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On this page, we will post everything interesting, beautiful, cool, exciting, yummy and fun we found around Lake Biwa!

Terraced rice field in Ogi (Harvest)

Early and mid-September is the time of harvest here in Ogi. Terraced paddies are covered with a wavy golden blanket of rice, and hills and valleys are filled with the hustle-bustle of the farmers. Harvest-ready plants are now bowed down with nearly a hundred of grains fully ripen on their heads. A closer look shows … Read more

JR Kosei Line

Train running at the foot of Mt. Hira

JR Kosei Line, which stretches northwards along the western shore of Lake Biwa (Kosei literally means “the west of the lake”), is acknowledged as one of the most scenic train lines in Kansai region. Taking a Kosei-bound train from Kyoto Station and passing through two tunnels, you emerge on the southern tip of the lake, … Read more

Terraced rice fields in Ogi (Summer)

Horseshoe-shaped paddy

Terraced paddy fields in Ogi, which appeared as glittering ponds this spring, are now covered with a brilliant green carpet of mostly-matured rice. Rice is very prolific. 20-centimetre-tall little seedlings have grown as high as the waist, with each bunch having 15-20 stalks. Some of them have young ears at the top already. Although the … Read more

Beaches of Lake Biwa in summer

Pine tree providing a patch of shade on the beach

Centred by the country’s largest freshwater lake and surrounded by 1,000-metre mountains, Shiga Prefecture is one of the premier destinations for those who love outdoor. All year around you can enjoy a vast array of activities including hiking, cycling, skiing, sailing, golf, fishing and many others. Now that summer is here, the major pleasure is … Read more

Ishiyama-dera temple

The Main Hall

Located on the side of a mountain facing Seta River, the ancient temple complex of Ishiyama-dera has been overlooking the southern edge of Lake Biwa and water slowly flowing from there for over 1,200 years. As the name Ishiyama — literally a stony mountain — represents, one major feature of the temple is its rocky … Read more

Raccoon dog pottery figures of Shigaraki

Tanuki figure on a street corner

Today’s post is about tanuki (raccoon dog) figures of Shigaraki. Counted as one of the towns of Japan’s “Six Old Kilns”, Shigaraki has a long long history in pottery making. While the traditional items of Shigaraki ware such as vessels, pots, tea utensils and tableware have been highly-acclaimed for centuries, what the town name is … Read more

Stone walls in Sakamoto

Facade of a stone wall

Sakamoto, having developed as a temple town of Enryakuji Temple and Hiyoshitaisha Shrine for more than a thousand years, has also been known as “a town of stone walls”. As you walk through the town upward on the gentle slopes of Mt. Hiei, you’ll see high and low dry stone walls flanking the streets and … Read more

Terraced rice fields in Ogi

Lines of rice seedlings poking up out of the water

The memorial first post is about terraced rice fields around Ogi! Ogi is a farming village nestled on the eastern skirts of Mt. Hiei. Around the small residential area, numerous terraces of rice paddies spread across hills and valleys which look over Lake Biwa far below. While these paddies are basically properties for local farmers’ … Read more

“YUJournal” has started!

Our blog “YUJournal” has now started! On this blog, we will irregurally post whatever attractive about Shiga Prefecture and Lake Biwa.