On my recent trip to Japan, I stopped by two quaint ancient towns between Kyoto to Gifu. They are well known for Canal and Street respectively. From Kyoto, I took a little detour first to drive across the Biwako Ohashi Bridge Road, also known as the Rainbow Road. The bridge goes over Lake Biwa, the largest fresh water lake in Japan.
Canal from Canal and Street
Omihachiman is less than an hours drive away from the Rainbow Road. It dates back to the 16th century and is most famous for its man made canal. Back then, before the days of cars and rail, the local noble family wanted to develop Omihachiman as a trading town. Waterway was a natural option to easily transport goods to Kyoto, so they built the canal to connect the town to the Lake Biwa. Today, the canal has become the famous tourist spot of Omihachiman.
離開琵琶湖不到一小時，是近江八幡水鄉。這個小鎮以八幡崛運河著名。 十六世紀時交通未有那麼發達，當地商人為了加速近江八幡的繁榮，於是建了人造水道連接琵琶湖。今天八幡崛就變成當地的著名旅遊景點。 在運河兩旁的秋楓葉下散步，很有詩情畫意的感覺。
This was a pit stop for lunch, and after lunch I just wandered around for a little while. From the beautiful bridge above the canal, pass the white kura storehouses, there were boats moored on the river, and others that were taking customers on a canal cruise.
And finally stopping pass some machiya (traditional wooden) townhouses from the old days. This is truly a delightful walk along the canal under the autumn maple leaves .
Street from Canal and Street
From Omihachiman it was a short drive to Hikone. By now it was mid afternoon and I had nodded off in the car on the way here. Suddenly my husband shouted "We've arrived!" I woke up, opened my eyes and thought I had been transported back to ancient Japan. Both sides of the road were lined with machiya houses and more maple trees. The sunrays were filtering through the golden yellow maple trees, I knew I was in for a treat here.
離開近江八幡下一站是彥根市。午飯後總有點飯氣攻心的感覺，短短的車程中都不覺睡著了。 突然聽見老公一聲"我們到了"! 睜開眼睛望見兩邊路旁一排排的傳統日式町屋，下午燦爛陽光從密密的金黃楓葉罅隙中照射到地上。 原來這條街道到有一個很美的名字~夢京橋。 朦朧之中看到這個情景，彷如置身於古代日本江戶時代。
Hikone is most famous for its Castle, but I was more interested in strolling along this charming street. Surprisingly, for such a beautiful town, there was hardly a soul around. That was fine by me as it meant I could take time and savour the surroundings without bumping into tonnes of other tourists.
彥根市以彥根城著名， 但我覺得夢京橋更值得花時間閑逛。 如此雅緻的一條街道，人煙稀少。莫說遊客，當地人也不多見一個。這還好， 可以慢慢靜心在路旁散步。
And that concludes my canal and street tour in Japan with me. I hope you have enjoyed it and I'll be sharing more of my Japan journey with you. The next one will Diving with Ama in Ise which I guarantee will be an eye opener for everyone.
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