Amazing horseback archery event at Omi Jingu, and English rose garden: Otsu

 Omi Jingu 

Omi Jingu is a Shinto shrine, which was constructed in 1940. The drama Chihayafuru was filmed here.
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Horseback archery at Omi Jingu, Otsu 

On April 4th there was a horseback archery event at Omi Jingu in Otsu. I visited Omi Jingu at around 10 in the morning and I unexpectedly saw horses. Not knowing that there was going to be an event later that day I carried on looking around the temple. It was only when I heard two people talking about the event that I found out about it. From about 12.30 people started to arrive and food stalls started to open. There were stalls selling: yakisoba, takoyaki, hot udon noodles and mitarashidango (sweet rice cakes). I bought the yakisoba and mitarashidango, which were both really good! 
At 1pm there was a parade where the horses and their men and women carrying the targets came out. The men who were taking part in the event were wearing the most incredible clothes. They wore hakama and what looked to be dear skin around their waists and they carried the long arrows. There were 3 targets in total, which were 40 meters apart. The men on the horses galloped at a high speed. Some of the horses sped past at high speed, which made the event extremely exciting and enjoyable. Hundreds of people gathered for this event, which made it  difficult to get a good view, however the atmosphere was great and it was an amazing experience.

English rose garden, at Yanagasaki Lakeside Park, Otsu

On the west side of the lake there is an English rose garden. I visited the garden on April 4th and the flowers were in full bloom. There are hundreds of different varieties of roses as well as other flowers. There is a small pond with water lilies and a bridge that you can cross and there is also a small art gallery. It doesn’t take long to look around the whole garden.  I visited the garden whilst waiting for the horseback archery to start, as it’s a short bike ride away from Omi Jingu. 
From the garden you can see the lake but from the path that runs along by the lake you can’t see into the rose garden unless you pay the entrance fee, which is 320 yen.

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Amalia Elford