The beginning of the modern new year in January overlaps two traditional Japanese seasons: 冬至 Tōji (Winter solstice) and 小寒 Shōkan (Lesser cold). In Shiga Prefecture autumn colors have mostly disappeared.  Susuki grass and shrubs along rivers have become a darker shade of brown. We can see some flowers, but most large and colorful flowers have been planted. Small winter migrant birds have appeared, adding some activity and color to the countryside and local parks. This winter we have not yet seen any snow in Ritto City.

January 4

Kite flying over Yasu City
Kite flying over Yasu City, seen from along the Yasugawa riverbank in Deba, Ritto City
Child crossing signs
Child crossing signs and police box for volunteers in Tsuji, Ritto City
Peruvian lily 'Saturne' (Alstroemeria 'Saturne', ユリズイセン科)
Peruvian lily ‘Saturne’ (Alstroemeria ‘Saturne’, ユリズイセン科)
Orange rose
Orange rose

January 5

Tulips 'First Class'
Tulips ‘First Class’ (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)
Tulips
Yellow tulips (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)
Tulips 'Princess Elena'
Tulips (草津市立水生植物公園みずの森)

January 6

Six relief Jizō statues (六地蔵) at Jōkuji (浄玖寺)
Six relief Jizō statues (六地蔵) at Jōkuji (浄玖寺)
Child crossing sign
Child crossing signs in Takano, Ritto City

January 9

Main sanctuary at Miwa Shrine (三輪神社)
Main sanctuary at Miwa Shrine (三輪神社)
Stone lantern at Miwa Shrine (三輪神社)
Stone lantern at Miwa Shrine (三輪神社)

January 10

Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)
Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus, モズ)
Daffodils (スイセン)
Daffodils (スイセン)

January 11

Japanese grosbeak (Eophona personata personata, イカル)
Japanese grosbeak (Eophona personata personata, イカル)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, シメ)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, シメ)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, シメ)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, シメ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Dusky thrush (Turdus eunomus, ツグミ)
Pink woodsorrel (Oxalis debilis, ムラサキカタバミ)
Pink woodsorrel (Oxalis debilis, ムラサキカタバミ)
Antirrhinum majus flowers (snapdragon, キンギョソウ, スナップドラゴ )
Antirrhinum majus flowers (snapdragon, キンギョソウ, スナップドラゴ )

See more photos in my Flickr photostream or one of my albums.

Published by Greg Peterson

Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Notre Dame University (1977-2020). Since 1980 I have lived in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, where I enjoy outdoor activities, especially photography, hiking, and cycling.

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2 Comments

  1. Greg, I was really concerned to hear of your health issues in 2019. Thank you for returning to posting about the important things in life in 2020. Your photos and eye are always greatly appreciated. I had taken photos of red flags on sticks left in boxes either side of a pedestrian crossing, for children to hold high as they cross. I also note the way that children hold one hand high when crossing, if no flags around. Richard G

    1. Richard, thanks your kind words. Yes, I’v had some tough times with more to come, but I’m going to keep enjoying life and sharing photos and words as long as I can. Confronting one’s mortality is good motivation to live fully!

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