JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Ryuo 竜王町
yu234-20100501_9843.jpg
At the same time as Niagara Falls, they lit the two giant torches. It was hard to watch both the Niagara Falls and giant torches at the same time. But Niagara soon petered out.406 views
yu229-20100501_9829.jpg
Yes, it's Doraemon as fireworks. This lasted briefly before it snuffed out. I heard that they have this every year for this Yuge Fire Festival.328 views
yu200-20100501_9748.jpg
Kobiyoshi Shrine in rural Ryuo holds the Yuge no Hi Matsuri fire festival on the evening of May 1. See small torches, tossing flares, lots of firecrackers, fireworks, two giant straw torches. 弓削の火祭り MAP279 viewsFrom Omi-Hachiman Station No. 4 bus stop, board the bus for Okaya Minami and get off at Nishikawa Higashi-guchi bus stop. The ride is about 13 min. From the bus stop, the shrine is a 10-min. walk. You can also take a taxi from Omi-Hachiman Station. Taxi would be required on the way back to Omi-Hachiman since the buses will not be running after the festival is over.
yu236-20100501_9857.jpg
Also see my YouTube video here.206 views
ry300-IMG_2332.jpg
Ryuo manhole, Shiga Pref.199 views
yu233-20100501_9842.jpg
183 views
ry030-IMG_1976.jpg
Ryuo is accessble by bus from JR Omi-Hachiman Station, North exit bus stop. 近江八幡駅 北口バスターミナル. Catch a bus at stop 4 going to Okaya Minami 岡屋南. Or catch the Ryuo Daihatsu-mae bus.145 views
ry203-20110505_9528.jpg
Most are clothing shops and some are first-time outlet shops. There are many big names including Burberry, Gap Outlet, Barney’s New York Outlet, Armani, Paul Smith, Coach, Beams, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Bebe, Edwin, Vans, Levi’s, Puma, and Adidas.137 views
ry042-IMG_2125.jpg
Kawamori Castle, Ryuo-cho, Shiga 川守城跡 MAP134 views
na337-20110505.youtube
My video of Namura Shrine's Sekku Matsuri festival121 views
na120-20110505_9618p.jpg
In the center is Namura Shrine's Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. On the left is Hachiman Shrine, an Important Cultural Property. I could finally see this building directly. Ryuo, Shiga.120 views
027-IMG_2162.jpg
Tenjin Shrine, reconstructing the shrine. Ryuo-cho, Shiga. 天神社117 views
ry202-20110505_9589.jpg
Lots of parking space.93 views
ry204-20110505_9527.jpg
The shops open from 10 am to 8 pm. Buses run from Omi-Hachiman and Yasu Stations.87 views
na112-20110505_9637.jpg
Namura Shrine's Romon Gate, Ryuo, Shiga. Important Cultural Property.84 views
yu217-20100501_9780.jpg
Torii of Kobiyoshi Shrine and giant torches in the distance, Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture.81 views
yu241-yugehimatsuri.youtube
My YouTube video of the Yuge Fire Festival in 2010.73 views
na335-20110505_9846.jpg
70 views
ry200-20110505_9588.jpg
Opened on July 8, 2010, the Mitsui Outlet Park is near the Ryuo Interchange on the Meishin Expressway, making it readily accessible by car for shoppers coming from Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Gifu. MAP67 views
na100-20110505_9590.jpg
Marker showing the former location of Namura Shrine's torii gate. This is near the Ayato Kita (綾戸北) bus stop, the nearest to Namura Shrine from Omi-Hachiman Station. Take the bus going Mitsui Outlet Mall.66 views
ry205-20110505_9564.jpg
There are two levels running in a slim rectangle.62 views
ry201-20110505_9521.jpg
It is the first outlet mall in the Kyoto-Shiga area. The two-level mall has 165 stores, 145 of which are outlet shops.59 views
rk167-20090503_6841.jpg
Naginata Odori in Ryuo. 長刀仕舞振り(長刀芸)57 views
na336-20110505_9857.jpg
54 views
ry206-20110505_9579.jpg
53 views
ry223-20110505_9557.jpg
53 views
ry224-20110505_9580.jpg
Nice name for a store.53 views
035-IMG_2183.jpg
View of Ryuo-cho town from Mt. Yukinoyama.50 views
rk108-20090503_6597.jpg
On the day of the festival on May 3, the Kenketo and naginata dance are held at multiple shrines in the area including neighboring Higashi-Omi. This is Higashi Hiyoshi Shrine (short walk from Suginoki) where a kenketo procession was to arrive and dance.50 views
rk142-20090503_6757.jpg
Kenketo Matsuri in Ryuo. Also see my YouTube Video here.50 views
rk161-20090503_6818.jpg
49 views
rk169-20090503_6593.jpg
Kenketo Matsuri poster49 views
051-IMG_2276.jpg
View of central Ryuo-cho town from Mt. Yukinoyama.45 views
ry220-20110505_9573.jpg
A small park outside the mall next to the pond.45 views
010-IMG_2115.jpg
Road to Mt. Yukinoyama, an ancient mountain and home to over 200 tumuli built during the 5th to 7th centuries. In 2013, it was designated as a National Historic Site.44 views
rk168-20090503_6847.jpg
Also see my YouTube Video here.44 views
ry101-20090503_6588.jpg
At the entrance of Agri-Park Ryuo is a dragon statue. The dragon is a symbol of Ryuo which means Dragon King.41 views
rk101-20090503_6611.jpg
The main path to Suginoki Shrine in Ryuo where the Kenketo and naginata procession will come through. The Kenketo Matsuri festival is held annually on May 3. It features the naginata dance and more.41 views
rk114-20090503_6630.jpg
41 views
rk130-20090503_6700.jpg
41 views
ry219-20110505_9544.jpg
41 views
na115-20110505_9629.jpg
Namura Jinja Shrine is noted for its Nishi Honden hall which is a National Treasure. The shrine's architecture is from the Kamakura Period. 楼門41 views
ry107-20090503_6583.jpg
Outside is a small area for animals.40 views
rk107-20090503_6615.jpg
Another path to the shrine decorated with paper lanterns.40 views
rk129-20090503_6696.jpg
40 views
rk143-20090503_6760.jpg
The boys had these small bells on their back.40 views
yu240-20100501_9875.jpg
It was great though. Highly recommend seeing this. Had to catch a taxi back to Omi-Hachiman which cost around 1600 yen.40 views
036-IMG_2191.jpg
Map of hiking trails on Yukinoyama. It takes about 90-120 min. to go up and down the mountain. There are some fine views from the trails.39 views
ry102-20090503_6586.jpg
Agri-Park Ryuo is open 10 am - 5 pm, closed Mondays (open if a national holiday and closed Tue. instead).39 views
rk117-20090503_6646.jpg
39 views
rk126-20090503_6684.jpg
39 views
rk128-20090503_6695.jpg
39 views
rk135-20090503_6723.jpg
39 views
rk149-20090503_6768.jpg
39 views
yu239-20100501_9868.jpg
They also had big sky fireworks. I couldn't believe how a little rural shrine could afford to display so much fireworks. And there weren't that many people watching either.39 views
na121-20110505_9620.jpg
Namura Shrine's Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. It is dedicated to a god named Kuni-no-sazuchi-no-Mikoto (国狭槌命), the protector of grassy hills.39 views
ry109-20090503_6575.jpg
Very fluffy wool.38 views
ry108-20090503_6572.jpg
You can buy a bunch of carrots to feed the sheep. You have to go through the museum to get here. 動物ふれあい広場38 views
rk127-20090503_6688.jpg
38 views
rk144-20090503_6759.jpg
38 views
ry105-20090503_6571.jpg
Inside a replica of a thatched-roof farmhouse.37 views
rk100-20090503_6598.jpg
Suginoki Jinja Shrine. A short walk from Yamanoue 山之上 bus stop from JR Omi-Hachiman Station. 杉之木神社 MAP37 views
rk119-20090503_6661.jpg
Back at Suginoki Shrine.37 views
rk166-20090503_6838.jpg
Naginata dance 長刀仕舞振り(長刀芸)37 views
ry221-20110505_9560.jpg
37 views
045-IMG_2246.jpg
This trail was much more scenic.36 views
rk110-20090503_6619.jpg
36 views
rk116-20090503_6638.jpg
36 views
rk120-20090503_6663.jpg
36 views
rk111-20090503_6624.jpg
