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Lake Biwa and Hikone

Perfect correspondence between the view and the manhole cover.

At evening we drove up the Eastern shore of Lake Biwa where there were a long string of recreational beach-side parks.

Panoramas of Biwa a little further out

Full moon over the rice fields at the car park

Biwa from the car park

We stopped for the night in a car park with a toilet constructed in an ingenious recycling research project, which we found, having washed all our clothes, was providing sweet-smelling water by filtering the sewerage outflow through six tanks of soil. Actually if you look carefully at the flow diagram below you will see that the washbasin starts to loop with clean tank water.

In the middle of the night a car load of Japanese teenagers turned up and set off a fireworks party.

Scenes on the coast road traveling North

Driving North in the morning we stopped at a lakeside temple, Chomeiji, which had a very select altar with a forbidden image of the thousand armed Goddess of Mercy Kannon,, outside which a very famous woman Buddhist priestess, Setouchi Jakucho was being interviewed for a program on Japanese television. Only one of the Buddhist sects in Japan permits women to be consecrated priests, so I guess this was it. Later we would come to see her lecture posters in towns we drove through.

The steps to Chomei-ji

Goddess of Mercy 'suckled' by two dragons Chomeiji

Entrance to the main temple

The temple altar

Buddhist priestess, Setouchi Jakucho at Chomeiji

Driving north to Hikone, we stopped and climbed the hill and the Y 1000 fee to visit the castle and its lakeside formal garden with mirror reflections and an electrifying kimono exhibition with the models dressed as lady killer geishas.

The moat and a bridge to the castle

The temple at the foot of the castle

Climbing to the summit

The castle gate

The castle interior with unusual shaped roof beams

Climbing to the observation turret

A circular panorama from the top

Kimono art exhibition Hikone castle

Exhibition hall for the exhibit

Adjoining the castle is a famous water garden renowned for its reflections

The castle moat

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