Jul 29, 2010

Tazawako Festival 2010

Tazawako Festival is an annual event held late July each year with highlights including fireworks and a dragon festival that represents Tatsuko's reunion with Hachiro Taro, her lover in Legend of Three Lakes.

This year's Tazawako Festival was held last Saturday, bringing more than 8,000 people to our small town.

Each year, two people are  chosen to take the role of Tatsuko and Hachiro Taro. Past few years the roles were played by persons from neighboring cities. This year the candidates happened to be the natives to Tazawako-- It brought so much joy to the local people!

A hiking tour was scheduled to follow the route of Tatsuko— starting off from her birthplace in Innai area, pay a visit to historical landmarks, hiking up through the mountains all the way to Lake Tazawa.

Innnai Area, Tatsuko's birthplace.

Tatsuko for this year 2010 was Miss Shinobu Kanaya.

A shinto ceremony in front of Tatsuko's grave.

Tatsuko's Grave

Unfortunately, the tour was called off due to the unpredictable weather and route condition, for it is meant to be Tatsuko's pilgrimage that greatly concerns her safety.

Instead, the group  visited ruins of Okura shrine. It is a shrine, according to the legend, to which Tatsuko is said to paid 100 night visits to wish for the eternal beauty.

A monument at the ruins of Okura Shirine.

At the site now remains a few kannon statues.

The ruins are embedded deep in forest.

Many food stalls welcomed guests at the event site, among which was a produce market by Omagari Nogyo High School. Another group from the same high school performed traditional dance on stage.  

Omagari Nogyo High School specializes in agriculture courses.

Omagari Nogyo High School's Traditional Dance Club

Other food stalls included Keitora Ichi, a market of light-weight ("kei" class) trucks loading different products.

The biggest attractions of Tazawako Festival are held in the evening: Ryujin-Sai (Dragon Festiva) and fireworks on the lake!

Last year Dragon Festival was cancelled due to the shortage of hands. It was a disappointment to many people, so that this year a great effort was made to to spread the words, bringing more than 100 participants-- more than we expected!  

Tatsuko and Hachiro for this year: Miss Shinobu Kanaya and Mr. Shunsuke Sasaki

The participants getting ready for the festivity!

The floats led by Tatsuko and Taro proceeded to the ceremony.

Ceremony for the eternal unity of a couple

Two dragon floats representing Tatsuko and Hachiro Taro are carried to the beach.

Tazawako Ryujin ("Guardian Dragon")  Daiko

The food stalls can not be missed!

Tazawako Festival takes place in late July. We will be looking forward to seeing you next year!

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