JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Aisho 愛荘町
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Crane design in temari530 views
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It makes you wonder how they fit the temari threaded ball into the round glass bottle.398 views
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Bin-temari monument. "Bin" means bottle, and "temari" is a threaded ball. The bin-temari is a round glass ball with a threaded ball inside.375 views
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Bin-temari in Echigawa, Shiga. Echigawa's bin-temari history goes back to around 1840 when its oldest bin-temari was made. However, this traditional art died out with the death of Aoki Hiro in 1973, Echigawa's last bin-temari maker.369 views
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Kongorinji's Main temple roof drowning in fall leaves368 views
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Some balls have tassels.361 views
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Bin-temari come in different sizes and an infinite number of threaded-ball designs. It also makes a great wedding gift since the round shape symbolizes harmony of the heart and family. You can also clearly see inside. 中がよく(仲良く)見える348 views
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The ball is actually hollow like a balloon. It is inserted into the bottle in a deflated state, then expanded into a ball. The museum also has a fascinating video showing how temari is made.333 views
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Temari manhole cover in Aisho, Shiga261 views
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Well-known bin-temari maker.260 views
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On display are temari balls from other parts of Japan.252 views
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After Aoki's death, a temari preservation society was formed and the craft was passed on based on Aoki's husband's memory of how his wife made it. Besides Echigawa, only a few other places in Japan still make bin-temari.245 views
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More yellow and red231 views
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Bin Temari no Yakata Museum exhibits temari threaded balls in round glass bottles. Temari is a symbol of Echigawa. Near Echigawa Station. Intersection in Echigawa with a bin-temari monument. Map225 views
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Showcase full of bin-temari.213 views
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Kongorinji's Temple Hondo, a National Treasure in Aisho, Shiga.209 views
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Echigawa-juku was the sixty-sixth station or post town (shukuba) of the sixty-nine stations on the Nakasendo Road. It is the sixth Nakasendo station in Shiga (following Takamiya-juku in Hikone), and one of ten Nakasendo stations in Shiga.207 viewsIn front of Echigawa Station, a sign point the way to Echigawa-juku (go right).
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Temple Hondo, a National Treasure202 views
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Beauitful leaves199 views
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Bin-temari mail box in front of Echigawa Station.197 views
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Misaki Shrine Fire Festival in Aisho. The shrine has a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo which is lit to make a towering inferno within the shrine grounds. Very dramatic. Also see the video at YouTube.182 views
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Finally we see a building177 views
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.168 views
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Temple Hondo158 views
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Panel displays showing the history of Echigawa.156 views
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.154 views
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Temple bell153 views
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Entrance to the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum. Free admission.151 views
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Quilt from Echigawa's sister city of West Bend, Wisconsin.143 views
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Heading south on the Nakasendo in Echigawa-juku.140 views
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Manhole in Echigawa-juku, Shiga, with a temari (thread ball) design.140 views
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3-story pagoda, reconstructed in 1978138 views
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While traveling, St. Shinran was unable to cross the Echigawa River since there was a flood. So he stayed at this temple temporarily. During that time, he planted a plum tree which bloom red plum blossoms.135 views
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Kongorinji is a Tendai Buddhist temple established in 741 and the middle temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio. The main temple hall is a National Treasure housing an 11-faced Kannon statue and 13 other statues designated as Important Cultural Properties.133 viewsThey come by the busloads. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall.
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Echigawa Fire Dept.123 views
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Echigawa Bin-temari-no-Yakata or the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum. Open 10 am - 6 pm, closed Mon., Tue., last Wed. of the month, and national holidays. 7-min. walk from Echigawa Station. 愛知川びん手まりの館119 views
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3-story pagoda118 views
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Aerial photo of Echigawa.116 views
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Held annually on May 4, the Misaki Shrine Fire Festival (hi-matsuri) has local people carry 2-meter long torches from their homes to the shrie where a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo is lit to make a towering inferno.112 viewsA taiko drum is also carried and beaten.
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The museum complex includes the Echigawa Public Library.111 views
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Front gate. The temple was first built in 741 as ordered by Emperor Shomu. It later became a Tendai Buddhist temple in 850. It is famous for "blood-red" maple leaves in autumn. Map110 views
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Nakasendo Road in Shiga108 views
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Inside the courtyard of the Echigawa Bin-temari Museum.104 views
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In a small room in the library is Echigawa's sister city exhibit. Echigawa used to be a separate town before it merged with Aito to form Aisho town.104 views
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100 views
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Kongorinji's main temple hall is a National Treasure housing an 11-faced Kannon statue and 13 other statues designated as Important Cultural Properties. Aisho, Shiga. 99 views
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station. The station building, named Ruburu Echigawa, has a tourist information counter and exhibition gallery.97 views
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"Blood-red" maples95 views
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Entrance to Echigawa-juku at the northern end. Echigawa-juku was the sixty-sixth station or post town (shukuba) of the sixty-nine stations on the Nakasendo Road. Map92 views
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Garden91 views
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More path foilage88 views
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Toward the south end of Echigawa-juku. Bridge has a temari decoration.87 views
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"Blood-red" maples86 views
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Large intersection has an Echigawa-juku monument.86 views
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Sister city certificate for West Bend, Wisconsin, USA, in Echigawa Public Library.85 views
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Visit the next Koto Sanzan Temple at Saimyoji in Kora.84 views
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Pocket park in Echigawa-juku.84 views
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Temari decoration on bridge.81 views
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From the city of West Bend, Wisconsin.81 views
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South end gate of Echigawa-juku.80 views
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Nakasendo in Echigawa-juku79 views
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Garden78 views
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Inside 3-story pagoda77 views
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This is a high-class ryotei restaurant called Omi Shonin-tei (近江商人亭). Built in the 1920s, it used to be an Omi Merchant's second home who sold hemp cloth.75 viewsThis is also one location where the film Idai Naru, Shurararabon (偉大なる、しゅららぼん The Great Shu Ra Ra Boom) was filmed. The Natsume family's dojo scene.
