Last weekend during March 17-18, 2007 (Year of the Boar), I saw the Sagicho Festival in Omi-Hachiman, Shiga. It was great! I was very impressed by the colorful Sagicho floats made of edible materials like soybeans, small fish, aoi-nori, and many other ingredients. They were all fantastic works of art.
It was very windy and cold on both days, and Himure Hachimangu was very dusty. But it was also very sunny and a great weekend to take pictures. It seems to be a very local festival, which means there are not so many tourists. There were very few foreigners.
On Sun. night, it was very cold waiting until 8 pm when they started to burn the floats. The whole area in front of the shrine (and Taneya), which is usually a parking lot, was the main festival site. If you have never seen this festival, I highly recommend it. There’s another fire festival in Hachiman next month as well.
Pictures taken on Sat.: