Makino is a small town on the Northwest side of Lake Biwa. In winter they get plenty of snow, and there is a ski field in the mountains nearby. The town itself is a combination of stunning lake views, holiday homes that are deserted most of the year, and old wooden houses slowly but surely crumbling to decay. You can take JR Kosei Line to Makino from Kyoto and walk around the lake to nearby Kaizu Osaki to enjoy some lovely winter scenery. I even saw some monkeys, but I wasn't quick enough to get a good photograph.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.