Yoichi Takahashi(Cartoonist/Japan)

Yoichi Takahashi(Cartoonist/Japan)


Yoichi Takahashi

Born Tokyo, 1960.
Debuted as a cartoonist with Captain Tsubasa in 1980.
Influenced professional football players in Japan and abroad.

This was my first time visiting Otsu, and the initial thing I noticed was how close it is to Kyoto. My impression is that Kyoto’s shrines and temples are packed into a small area, but in Otsu, they just seem big.

Sitting in the embrace of Lake Biwa, Otsu made me feel the scale and majesty of its scenery, which is interwoven with Japan’s largest lake and the mountains surrounding the city. When I tried climbing up a mountain, I saw Lake Biwa in a whole different light. It’s so big, it seems like a sea.

I checked out the lakeside area, seeing some cycling along the way. On a bicycle, you can feel how far the seemingly never-ending lakeshore paths are. And when you try soaring through the air from the top of a mountain on a paraglider, you can have this newfound exhilaration like flying over the lake.

In contrast to the old city of Kyoto and all its history, Otsu is about nature and activities. You only have to travel a little bit to have an entirely differently kind of experience.

On my trip, I helped out with a project for the Otsu Festival the city puts on. I did that by coming to Otsu and drawing pictures of the things I saw there.

Lake Biwa is a symbol of both Otsu and Shiga Prefecture. By having Japan’s biggest lake in the background, the variety of activities become special experiences you can’t have anywhere other than Otsu. I drew my pictures with the idea of providing a taste of the thrilling, uplifting sensations from those activities.

This time I only illustrated activities, but that’s not Otsu’s only allure. You should come to the city for yourself at least once to find out all the enticing things that I’m unable to present to you here.

Oh, and one last thing: Omi beef is awesome!