Just another update from the good old Japan-America Student Conference. Today we visited Lake Biwa located in Shiga prefecture. Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan, as well as the most widely used fresh water resource in the world. As a native of the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," I greatly appreciated the lake related discussions that ensued. We boarded a ferry that toured us around this absolutely gorgeous body of water, and spent the day on the boat hearing lectures about environmental issues concerning the lake.
After the lectures, the ferry dropped us off at Okishima, an island town with a population of about 400 people in the middle of Lake Biwa. Okishima was the most beautiful place I have every seen in my life thus far, and it is my favorite location that JASC has explored. We were able to walk through the town and the mountain forest paths to a beach where we had a net fishing demonstration, and there we learned about the island communities struggles with foreign fish invading Lake Biwa, as well as the struggles with keeping the fisherman tradition alive. Everyone at this site was so welcoming to us, and they truly made the trip a beautiful experience!
Kuni and I on the ferry on Lake Biwa.
The breathtaking path we walked to get to the beach.
At the beach for a net fishing demonstration by the locals. We were able to help pull the fish in, and one of the fisherman who led the demonstration is famous for his craft, and has even been featured in National Geographic.
On a final note, here are some of my thoughts about Japan, through the eyes of a foreigner:
1. It's really hot here.
2. I have only seen one drinking fountain since our arrival.
3. My hands are becoming very toned due to the extensive chopstick usage.
4. I am not sure of the identity of 30% of the food I am eating (it's all delicious though!).
5. Mountains everywhere, it's fabulous.
That's all for now!