Visiting Hikone Castle

Hello Hello Blogger world, I hope you are still out there. I’m well and good, if you don’t mind me saying.

Anyways, let me get back to writing some of my recent escapades here in Japan.

Summer is gone and it’s getting colder each day.

One of the places I visited last Summer(2014) is Hikone Castle, in Shiga Prefecture. Unfortunately though P,S and I got rained on all day long. We did manage to visit the castle for a few minutes and decided to call it a day when the rain started again as we were heading to Lake Biwa for a short walk.

It was still fun, I guess the three of us just have to make good of what the day would offer.

Hikone Castle
Here is P as my model for the garden with the castle as the backdrop.

Hikone Castle
Taking a short tour in the garden while the rain temporarily stopped.

Hikone Castle
On our way. Outer moat of the castle.

Hikone Castle
Stairs to Castle.

Hikone Castle
Hikone Castle.

Hikone Castle
A closer look.

Nearest station is Hikone Station of the JR Line. We were able to catch with a local tour bus (only Japanese) and I think we paid 250yen.


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  ? 🙂

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.

Travel Theme: Peaceful

Communing with nature  always gives me a sense of Peace and new perspective. ibuki_01

A mountain view from Mt. Ibuki in Shiga Prefecture Japan



Another view from Mt. Ibuki Shiga Prefecture.


Minoo Waterfalls during the Candle Light event Summer of 2007

Weekly Photo Challenge : The Sign Says

I do like taking picture of interesting signs, so I do have a bit of collection with it. Here are the most recent one I have taken so far.


It says “Sanrio Store”, in Kurashiki Okayama Japan. Hello Kitty is everywhere , so it was not surprising to found one in a small town of Kurashiki.


A drinking bar/restaurany in Ooyama Itabashi Ward , Tokyo Japan. The empty drums line is actually a general menu of what the place offered.


The English Rose Corner of Ikuta Rose Garden in Kawasaki City , Kanagawa Japan.


A small stone welcoming visitors in Kawazu Shizuoka Japan


Be sure not to leave your dog poop behind.


Safe sex everyone. A condom store in Shibuya Japan.

sign_06The Road is under what? Oslob Cebu Philippines.


Where to go in case of Tsunami. In Goza Shirahama, Mie Japan.


Our current location in Mt. Ibuki, Shiga Japan

sign_09The Biscuit Cafe is located upstairs 🙂 at NakasakiCho Osaka Japan.

I know  I do have some more funny signs , I just need to look for them. Enjoy the rest of the week :D.