Seasonal Events

Spring

Walk the Snowy Corridor along the Shiga/Kusatsu Kogen Route (Mid-April; Yozaka in Shiga Kogen~volcanic Mt. Shirane)

walk the snowy corridor photographIn this event, the participants walk a corridor flanked on both sides by over-5-meter-high snow walls to reach the highest point of all of Japan's national highways at 2,172 meters in altitude to enjoy magnificent panoramic views.


Snow Removal and the Opening of Shiga/Kusatsu Kogen Route (Late April; Shiga Kogen)

Flower Festival for Three Deities Guaranteeing Happiness (Late April; Heiwa-no-Oka Park in Yudanaka Onsen)

Of the "Three Deities Guaranteeing Happiness," the Kannon Statue of World Peace is famous for divine power to guarantee peaceful life, the Statue of Enmei Tobacco Jizo for healthful life, and the Statue of Miroku Bosatsu for life without natural disaster. In this spring festival, visitors pray for the fulfillment of their wishes, visiting each of the three Buddhistic deities in the Heiwa-no-Oka Park which is graced by cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Mizubasho Festival at Mt. Ryuo (Late May to early June; at the summit of Mt. Ryuo)

Take the Mt. Ryuo Ropeway to the summit at 1,800 meters which commands a panoramic view of fantastic alpine vistas. There is a marshland around the summit where you can enjoy lovely white Mizubasho flowers.


Summer

Mt. Iwasuge Opening Festival (Early June; Mt. Iwasuge in Shiga Kogen)

This event signals the arrival of the Shiga Kogen summer mountain-climbing season. Participants enjoy hiking toward the 2,295-meter summit of Mt. Iwasuge.

Shiga Kogen Shinryoku (fresh green) Festival (Mid-June; Shiga Kogen)

In this event, participants stroll through the fresh green that surrounds Shiga Kogen. Graced with wafting breezes, being one with Mother Nature enhances the enjoyment of alpine vistas.

Yudanaka Onsen Summer Festival (Mid-July to mid-August; Yudanaka Onsen Resort)

yudanaka summer festival photographHighlighted by nightly traditional Obon dancing, a shooting gallery and a lottery for prizes - the festival offers a delightful occasion to fully appreciate the typical atmosphere of a Japanese hot-spring resort.


Shibu Onsen Summer Festival: Pedestrian Paradise (Early August to late August; Shibu Onsen Resort)

sibu summerfestivalDuring this period, Shibu Onsen's nostalgic stone-paved main street is blocked from car traffic and becomes a pedestrian paradise. All are invited to participate in a variety of entertaining events to enhance the enjoyment unique to this historic hot-spring town.


Shiga Kogen College Concert (July to Septembert; Shiga Kogen Sogo Kaikan 98)

collegeconcert photographThese concerts are staged by a number of university music clubs and circles that visit Shiga Height for summer practice and training. Genres range from orchestral music and wind-instrument music to chorus performances. All comes are welcome to any and all of these youthful and exuberant performances.


Ryuo Festival for the Evening Cool (Late August; Ryuo in Kita-Shiga Kogen)

Shiga Kogen Daija (big serpent)Festival and Miss Shiga Kogen Contest (Late August; Hasu-ike in Shiga Kogen & Shibu Onsen)

daija festival photographA huge manmade serpent parades through the streets depicting the legendary serpent believed to live in Onuma-ike Pond in Shiga kogen. Highlighted as well is a contest to select the serpent's bride, accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.


Autumn

Sugakawa Soba: Hoin-san and Buckwheat Flower Festival (Mid-September; Hatchobara in Kita-Shiga Kogen)

soba photographIn this festival, participants enjoy flower viewing in the extensive soba (buckwheat) fields as well as experiencing the true taste of soba noodles. According to local folklore, a Buddhist priest named ?oin-san,a lover of soba, liked the Sugakawa soba so very much that, as a token of gratitude, exercised his miraculous powers to cure local people of disease.


All-Japan Fireworks Contest and Nagano Prefectural Contest for Up-and-Coming Fireworks Professionals (Mid-October; Yudanaka Shibu Spas)

Fireworks professionals gather from country wide to vie in competitive pyrotechnic displays. A grand diversity of pyrotechnical choreography representing the best of craftsmanship colorfully enlivens the night sky.

Oku (Inner) Shiga Kogen Autumnal Tints Fiesta (Mid-October; Oku-Shiga Kogen)

Closing of Shiga/Kusatsu Kogen Route for Winter (Mid-November; Shiga Kogen)


Winter

First Skiing and Opening of Ski Areas Throughout Shiga Kogen (Early December; Shiga Kogen)

opening of ski areas photograph


Opening of Ski Areas Throughout Kita-Shiga Kogen (Early December; Kita-Shiga Kogen)

"Senda-yaki" Ritual at Kambayashi Fudoson Temple (Beginning of spring in February; Shibu Onsen~Kambayashi Fudoson Temple)

Seidai-yaki photographSeveral ascetics who have purified themselves in Shibu Onsen parade through the Kambayashi Onsen district while cutting sacred straw wreaths on the way. After arrival at Kambayashi Fudoson Temple, they pray for everyone's good health and happy life by performing the ritual of treading over red-hot open-air coals.


Shiga Kogen Photo Contest (December to April)