu Shrine as the festival winds down.39 views
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They are so photogenic.39 views
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Sannomiya Shrine of the right of the Honden. 三宮社38 views
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Weeping cherry tree37 views
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After the taiko drum, a second group of girls start carrying the Ayame mikoshi. 37 views
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The Ayame taiko girls turn back for the last time and head for the shrine.37 views
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell is 134 cm high and dated from around 100 BC to 300 AD (Japan’s Yayoi Period).37 viewsDotaku bells in Kinki area are known for their protruding "ears," whereas dotaku found in Shizuoka (another dotaku hotbed) usually don't have ears.
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Japan's smallest dotaku. 3.4 cm high.37 views
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Rear view of Haiden and Two-story Gate36 views
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Nagano36 views
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Hyozu Taisha is amid rice paddies. The row of pine trees in the distance marks the path to the shrine. This is the view from the bus stop.36 views
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Ayame taiko girls.36 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.36 views
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell on special display at Dotaku Museum in Yasu, Shiga. This bell was used as a religious ceremonial piece rather than as a real bell.36 views
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Free acupuncture.35 views
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Sake from Shiga35 views
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Free shuttle buses took us from Kibogaoka Park and Yasu Station (or nearby parking lots).35 views
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Established in 717 (Nara Period), Hyozu Taisha worships a god named Onamuchi-no-Mikoto (大己貴命) also called Yachihoko (八千矛神). Onamuchi-no-Mikoto is a god of nation-building, farming, business, and medicine.35 views
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About Hyozu Taisha's Japanese garden. The garden dates back to the Heian Period. It was here even before the shrine moved here. The original garden was built by a local aristocrat named Harima-no-Kamisukeyori 播磨守資頼 who lived here in the Kama35 views
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One mikoshi was missing. Maybe it was lost.35 views
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A unique thing about this festival is that the mikoshi rider pulls out and raises the mikoshi's top ornament (usually a phoenix). 鵜の息抜き35 views
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The Ayame mikoshi girls head for the shrine.35 views
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Dotaku means bronze bell. Yasu is the site of the discovery of Japan's largest ancient bronze bells. The Dotaku Bronze Bell Museum (Dotaku Hakubutsukan) explains the history and discovery of Yasu's bronze bells.35 views
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Honden (left) and Haiden. The shrine worships a deity called Amenomikage. The shrine also has Mt. Mikami as a sacred mountain. 天之御影命34 views
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Shiga athletes applaud as the different athletes marched past.34 views
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The ground transformed into a lake.34 views
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Paint it yourself.34 views
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At this end of the pine tree path, there is the Taikobashi Bridge and the red torii. This is where the crowd is concentrated to see the mikoshi being raised and the phoenix atop the mikoshi pulled out and raised by the mikoshi rider..34 views
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All that gravel can make it quite dusty.34 views
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The drummer really has to move quickly with the rest of the boys as they move unpredictably.34 views
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The big Omiya mikoshi.34 views
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The children's mikoshi are parked along this path in front of the shrine.34 views
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A priest blesses each children's mikoshi.34 views
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About Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell.34 views
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A whole bunch of other dotaku were found in the same area as late as 1962. Most of the bells displayed are replicas, but a few are genuine.34 views
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Haiden worship hall, Important Cultural Property. 拝殿33 views
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Wish they actually flew the kite, but I guess there wasn't enough room.33 views
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Osasahara Shrine's Haiden Hall is what you first see when you enter the shrine grounds.33 views
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Shrine maidens.33 views
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell on a special homecoming display at Dotaku Museum in Yasu, Shiga.33 views
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Two-story Romon Gate, Important Cultural Property. 楼門32 views
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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.32 views
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The giant kite goes up. Normally, the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival is held in May.32 views
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Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 aerobics tournament in Maibara.32 views
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After the red torii is this red Romon Gate, said to have been donated by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji. The shrine also has historic ties to Minamoto Yoritomo and the Tokugawa shoguns.32 views
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During Oct. 5 to Nov. 24, 2013, for the first time since its discovery in Yasu in 1881, Japan's largest bronze bell was exhibited at the Dotaku Bronze Bell Museum. Buses to the museum ran from Yasu Station.32 views
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Rear torii gate of Mikami Shrine31 views
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A taiko troupe performs.31 views
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Yasu's booth had a replica of an ancient bronze bell, Japan's largest discovered in Yasu.31 views
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Miyazaki's booth.31 views
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Hyozu Taisha's Japanese garden, nationally noted as a famous garden. 兵主大社庭園31 views
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