Results tagged “Biwako Otsu Kan”

Otsu trip part2

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Yesterday, Chelsee and I had the opportunity to tour around Biwako and visit many wonderful locations.

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Our first stop was at a pottery store called Karahashiyaki. Almost everything inside had an owl theme.

We learned that, in Japan, owls symbolize wisdom and scholastic achievements. Their name can be taken to mean many things, such as "no hardship" and "luck kept in a cage for you".

Later on in our trip, we noticed these owls in other locations!

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We then headed to the owner's workshop to learn how to make some pottery of our own.

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I made a mug for my dad, Joe. We had to leave them there to dry, but I am excited to see the finished product!

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Next, it was time for lunch. We stopped at a restaurant called "That Calendar" that had a fun, relaxed feel to it.

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Our guide told us that the restaurant had a capsule hotel attached to it, and that occasionally a DJ would come and play music for everyone.

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On our way back from lunch, Chelsee, our guide, and I stopped in Otsu station, which was also attached to the restaurant.

It was a large information center with many pamphlets full of different events and attractions that were available in the area.

There were even information booklets written in different languages, for foreigners.

Outside, bicycles were available for rent, which I have only ever seen before in large American college towns. The bicycles looked to be very good quality, which made us a little jealous.

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After that, it was time to go visit Omi Jingu, a beautiful Shinto shrine built in 1940.

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We were told it is customary for people to wash their hands before entering in order to purify their bodies.

It was my first time visiting a Shinto shrine, and I found myself wanting to see more in the future.

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Chelsee and I were led to a room where we could pick out our favorite kimonos and try them on.

Even though it was freezing outside, I will admit that this was my favorite part. The kimonos were beautiful and surprisingly comfortable!

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Finally, it was time for our last stop: the Biwako Otsu-Kan.

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Former hotel turned (primarily) wedding venue, the Biwako Otsu-Kan had once hosted many famous visitors such as Emperor Showa, Hellen Keller, John Wayne, and various other celebrities.

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It was also home to a large light garden, which we were able to go explore.

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All in all, touring around Biwako was an amazing and I feel so lucky to have had the experience. Chelsee and I are already making plans to go back!

Otsu trip

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Carly and I previously had the opportunity to take the Biwako tour, with Hashizume-San as our guide.

This tour allowed us to see some of the old and the new parts of Biwako.

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★First Stop:Karahashiyaki

Karashiyaki is a small pottery shop in Otsu-shi. It's main theme in pottery is the owl, or Fukurou, which is a symbol of scholastic achievement.

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The designs of the pottery reminded me of something you'd see in a whimsical-like movie.

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During our visit, Carly and I were invited to take a pottery class and make our own cups.

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Our instructor was a nice man, who we'll call Mr. PPAP, and was also really funny -- he made a PPAP cup in reference to Piko Taro's song and cracked lots of jokes.

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We ended up having to leave our cups to dry, for them to be mailed to us when complete. Before leaving I made a purchase of my own, and hope to return to Karahashiyaki someday before I leave Japan.Next Stop: The Calendar!

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★Second stop : The Calender

Next, we stopped for lunch at The Calendar. The Calendar is a restaurant that's connected to Otsu Station.

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The restaurant had a modern contemporary setting, with a relaxing vibe. On the inside you could find two different seating areas -- one Japanese style and the other side Western style. A bookstore was also included inside the restaurant, but one would think that the books are for show upon first glance.There was also a beautiful outdoor terrace, in which BBQs are held during the warmer seasons.

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For the food it seems that the menu may be weekly or maybe even seasonal, with only a few select entrees that come with a small cup of soup and a tiny salad.

I found it interesting that there was a capsule hotel attached to this restaurant. Next stop: Omi Jingu!

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★Third stop: Omi jingu

Omi Jingu, constructed in 1940, is a shrine dedicated to Emperor Tenji. This point of the trip will be one of my most cherished memories.

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Carly and I had the opportunity to pick out our own Yukata and walk around the temple.

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The process allowed us to see how to properly wear a Yukata. Although cold, the experience was amazing. Final stop: Illumination Show!

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★ Last stop: Illumination Show

Our last stop for the evening was an Illumination show held at Biwako Ostu-Kan.

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Biwako Ostu-Kan used to be a hotel, but has since shut down the rooms for booking. Instead, people can now book the hotel venue for weddings, class reunions, and art seminars.

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The illumination show was beautiful, but cut a little short due to the incoming snow storm -- which was even more beautiful in that it started to look like a winter wonderland.

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All in all, with the guidance of Hashizume-San, this trip was amazing. Carly and I hope to return when the weather is warm.