p.s. Visiting Greece during a Tour from June 16 to July 5, 2019.
I stayed in Otsu city, Shiga prefecture. After crossing the Biwako Bridge, I looked at the Biwako Bridge from the Biwako Ohashi Kome Plaza. The view of Lake Biwa from the balcony at the second floor was outstanding. At the restaurant, I ate Omi beef. It is one of the best beef in Japan. Omi beef is raised in the rich nature represented Lake Biwa. It is the roots of Tajima cattle that was originally used for aguriculture. We call the mix of meat and fat “sashi.” Omi beef has fine sashi overall. In the Edo periodo, there was a history that it was eaten by Daimyo, and it is still popular now.
I climbed to the mountaintop station of Mt. Uchimi (1,105m) by a ropeway. From there, I moved to the top of Mt. Horai by the lift. The highest peak of Mt. Horai is 1,174m. I could see sea of clouds and Lake Biwa. On sunny days, you can see Lake Biwa, Mt. Ibuki, and Mt. Hira. It was a luxurious space in the sky that can be reached by ropeway.
I stayed in Omi Hachiman city. I took a walk through Hachiman moat, Himure Hachiman Shrine, and Shinmachi street (the street of Omi merchant). I felt the life of Omi merchant with frugality, simplicity, and fortitude. Next, I went to Hikone castle in Hikone city. I watched Hikone Castle from Genkyuen. Genkyuen is a stroll garden with a central pond. You can watch the scenery around Hikone Castle as a large garden in the early Edo period. Finally, I went to Samegai, Maibara city. Along the Jizo river at Samegai, the cityscape is still continuing. Jizo river is famous as a group of “Bai-ka-mo”(plum, flower, and algae) in a river made of fresh water spring from the area. Samegai is selected as a Japan heritage as a culture of water and prayer.
The town was founded in 1559 in a small mountain valley next to the Nagara River. Here, two fast running rivers, both tributaries of the Nagara River, create a natural moat around an area at the foot of a small mountain – known locally as Mount Hachiman. Over time, a small town blossomed and grew in this protected are below the castle.
Photography in Gujo (June, 2018) https://www.flickr.com/photos/1438778…
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I went to Seoul in Korea on May 4th (th) through May 7th (sun), 2017. Three nights and four days. The purpose is to expand the network of tourism and foreigners. As a matter of fact, I talked in English and greeting-level Korean with local Korean, traveling American, French, British, Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Malaysian, and Middle Eastern people. Personally, I was able to exchange information about local information and the country of origin. There are many foreign tourists in the city.
I went sightseeing mainly in Seoul. I went to the youth town of Myondong, Insadong where I can feel the traditional Korean culture and atmosphere, Itaewon where there are many foreign tourists. If you explore these three cities, you will be able to grasp the traditional Korean culture and the latest Korean trends. Korea is a little cheaper than Japan, and the prices of comodities are almost the same as Japan. Among people with a long stay, there are many who go to Busan and Jeju Island. There is also a casino in Seoul, and foreigners aged 19 and over can have a passport if they have a passport.
Transportation in Seoul was convenient. A’REX (Airport Railroad) runs from the airport to Seoul Station section, and it was cheap and convenient with one way 2000 ~ 3000 won (200 ~ 300 yen). The subway line is less complicated than Tokyo. It was convenient to use T-Money (IC card), and it was safe because the vending machines on the subway also had Japanese explanations.
Personally, I liked Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market because it was full of vigor. There were various kinds of goods and food such as clothes of military goods of my interest and Korean traditional cuisine such as Sorlong Tan (cow bone soup), so I was able to spend extraordinary days just by taking a walk.
I went to Taiwan, April 30th (sun) throgh May 2nd (tue), 2 nights and 3 days. I arrived there in a few hours by air from Japan. The temperature was around 30 degrees. If you use LCC, you can go for round trips of around 30,000 to 40,000 yen. The prices of comodities are very low at around 1/3 of Japan. Consumption tax is 5%. By the way, if you change the currency to NTD (New Taiwan Doller) at a local bank or airport, the rate is lower. Transportation can be easily moved by using the IC card in the subway (MRT).
I studied greeting-level Chinese, so I could communicate with the staff at a restaurant etc. using Chinese and English. When studying Chinese, it is important to remember that Taiwanese is Traditional Chinese and Chinese is Simple Chinese. The Taiwanese used traditional kanji and the Chinese used simple kanji and the local Taiwanese were told. Both Taiwanese and Chinese have the same reading of words, but the writing of kanji is different. Please check if you are interested.
The last and most surprising thing is that there are a lot of people riding bikes. I also saw a motorcycle accident, so I would like to avoid troubles while traveling. I also saw motorcycles from Japanese manufacturers such as YAMAHA and HONDA.
Cultural differences are interesting. It is good to visit Taiwan once.
p.s. Writing at the airport while returning home temporarily.