36 views
rk123-20090503_6676.jpg
36 views
rk136-20090503_6728.jpg
36 views
rk155-20090503_6800.jpg
36 views
rk153-20090503_6796.jpg
36 views
ry215-20110505_9536.jpg
Popular restaurants attract large crowds.36 views
ry216-20110505_9553.jpg
Kua Aina, a hamburger joint from Hawaii, also had a long line.36 views
na332-20110505_9828.jpg
Two of the mikoshi are put back into the storehouse.36 views
ry031-IMG_1982.jpg
Entering Ryuo-cho town by bus, heading for Oguchi 小口35 views
ry106-20090503_6568.jpg
Old farming tools35 views
rk138-20090503_6741.jpg
35 views
rk132-20090503_6710.jpg
35 views
rk139-20090503_6744.jpg
35 views
rk133-20090503_6711.jpg
35 views
rk141-20090503_6751.jpg
35 views
rk159-20090503_6794.jpg
35 views
rk148-20090503_6764.jpg
35 views
rk152-20090503_6780.jpg
35 views
rk165-20090503_6823.jpg
35 views
ry222-20110505_9558.jpg
Azaleas in spring.35 views
013-IMG_2129.jpg
To Mt. Yukinoyama34 views
016-IMG_2137.jpg
Mt. Yukinoyama and Hino River 雪野山と日野川34 views
ry104-20090503_6569.jpg
Inside the museum is a replica of a thatched-roof farmhouse.34 views
ry103-20090503_6567.jpg
Agri-Park Ryuo's farm house museum. Small admission of 200 yen charged. 田園資料館34 views
rk115-20090503_6637.jpg
34 views
rk122-20090503_6673.jpg
34 views
rk140-20090503_6750.jpg
34 views
026-IMG_2158.jpg
Tenjin Shrine 天神社33 views
046-IMG_2249.jpg
Ryuo-cho town as seen from Yukinoyama33 views
ry100-20090503_6565.jpg
Agri-Park Ryuo is a local farmer's market with a few shops and restaurants, a pond with swan boats, farm house museum, and petting zoo. アグリパーク竜王 MAP33 views
ry110-20090503_6577.jpg
Goats too. Putting golf range even. For more info call 0748-57-1311 (in Japanese).33 views
rk112-20090503_6629.jpg
33 views
rk113-20090503_6643.jpg
33 views
rk145-20090503_6761.jpg
33 views
ry208-20110505_9549.jpg
33 views
ry218-20110505_9575.jpg
33 views
021-IMG_2147.jpg
Mt. Yukinoyama and Ryuoji Temple. MAP32 views
029-IMG_2172.jpg
Mountain God Memorial 山の神32 views
030-IMG_2173.jpg
Trail flanked by ferns32 views
ry034-IMG_1996.jpg
To central Ryuo-cho.32 views
ry036-IMG_2007.jpg
32 views
rk109-20090503_6617.jpg
The procession arrived Higashi Hiyoshi Shrine at about 2:15 pm.32 views
rk118-20090503_6654.jpg
32 views
rk124-20090503_6679.jpg
32 views
rk131-20090503_6705.jpg
32 views
rk156-20090503_6801.jpg
32 views
rk164-20090503_6822.jpg
32 views
rk163-20090503_6816.jpg
32 views
ry217-20110505_9571.jpg
Food Court.32 views
na114-20110505_9638.jpg
Namura Shrine is divided into the west and east areas. This is the west area which is larger and the main section. Haiden Hall on the left and Nishi Honden on the right behind a wall.32 views
na116-20110505_9613.jpg
People pray at Namura Shrine for business prosperity, fertility, safe childbirth, and to ward off bad luck years.32 views
012-IMG_2128.jpg
Kawamori bus stop, nearest to Mt. Yukinoyama.31 views
017-IMG_2138.jpg
Mt. Yukinoyama and Hino River 雪野山と日野川31 views
024-IMG_2154.jpg
Ryuoji Temple belongs to the Tendai Sect. 龍王寺31 views
028-IMG_2168.jpg
Hiking trail on Mt. Yukinoyama.31 views
039-IMG_2211.jpg
View from top of Yukinoyama31 views
038-IMG_2209.jpg
Top of Yukinoyama. 雪野山 頂上31 views
ry033-IMG_1991.jpg
Oguchi intersection. Turn left for Namura Shrine and Kawamori.31 views
rk134-20090503_6718.jpg
31 views
rk137-20090503_6731.jpg
31 views
rk146-20090503_6762.jpg
31 views
rk160-20090503_6808.jpg
31 views
rk158-20090503_6814.jpg
31 views
rk157-20090503_6802.jpg
31 views
yu205-20100501_9758.jpg
A touch of modernity and anime at Yuge Fire Festival in Ryuo. Can you tell what this is?31 views
yu212-20100501_9765.jpg
Kobiyoshi Shrine's Honden main hall.31 views
ry214-20110505_9584.jpg
Red kon-yaku or devil's tongue.31 views