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Foilage on the path72 views
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Garden72 views
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The ukiyoe print by Hiroshige shows a bridge across Echigawa River. It was toll-free (Muchin-bashi).72 views
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1000 Jizo statues. On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.71 views
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Traditional-style building71 views
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Nice path with fall colors70 views
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Way to Homanji temple where St. Shinran once stayed.69 views
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Garden at Kongorinji67 views
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Meiji Period-style mail box. It's a real mail box so you can deposit your mail here.67 views
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The street corner has a pocket park for an Echigawa-juku monument showing an ukiyoe print of the town. A stone marker also points the way to Takamiya-juku.67 views
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St. Shinran statue and plum tree.66 views
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More Jizo statues65 views
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Torii at Misaki Shrine Fire Festival.65 views
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It's all too beautiful64 views
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles. Kongorinji temple in Aisho, Shiga.64 views
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64 views
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They come by the busloads. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. If possible, you should avoid visiting the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio and Eigenji during the weekend in fall. Stone marker.63 views
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63 views
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Takeheiro on the left, along the Nakasendo Road in Echigawa-juku, Shiga.63 views
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Entering the path of little stone Jizo statues62 views
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After the bon fire, the taiko drum procession leaves the shrine and parades around the village.62 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Echigawa-juku (66th post town on the Nakasendo) from his Kisokaido series. On the left across the river is Mt. Kannonji (Kinugake).62 views
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Homanji temple Hondo hall in Echigawa-juku, Shiga. 宝満寺61 views
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Gate to Homanji temple.61 views
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60 views
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The plum tree blooms in March.60 views
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Another famous building remaining in Echigawa-juku. This is the Takeheiro restaurant where Emperor Meiji once stayed.60 views
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Entrance to Takeheiro. It's not open to the public unless you want to dine there. 竹平楼60 views
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Homanji Hondo59 views
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Modern homes in Echigawa59 views
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Statue of St. Shinran (1173-1263) in front of the plum tree which he planted. The temple also has a scroll written by Shinran.58 views
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Marker indicating that St. Shinran, founder of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Sect, once stayed at this temple.57 views
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View from Hondo hall.57 views
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Inside Homanji Hondo main hall in Echigawa-juku, Shiga Prefecture56 views
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City logo56 views
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Former Echi Town Hall built in 1922.55 views
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Omi Hemp Fabric Museum offer hands-on lessons to make small hemp fabric goods. Closed weekends and national holidays. 近江上布伝統産業会館55 views
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Gate to main hall. Tendai Buddhist temple established in 741 and the middle temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio.54 views
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Temple Hondo54 views
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3-story pagoda53 views
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Some modern buildings along the Nakasendo in Echigawa-juku53 views
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And more leaves52 views
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Tour bus parking halfway up the mountain52 views
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine, Echigawa-juku52 views
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Shops along the Nakasendo52 views
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Procession of local residents carrying torches to the shrine. Map51 views
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Fire finally dies down.51 views
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3-story pagoda50 views
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Stone monument at Takeheiro indicating that Emperor Meiji was here.50 views
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On Aug. 9, the Jizo statues are lit with candles.49 views
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Looks like a former bank building.49 views
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine in Echigawa-juku, Shiga49 views
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.49 views
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station49 views
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Taiko drum beating48 views
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3-story pagoda47 views
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Towering inferno of bamboo on fire. The shrine has a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo which is lit to make a towering inferno within the shrine grounds. Very dramatic. 47 views
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47 views
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Former Echi Town Hall47 views
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Yellow and red46 views
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The torch procession rings out.46 views
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Lantern46 views
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Way to Hachiman Shrine.46 views
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The shrine has ties to Prince Shotoku Taishi who hid here from an enemy during a war. In appreciation, he donated rice paddies to the shrine.46 views
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Former Echi Town Hall46 views
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Ohmi Railways train at Echigawa Station.45 views
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.45 views
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Shinkansen tracks and cycling path44 views
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine Honden main hall is a Shiga Prefecture Cultural Property.43 views
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Railway crossing43 views
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Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station platform.42 views
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Parallel to Echigawa Station is the elevated shinkansen tracks.41 views
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Ohmi Railway track39 views
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Ohmi Railway track35 views
     
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