We saw fine weather during Golden Week in Shiga from late April to early May 2010. I went to see a slew of festivals in Shiga during this time. I traveled to Maibara, Ryuo, Tsuchiyama (Koka), Takashima, Yasu, and Kora. I’m trying to see all the major Golden Week festivals in Shiga. The problem is, many of them are held on the same day and at the same time. It will still take me a few more years to see them all, but after this GW, I can say that I’ve see more than half of them.
Here’s what I saw during Golden Week 2010 in Shiga Prefecture (in chronological order):
On March 29, 2009, I saw the Saio Princess Procession in Tsuchiyama, Koka (あいの土山斎王群行). It was very nice. The Saio princess was an unmarried, young Imperial princess, often the Emperor’s daughter, who was appointed (by divination) to be the High Priestess of Ise Grand Shrines in Mie Prefecture from the 7th to 14th centuries. Whenever there was a new emperor, there would be a new Saio princess appointed. She would travel in a procession from Kyoto to Ise, taking 5 nights and 6 days. She lodged in a special temporary palace (disassembled after she lodged in it) called the Tongu, and one Tongu was in Tsuchiyama. So this festival reenacts this procession. It’s also a continuation of Kyoto’s famous Aoi Matsuri.