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Osaka, Japan City Info
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January

January 1 - 3    

The New Year’s holiday period.

People visit shrines and temples to pray for health and happiness in the new year. Shops, banks and public agencies are usually closed from December 28 through to January 3.

 

January 9 - 11     

Toka Ebisu

(at Imamiya Ebisu Shrine (in Osaka City), Ibaraki Toka Ebisu (Ibaraki City) and at Fuse Ebisu Shrine (Higashi Osaka City))

This festival, characteristic of the merchant town flavor of Osaka, is held to pray for prosperity in business.

 

February

Around February 3    

Setsubun Festival

(at Ishikiri Shrine (Higashi Osaka City), at Narita-san Fudoson Shrine (Neyagawa City), and at Mizumadera Temple (Kaizuka City))

The day falls on the eve of “Risshun”, the first day of spring or the New Year’s day in the traditional Japanese calendar. On this day, a bean-scattering ceremony is held to cast away the evils of the previous year.

 

Early February to early March    

Plum blossoms

During this period, people enjoy strolling through fragrant groves of blossoming plum trees. The main spots for plum blossom viewing are Osaka Castle Park, Expo’70 Commemorative Park, Hiraoka Shrine, and Domyoji Temmangu.

 

March

The second Sunday to the fourth Sunday of March

The Spring Sumo Tournament

(venue: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium)

 

April

Early April    

Cherry Blossom Viewing

To celebrate the arrival of spring, people picnic outside, admiring the overhead cherry blossoms. The main spots for blossom viewing are Osaka Castle Park, Expo’70 Commemorative Park, and Satsukiyama Park.

 

Around April 29 to around May 5

This period is called Golden Week.

With several holidays occurring almost consecutively, some companies are closed for more than 10 days in a row. Because of the many tourists, accommodation charges and airfares are higher.

 

July

July 24 and 25    

Tenjin Matsuri Festival

One of the big three Japanese festivals with a history of more than 1,000 years.

 

Late July to late August

The season for fireworks displays

Displays of fireworks, among them the one in Rinku Town, PL Fireworks Art, and Kurawanka Fireworks Festival, are held at various locations around Osaka.

 

August

Around August 13 to 16   

The Bon Festival

This is the traditional festival for welcoming and then sending off the spirits of ancestors. Many companies are closed and a lot of people go traveling, so accommodations charges and airfares are higher.

 

September

September 14 and 15    

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival

The festival is famous for its danjiri floats lugged around the city by highly spirited groups of people.

 

October

second Sunday of October    

Midosuji Parade

One of the largest parades in the nation, it takes place down Osaka’s main street.

 

November

mid to late November    

Colored Leaves of Autumn

People take excursions out to spots famous for their colorful leaves to enjoy looking at them. Main sites around are the Meiji-no-Mori Minoh Quasi-National Park, Settsu-kyo (Settsu Gorge), Amanosan Kongo-ji Temple, Mt. Inunaki, etc.

 

Arts and Entertainment

 

The National Bunraku Theater

1-12-10 Nipponbashi, Chuo-ku

located east of Namba and the Dotombori entertainment district, a 1-minute walk from exit 7 of Nipponbashi Station.

06/6212-2531 for information; 06/6212-1122 for reservations

was completed in 1984 as the only theater in Japan dedicated to Japanese traditional puppet theater.

Productions are staged five times a year, running for 2 to 3 weeks at a time and held daily at 11am for Part 1 and at 4pm for Part 2. When Bunraku is not being performed, other traditional performing arts are often shown, including classical Japanese music.

Headsets are available that provide translations into English.  The acoustics are excellent.  To find out whether a performance is being held, check Meet Osaka or contact one of the visitor information centers.

 

The Osaka Shochikuza

1-9-19 Dotombori, Chuo-ku

The theater is located on Dotombori, just west of the Ebisu-bashi Bridge.

06/6214-2211)

The theater was built more than 50 years ago and was remodeled in 1997 as part of a revival of interest in Kabuki. Traditional kabuki is performed in January, July, and some other months of the year (the schedule changes yearly), and performances start usually at 11am and 4:30pm. 

Performance information is also listed in Meet Osaka.


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