Daija Festival inc. Miss Shiga Kogen Competition
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.
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 the introduction of the candidates for the Miss Shiga competition and 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.