na117-na132-IMG_2070.jpg
Pray here in front of the Honden Hall. Normally, you cannot enter beyond this point.31 views
na118-20110505_9621.jpg
On May 5, on the Sekku Matsuri, they opened the inner part of the shrine and so I went and got a closeup look at the Honden Hall.31 views
na331-20110505_9827.jpg
31 views
na333-20110505_9838.jpg
This mikoshi went to Higashi Honden.31 views
014-IMG_2331.jpg
30 views
022-IMG_2151.jpg
Ryuoji Temple 龍王寺30 views
023-IMG_2153.jpg
Ryuoji Temple 龍王寺30 views
034-IMG_2184.jpg
View from Yukinoyama30 views
048-IMG_2264.jpg
Looking toward Higashi-Omi.30 views
061-IMG_2321.jpg
Sky over Ryuo-cho town30 views
rk121-20090503_6666.jpg
30 views
rk125-20090503_6680.jpg
30 views
ry209-20110505_9562.jpg
30 views
ry213-20110505_9533.jpg
30 views
na119-20110505_9622.jpg
Honden Hall offerings.30 views
na334-20110505_9844.jpg
30 views
019-IMG_2140.jpg
Hino River 日野川29 views
025-IMG_2157.jpg
Ryuoji Temple 龍王寺29 views
037-IMG_2199.jpg
Top of Yukinoyama at 308 meters elevation. The views are obstructed by many trees. 雪野山 頂上29 views
042-IMG_2203.jpg
View from top of Yukinoyama29 views
062-IMG_2324.jpg
Entrance to an ancient tumulus (No entry)29 views
ry037-IMG_2009.jpg
Ryuo-cho Public Library29 views
rk102-20090503_6612.jpg
Stone monument commemorating Suginoki Shrine as the birthplace as the Naginata Matsuri festival. 薙刀踊り発祥の宮(石碑) 杉之木神社29 views
rk151-20090503_6774.jpg
29 views
yu237-20100501_9858.jpg
29 views
011-IMG_2119.jpg
Approaching Kawamori. 川守28 views
033-IMG_2187.jpg
1st lookout point, too many trees in the way.28 views
041-IMG_2215.jpg
View from top of Yukinoyama28 views
047-IMG_2250.jpg
28 views
044-IMG_2237.jpg
28 views
ry035-IMG_2004.jpg
Ryuo Town Hall, Shiga 竜王町役場 MAP28 views
ry041-IMG_2122.jpg
Kawamori Castle28 views
ry039-IMG_2120.jpg
Fire department at Kawamori28 views
rk162-20090503_6829.jpg
28 views
yu204-20100501_9756.jpg
Top of a giant torch.28 views
yu211-20100501_9764.jpg
28 views
ry211-20110505_9586.jpg
Entertainment stage28 views
020-IMG_2143.jpg
27 views
015-IMG_2134.jpg
27 views
031-IMG_2175.jpg
Ferns27 views
043-IMG_2229.jpg
27 views
040-IMG_2214.jpg
View from top of Yukinoyama27 views
053-IMG_2284.jpg
Ferns27 views
057-IMG_2305.jpg
Lookout point27 views
ry032-IMG_1988.jpg
Get off at Oguchi which is near central Ryuo and Namura Shrine. 小口27 views
rk106-20090503_6607.jpg
Suginoki Shrine Honden Hall27 views
rk104-20090503_6603.jpg
Suginoki Shrine 27 views
rk154-20090503_6798.jpg
27 views
yu201-20100501_9752.jpg
I took the bus from Omi-Hachiman Station and walked to the shrine. It's hard to find the shrine if you don't know where it is. I went before dark to make it easier to find. Yuge Fire Festival in Ryuo.27 views
yu206-20100501_9751.jpg
Also this string hung up here?27 views
yu238-20100501_9866.jpg
27 views
ry207-20110505_9542.jpg
27 views
na103-20110505_9592.jpg
Namura Shrine Torii27 views
058-IMG_2308.jpg
26 views
rk105-20090503_6605.jpg
Suginoki Shrine Honden Hall26 views
rk147-20090503_6766.jpg
26 views
ry212-20110505_9532.jpg
My favorite shop is this one selling products (mainly edible) from Shiga.26 views
na309-20110505_9686.jpg
The yabusame (horseback archery) part of the festival finally started at around 4 pm. There were several horseback riders, but only this woman was going to shoot arrows.26 views
na317-20110505_9754.jpg
She shoots the arrow...26 views
018-IMG_2139.jpg
Hino River 日野川25 views
055-IMG_2292.jpg
25 views
ry040-IMG_2121.jpg
Vote for Shiga's first woman governor (in July 2006).25 views
ry038-IMG_2010.jpg
25 views
rk103-20090503_6599.jpg
Grounds of Suginoki Shrine and main venue for the Kenketo Festival in Ryuo.25 views
rk150-20090503_6776.jpg
