Guest Houses in Shiga
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2020 March Best Events in Japan
- March heralds in the start of spring, with peach blossoms igniting towns and cities across Japan. This is marked by Hinamatsuri (Girls Day), which is also called the Momo no Sekku (Peach festival) and is held throughout the country. But Japan also hosts a number of other festivals and celebrations to look forward to. In this guide, we’ve selected some of the most popular events that take place in Japan during March and the scenic landscapes that you can only see at this time of the year. Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day / ひな祭り) Hanging Hina Doll in Inatori Onsen of Izu Celebrated every year on March 3, Hinamatsuri (which is also known as Girls’ Day or Doll’s Day) marks the start of spring and has long been associated with the flowering of peach trees. It sees ornamental dolls representing the Emperor and Empress dressed in Heian period outfits being displayed on platforms covered by red carpets. ― Ibaraki: Makabe’s Hinamatsuri Makabe’s Hinamatsuri While the festival is held across Japan, the celebrations in the Makabe District of Ibaraki Prefecture (真壁のひなまつり) have become particularly popular. People come from across the country to wander through the historic streets and see precious dolls displayed by locals while enjoying the local hospitality and cuisine. Also popular are the celebrations in Yuki City where old stores and sake breweries are transformed into doll exhibition spaces. Read more: Makabe’s Hina MatsuriDate: 4 February to 3 March, 2020Website: https://www.ibarakiguide.jp/seasons/hina.html ― Izu: Hanging Hina Doll Festival in Inatori Onsen Hanging Hina Doll Festival in Inatori Onsen In the hot spring town of Inatori Onsen, the rare and expensive handmade dolls known as Hina are displayed during the Hanging Hina Doll Decoration Festival (伊豆稲取温泉 雛のつるし飾りまつり). The tradition of hanging these beautifully designed dolls is said to bring good health to young girls, with flowering cherry blossoms only adding to the stunning scene. Date: 20 January to 31 March, 2020Website: http://www.inatorionsen.or.jp/hina_sp/index.html ― Tokyo: Meguro Gajoen Hyakudan Hinamatsuri Hyakudan Hinamatsuri Every year, historic ornamental dolls from various Japanese prefectures are showcased as part of the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri (百段雛まつり) exhibit at the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. “Hina dolls stories of Izumo, Inaba, Hagi” as the main theme, this year will see dolls from Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi prefectures. Date: 24 January - 15 March, 2020Website:https://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/en/hyakudankaidan/ ― Sakuramochi Sakuramochi The traditional food of Hinamatsuri is the sakuramochi, a sweet, pink-colored rice cake that’s stuffed with red bean paste and wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf. You can find sakuramochi at department stores and Japanese-style confectionary shops throughout the spring season and they’re an essential treat to eat during hanami (cherry blossom-viewing parties). Niigata: Tsunan Snow Festival (つなん雪まつり) Tsunan Snow Festival Niigata Prefecture’s town of Tsunan experiences some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan. The resilience of local people to coexist with the snow is celebrated each year during the Tsunan Snow Festival. Among the events that take place are a snowboard straight-jumping competition known as Snow Wave, which sees skilled snowboarders show off their skills, and the Sky Lantern launch when hundreds of illuminated lanterns are released into the sky. Aside from being a magical sight, it’s an opportunity for people to deliver prayers or send messages for the health and happiness of their family and friends before letting the lanterns float towards the heavens. Tsunan Snow Festival Tsunan Snow Festival Nara: Todaiji TempleOmizutori (東大寺 お水取り) Todaiji Temple Omizutori Shunie is the name for a series of Buddhist repentance rituals that have been taking place at the Todaiji Temple in Nara prefecture for more than 1,250 years. The most famous and spectacular event is Omizutori, which begins just after sunset each night and sees giant torches being carried to the balcony of Nigatsudo Hall (a sub-complex of Todaiji Temple). Here their burning embers shower down and bestow onlookers with a safe year ahead. On the night of March 12, the torches are larger and more numerous, attracting the biggest crowds. Between 1:30 and 2:30 am, priests descend repeatedly to draw water from the well at the base of the temple hall in a ritual known as Omizutori (“water drawing”). It’s believed that the well’s water only flows once a year and has restorative properties. This is followed by the Dattan ceremony that’s performed inside Nigatsudo Hall and features the ringing of bells, blowing of horns and swinging of burning torches. Date: 1 - 14 March, 2020Website: http://www.todaiji.or.jp/contents/function/02-03syunie1.html Shiga: Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival (近江八幡 左義長祭り) Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival One of Japan’s most colorful historic festivals is the Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival, which takes place on the third weekend in March each year in Shiga prefecture. The origins of the festival are unclear, with some believing it was started in the 16th century by the warlord Oda Nobunaga and others saying it celebrated his death and the burning down of the castle. Omihachiman Sagicho Fire Festival Today, the neighborhoods that surround the old castle spend months building impressive floats featuring the year’s lunar calendar animals and a tall pine torch decorated with strips of red paper. Men dressed up as women carry the floats through the street and play “fight” with one another before burning the floats to the ground amidst much dancing in the firelight. Date: 14 - 15 March, 2020Website: https://www.sagicho.net/ Tokyo: AnimeJapan 2020 The state of Anime Japan 2019 If you’re a fan of anime, then you won’t want to miss one of the world’s biggest and most exciting anime conventions. AnimeJapan will be taking place from 21 - 22 March in 2020 and centered around the theme of JAPAN. It’s being held at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center), with anime-themed exhibitions and a range of manga and anime goods for sale, as well as stage performances from some of the industry’s biggest names. It’s a fantastic opportunity to dress up in cosplay and meet like-minded anime fans, with a Cosplayer’s World where you can have your photo taken against various manga and anime backdrops. Date: 21 - 22 March, 2020Website: https://www.anime-japan.jp/en/ Cherry blossoms Nakameguro Sakura in Tokyo While you can view cherry blossoms at numerous locations across Japan, one that you must see is the famous Nakameguro Sakura in Tokyo. The Meguro River becomes a cherry blossom wonderland during spring when trees draped in pink blossoms hang over the canal. Shops and stalls created especially for the occasion line the waterway selling everything from spring-themed foods to pink champagne. Along the Meguro River Nakameguro is the best place in Tokyo to view the cherry blossoms, which tend to flower around late March to early April. Aside from picnicking beneath the trees with the locals and strolling along the river walk, you shouldn’t miss a visit at night when the cherry blossoms are beautifully illuminated.Click here to see more information about conditions.Read more:From earliest to latest, follow the blooming flowers of cherry blossom 2020Date: late March - early April (depending on the cherry blossoms) ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- Connect with travelers from around the world, while enjoying the hospitality of the locals and the old Japanese way of life. From the get-go, the stay at Guesthouse Muga means hospitality and good-old charm. Muga is located in an old part of town that fortunately was never destroyed during the wartime, and you will have to zigzag through narrow streets in order to arrive. Getting lost is not a problem, just call up and Hajime will gladly come looking for you. The hosts, Hajime and Noriko, go out of the way to make you feel right at home and enjoy your stay to the fullest. Guesthouse Muga The setting is a 100-year old charming japanese home with a large garden area surrounded by a new building that maintains the simpleness and comfort of Japanese architecture. It is conveniently located a few-minutes walk from the “Yume-Kyobashi” (Castle Road), Hikone Castle, and a stone’s throw from the charming Seri River. All throughout, the guesthouse feels open, and guests have ample room for their own space and to comfortably share with others. For travelers without set plans while in town, Hajime and Noriko have plenty of information about the key tourist activities in the area, and some more detailed recommendations that will take you around the lesser-known areas of Hikone. Guesthouse Muga The guesthouse offers dormitory-style accommodation only with a dormitory for men and a dormitory for women. Both dormitories are bright and with glass sliding doors overlooking the Japanese garden in the middle of the house. The sleeping area is quite cozy and coming back to the guesthouse after a long day of sightseeing will feel very pleasant. For those in need of a hot bath to relax, the local “sento” or bathhouse is waiting right up thealley, and this on its own is a fascinating experience, worth the walk. Guesthouse Muga ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Visitors to Shiga prefecture are almost always hopping east across the prefectural border from Kyoto, and they are almost certainly Lake Biwa-bound. Covering an area of 670 square kilometers, Lake Biwa makes up the bulk of Shiga prefecture, with beautiful lakeside paths that offer myriad walking and cycling opportunities, connecting a string of museums, shrines, and picturesque views that finally lead you to Hikone Castle on the eastern side of the lake.
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