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  • - Today, I'm hopping on the bullet train

  • and heading north of Kyoto,

  • to the small town of Otsu in Shiga Prefecture.

  • Hey guys, how's it going today?

  • I'm in (chuckles),

  • I'm in (chuckles) Shiga Prefecture.

  • I'm visiting Lake Biwa today,

  • and I'm so excited 'cause I've heard so much about it.

  • That's a loud train.

  • So full disclosure, today's video is a collaboration video

  • with Otsu City, and they have provided electrical bikes

  • and a English speaking guide for me during my trip.

  • You can actually rent the bicycles right here,

  • outside of Shiga station.

  • They're electric bicycles, and they're $12 for three hours

  • or $18 dollars for a day,

  • and you can see they're quite big.

  • I've never tried an electrical bicycle before.

  • I guess this is the battery.

  • Should I turn it on right now?

  • - [Keiko] Ah, yes.

  • And usually it's set in the middle one.

  • - Whoa, that's so cool.

  • So today I'm traveling around Lake Biwa

  • with an English guide.

  • - I'm Keiko, welcome to Shiga.

  • - Hi, Keiko, nice to meet you.

  • - Nice to meet you, too. (speaks in foreign language)

  • - I've never used an electric bicycle before.

  • - Ah, don't worry about it.

  • It's very easy.

  • - Our cycling path takes us along Lake Biwa,

  • the largest freshwater lake in Japan.

  • It's almost the same size as Singapore.

  • Cycling is a great way to explore smaller towns in Japan

  • because you have the freedom to stop

  • and go at your own pace.

  • It's a little bit cloudy today.

  • It looks like it might rain, but I feel like

  • that gives the mountains a more mysterious look anyway.

  • This looks like something out of a movie scene or something.

  • It's so beautiful.

  • It's so beautiful.

  • (multiple camera shutter clicks)

  • On sunnier days, Lake Biwa is a pretty popular place to be,

  • with cute open space cafes lining the lakeside

  • and recreational water sports,

  • which many Japanese don't easily have access to.

  • Coming from bigger cities like Osaka and Kyoto,

  • Lake Biwa is a perfect getaway on a hot summer day.

  • (relaxing electronic music)

  • This particular cafe, R Cafe, is dog-friendly, which I love.

  • Some people describe riding an electric bicycle

  • like riding on a cloud, and I get it.

  • This bike rides smooth and comfortably,

  • and you don't have to worry about getting tired,

  • which means you can spend an entire day

  • exploring a small city by bike.

  • Coming into somebody's home (speaks foreign language).

  • (speaks foreign language)

  • - Whaaa,

  • Look at this beautiful living room.

  • (woman murmurs)

  • (relaxing guitar music)

  • Okay, so after cycling around Lake Biwa,

  • we are now at a home.

  • This is part of a tour actually.

  • If you want to participate in this kind of tour,

  • you can have this experience yourself.

  • We are going to make lunch together.

  • We're having chicken sukiyaki, which is a specialty here,

  • and it's totally farm to table,

  • meaning we are using local ingredients

  • and we are all cooking together,

  • and we're all gonna eat together, and it's gonna be awesome.

  • So this rice is rice that they've grown here

  • on their own rice field.

  • (speaks foreign language)

  • Oh, this smells so good.

  • (speaks in foreign language)

  • All right, so we're gonna try the chicken.

  • Mmmmm!

  • She put in so much kibi, sugarcane sugar,

  • that with the shoyu, with the soy sauce,

  • it's kind of like a teriyaki flavor.

  • So for dessert we have sweet potatoes,

  • candied sweet potatoes, and shiso juice,

  • which is kind of interesting.

  • I don't think I've ever had shiso juice before.

  • - Oh, lots of vinegar in it too.

  • (speaks in foreign language)

  • We're best friends now.

  • - Thank you so much.

  • (speaks in foreign language)

  • So this is Juge Shrine,

  • and it's right at the top of this hill,

  • right near where we had lunch.

  • And what I really like about this shrine

  • is that it sits at the top of a hill,

  • so you come all the way to the top of the hill,

  • and when you turn around, I'll show you in just a second.

  • Otsu City pays a lot of respect

  • to their natural resources,

  • which was also evident in our next stop.

  • In the afternoon, we visited one

  • of Japan's most experienced roofers.

