Shiga Kogen 'Daija' Festival
Taking place in the third week of August, the ‘Daija Festival’ takes place in Shiga Kogen. Legend tells that a giant serpent resides within the waters of Onuma Pond and that during the Warring States Period (1467-1568), the serpent fell in love with a beautiful princess named Kurohime. To win her affection, he would disguise himself as a samurai but once discovered, Kurohime’s father forbid the relationship and tried to trick the giant snake. Let’s just say the story doesn’t well… culminating in the serpent destroying her father’s castle and Kurohime throwing herself into the pond.
Where To Stay In & Around Shiga Kogen?
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Today, the legend is commemorated on the first day of the festival, with local people dressing in traditional costumes and rowing a serpent across the pond. On the second day, traditional performances including drums and dance take place before fireworks in the evening.
The final day sees the festival float and serpent pulled around the Hasuike area of Shiga Kogen. Anyone can participate, with more dancing and music to follow. The festival concludes with the crowning of Miss Shiga Kogen in the early afternoon. Festival events are centred around the Hasuike / Onuma Pond area. Using bus services to / from the nearby Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Station will therefore be your easiest transport option. Staying at one of Shiga Kogen’s many hotels is a great way to enjoy the full festival.
During the festival, events take place throughout both days
Third weekend of August
Approximately a 25 to 30-minute drive from the Jigokudani Monkey Park
From Nagano Station, take the Nagaden Express Bus bound for Shiga Kogen and disembark at the Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Station - approx. 70 to 80 minutes / JPY1800. Alternatively, from Nagano Station take the Nagano Dentetsu Limited Express to Yudanaka Station - 45 minutes / JPY1290. Once at Yudanaka, take the local bus Shiga Kogen line to Yamanoeki Bus Station - 30 to 35-minutes / JPY850.