25 views
yu202-20100501_9754.jpg
Two giant torches made of straw were on display in front of the shrine.25 views
yu235-20100501_9853.jpg
They were doused with kerosene so they burned up quickly.25 views
ry210-20110505_9540.jpg
Entertainment stage25 views
na102-IMG_2103.jpg
25 views
na105-20110505_9594.jpg
Thatched-roof gate 茅葺きの楼門25 views
na106-20110505_9597.jpg
Namura Shrine's Romon Gate, Important Cultural Property 楼門25 views
na122-20110505_9624.jpg
About Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. 25 views
na124-20110505_9619.jpg
On the left is Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. On the right is Juzenji Shisha Honden shrine (十禅師神社本殿), an Important Cultural Property.25 views
na132-20110505_9607.jpg
Haiden hall, reconstructed anew.25 views
na141-IMG_2110.jpg
Namura Shrine's Higashi Honden, an Important Cultural Property in Ryuo, Shiga. Dedicated to a major god called Ōkuninushi (大国主) and Susano-o (素盞嗚尊). 苗村神社東本殿25 views
052-IMG_2277.jpg
24 views
050-IMG_2273.jpg
Trail going down the middle of the mountain.24 views
036-IMG_2193.jpg
2nd lookout point 第二展望台24 views
yu207-20100501_9759.jpg
Path to Kobiyoshi Shrine.24 views
yu209-20100501_9762.jpg
Small torches in front of the Haiden.24 views
na126-IMG_2034.jpg
Portable shrine storehouse dating from the Muromachi Period, also an Important Cultural Property.24 views
na127-20110505_9847.jpg
About the Portable shrine storehouse.24 views
na129-IMG_2077.jpg
Affiliate shrine next to the Nishi Honden.24 views
na131-IMG_2028.jpg
24 views
na140-20110505_9837.jpg
Short, wooded path to the Higashi Honden shrine.24 views
na306-20110505_9660.jpg
24 views
na315-20110505_9718.jpg
24 views
na324-20110505_9788.jpg
24 views
na329-20110505_9820.jpg
24 views
056-IMG_2299.jpg
23 views
049-IMG_2272.jpg
Water barrels in case of fire.23 views
yu203-20100501_9755.jpg
There is definitely something religious about these torches.23 views
yu208-20100501_9761.jpg
In front of the Haiden Hall were small torches.23 views
yu214-20100501_9770.jpg
Farm land next to the shrine. Notice the giant torches on the right.23 views
na108-20110505_9608.jpg
The exact year when the shrine was established is unknown, but records go back as far as the year 969.23 views
na110-20110505_9633.jpg
Romon Gate and wash basin.23 views
na136-IMG_2080.jpg
Path back to the torii. Across the street beyond the torii is Namura Shrine's east section where the Higashi Honden Hall is located.23 views
na143-IMG_2107.jpg
Higashi Honden 苗村神社東本殿23 views
na307-20110505_9663.jpg
Children bearing mikoshi in front of Romon Gate.23 views
na308-20110505_9667.jpg
Meanwhile, a bunch of horses standby in the trees.23 views
na313-20110505_9710.jpg
23 views
na319-20110505_9758.jpg
Bull's eye. Compared to other yabusame that I've seen, she rode the horse pretty slow.23 views
na327-20110505_9810.jpg
They had seven horses.23 views
na330-20110505_9824.jpg
One mikoshi was taken to the Higashi Honden across the street.23 views
060-IMG_2316.jpg
22 views
054-IMG_2290.jpg
Ferns all over22 views
yu210-20100501_9763.jpg
22 views
yu213-20100501_9773.jpg
Getting darker.22 views
yu215-20100501_9771.jpg
Behind Kobiyoshi Shrine is the Hino River. Nice place to sit and have a bento dinner.22 views
yu218-20100501_9782.jpg
Torii of Kobiyoshi Shrine and giant torches in the distance for Yuge Fire Festival.22 views
na111-IMG_2021.jpg
Little shrine and little garden near the Romon Gate.22 views
na128-IMG_2073.jpg
22 views
na130-IMG_2030.jpg
Babysitter sculpture 子守りの像22 views
na133-IMG_2078.jpg
Sacred horse statue22 views
na135-IMG_2047.jpg
Fudo-myoo Shrine, an affiliate shrine.22 views
na302-20110505_9599.jpg
22 views
297 files on 2 page(s) 1