  • Many traditional Japanese shrines and homes

  • were originally made with plant-based roofs

  • made of things like straw and wood,

  • and this artisan workshop specializes in roofing

  • made almost entirely from natural resources

  • from cypress bark planks to bamboo nails.

  • - Visitors to Otsu City can request to drop by

  • his workshop to learn about this valued profession.

  • - Oh my god.

  • (speaks in foreign language)

  • This is a cool hand-on experience

  • that makes you really appreciate

  • just how skilled Japanese craftsmen are in their trades.

  • All right, you guys, I just checked into my hotel room,

  • and it's so gorgeous.

  • I don't know what I did to deserve this.

  • Look at this room.

  • I've got two beds.

  • Maybe I'll sleep on them horizontally just because.

  • They're so comfortable, and I love the colors.

  • It's so relaxing, the nice beautiful blue.

  • And of course there's a giant patio.

  • We come out here, outside,

  • and we've got this gorgeous view of Lake Biwa.

  • Anyway, it's getting to be about seven o'clock at night,

  • and I'm getting a little bit hungry,

  • so I'm going to head out for some dinner.

  • For dinner, I headed over to Matsukiya

  • for their famous oumigyuu.

  • This beef is so marbled and tender

  • that it's said to rival

  • the world-famous Kobe beef in quality.

  • A light touch from a human hand is all it takes

  • for the fat on this block of beef to melt.

  • Apparently, this indicates good quality.

  • So teppanyaki is actually a really great experience

  • to have if you come to Japan.

  • It's a really cool way to interact with the cooks

  • and watch them as they work

  • their magic right in front of you,

  • and they serve you the food hot, right off the grill.

  • And it's kind of like,

  • it feels special.

  • You feel special like you're kind of like royalty,

  • having someone cook for you,

  • and it's a really cool experience.

  • This looks so good,

  • and I never get to eat cuts of steak this expensive

  • and exquisite, so I'm so excited,

  • and I'm sure it's gonna taste amazing.

  • Here are the vegetables that he fried up

  • in front of us as well.

  • We've got a salad, and then this is interesting.

  • We have the house sauce,

  • which is apple and,

  • - Wine. - Wine.

  • - Wine and onions,

  • And here we have yama wasabi.

  • It's a yellow horseradish from Hokkaido.

  • Bubble salt, which is a mixture

  • of kombu dashi salt and gelatin,

  • so it becomes a very puffy, kind of foam,

  • but it's very foamy and you put it on the meat,

  • and it should kind of glide, blend right in with that.

  • Teppanyaki is seriously such a treat,

  • and Shiga's oumigyuu literally melts in your mouth,

  • making this an incredible high-end dining experience.

  • It's amazing.

  • It's just like so juicy and soft,

  • and. (woman chuckles)

  • We're gonna hop on a train,

  • and we're heading to Ishiyama Temple,

  • which hopefully still looks good in the rain.

  • I don't know, I like it though.

  • It's not too hot today.

  • It's still warm, but the rain is kind of nice.

  • I don't mind it.

  • (chillout music)

  • Okay, so we're here at Ishiyama-dera Temple,

  • and it has started pouring rain.

  • It's insanely, oh, now it's all over the lens.

  • This is the temple of Murasaki Shikibu,

  • a famous Japanese author.

  • Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long because of the rain,

  • but the shrine is impressive,

  • and the fortunes told here are famous

  • because they're written poetically,

  • apparently excerpts from Murasaki Shikibu herself.

  • Girl, feeling all the way

  • ♫ I promise

  • All right, so it finally stopped raining,

  • but it's time to go home.

  • I wish I could have spent more time here.

  • There's so much to see and do

  • that I felt like one night, two days just wasn't enough.

  • But I had a great time,

  • and I hope that you guys enjoyed what you saw.

  • I would love to come back to Lake Biwa,

  • especially on a sunny, more cooperative weather day,

  • so I think I'll be back.

  • But I'm so happy I got try tons of delicious food

  • and see what people like the locals are doing here,

  • what the industries are like.

  • One night, two days just didn't feel like

  • a long enough stay, so I think I'll be back.

  • Anyway, I gotta go 'cause I gotta catch my Shinkansen,

  • so talk to you soon, bye.

  • (relaxing pop music)

- Today, I'm hopping on the bullet train

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Explore Shiga With Me! 滋賀県大津市で24時間過ごしてみた!

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/24
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