Manhole : Otsu City

Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture

Otsu City is the capital of Shiga Prefecture and is know for the location of Lake Biwa.

So I guess it is not surprising to to see some of the famous activities around the Lake including the dragon boat competition, fire work displays , cruise around the lake and some other water activities.

At the bottom of this design it the City’s flag.

At the top is the City’s Bird:  Black-headed Gull.

Flower:  Viola Eizanensis

Very detailed is it not  ? :)

Categories: Life In Japan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hiking Mt. Otowa

Mt. Otowa  serves as a border between Kyoto Prefecture(East) and Shiga Prefecture(West), so depending which side of the mountain you are are you can either be in Kyoto or Shiga.

I was able to join a Hiking group : “Hiking in Kansai” , last March. Despite my pollen allergy, I tried to enjoy as much as nature this Spring has to offer.

The rendezvous point is a station called Otani of the Keihan Line. It took about 1.5 hours just to get there. It was a very small station that even a toilet does not exist.
Hiking Mt. OtowaI got there about 30 minutes early, and everybody started arriving by 9. Some where late for a few minutes so we have to wait almost an hour for everybody to arrive and use the toilet first.
Hiking Mt. Otowa

A few meters away from the station, found this interesting street sign that says ” Beware of the Eel”.  There is actually a restaurant there which specially in dishes involving eel.

Hiking Mt. Otowa

There were 23 participants in all with different levels so the organizer was very nice to accommodate everybody. I did not mind the slow pace, specially when I saw this long stairs.. arrggg, I hate stairs.
Hiking Mt. Otowa
When we got a little higher, we saw a little part of Lake Biwa.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
Almost to the peak. We took a short break and wait for the rest of the folks who were still behind.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
I reach the peak of Mt. Otowa. We took a break here and had our lunch while enjoying this view.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
The view while I was having my lunch.

On our way down, we pass by Ushio Kannonji (牛尾観音寺) but it looks like this temple has seen better days.

Hiking Mt. Otowa

Hiking Mt. Otowa
I am not sure if this place is already abandoned since there is a working kitchen and toilet and there were some construction equipment everywhere.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
A short description of the temple, unfortunately I can’t read it. :(

Hiking Mt. Otowa
A very nice view in front of the temple. I think there was a big landslide in the area last year, I guess that was the purpose of the construction equipment.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
Farther down, part of the road has also caved in. Until this part is fix, hiking in this area will not be safe during rainy season.

Hiking Mt. Otowa
I was just up there.

The group was very nice. The organizer and his wife were very accommodating and nice couple. If you have a facebook account and is in Kansai, try to join some of their Hiking Event I’m sure you will have fun :)

Till the next hiking adventure.

Categories: Events, Landscape, Life In Japan, Temples, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book : The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.

I could not put it down.

I love long walks and to read something about someone, even though it’s a fictional character walking to his destination is amazing. The longest walk I’ve done so far is around 25 KM or 15.5 miles but unlike Harold Fry , I have my gadgets to help me navigate and a proper shoes.  Before I got a smartphone, I used to walk just following where the train line is running and sometimes I get lost and find something new and interesting.

I guess that is what Life is all about. We either put one foot forward and move on and deal with our crap or stop where we are and forget about living.

Long walks does brings back lots of memories. It gives you a new perspective on how to deal with different aspect in your life. You will notice that even as you stop living , the world around you continues.

Real character or not, Mr. Fry is definitely an inspiration.

My fave passage:

Everyone is the same and also unique that is the dilemma of being human. “

Categories: Books | Tags: | Leave a comment

Manhole : Another Higashi Osaka

The very first Higashi Osaka Manhole was posted in my last year entry and another one.

Let’s put them all together in one post.

From Wiki:

Higashiōsaka (東大阪市 Higashiōsaka-shi?, literally “East Osaka”) is a city located in Osaka PrefectureJapan. The city is known as one of the industrial cities of Japan and “the rugby football town”.

As of August 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 509,230 and a population density of 8,200 persons per km². The total area is 61.81 km

Higashi(east) Osaka , Osaka Japan
The design is based on the City’s Flower Symbol: Ume (Plum) and the City’s Flag.

Higashi(east) Osaka , Japan
This one indicates that it is known also as the “Ruby Town” of Osaka Prefecture.

Higashi(east) Osaka, Japan
Another one that says “Rugby Town” of Osaka.

And the latest one I found early this year during one my walk around Higashi Osaka
Hogashi Osaka , Osaka Japan

A very detailed depiction of men playing Rugby.

Categories: Life In Japan | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A moment of Silence

Today marks the 3rd year anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake last March 11, 2011. Thousands of evacuees have not yet returned to their homes and some are still missing.

Please join me for a moment of silence for the thousand of lives lost on that fateful day.


For the Tohoku Victims

Categories: Life In Japan | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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