Seasons & weather

Located at a latitude of 34 degrees, Osaka has a relatively mild climate with four distinct seasons, each of which offers a completely different set of things to see and do. From picnicking under spring cherry trees, to dressing up for summer festivals, to walking among autumn’s golden trees, to shopping under crisp winter skies, there is something special to do at every time of the year in this ever changing city.

Over the year, Osaka’s average daily temperature varies from 6 degrees Celsius (42 F) in winter to 15 C (59 F) in spring to 20 C (68 F) in autumn to 28 C (86 F) in summer. Average precipitation (1,318 mm) peaks between late June and late July during the rainy season, and in September during the typhoon season.

Dress

Spring (March - May): light jackets, light sweaters.
Summer (June - August): very light clothes (cardigans etc may be useful for inside air-conditioned buildings, but are definitely not needed otherwise).
Autumn (September - November): light jackets, light sweaters.
Winter (December - February): heavy overcoats.

Osaka Seasonal Event Calendar

Spring

March
mid-March March Grand Sumo Tournament (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium)
March 18 - 24 Spring Higan-e Ceremony (Shitennoji Temple)
late-March to early-April Cherry blossom viewing (Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden and various locations)
April
early-April for approx. 3 weeks April Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theatre)
early- to mid-April Cherry blossom viewing in Japan Mint
April 13 Rice Planting Ritual (Kumata Shrine)
mid- to late-April Spring Boating Festival (Temmabashi Bridge)
※An event to enjoy spring by water and land
April 22 Shoryo-e (Shitennoji Temple)
※Dance celebrating the anniversary of Prince Shotoku Taishi’s death
One day between late-April to early-May Concert under the Starry Sky (Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden)
May
late-April to late-May Peak rose blossom period (various locations: Nagai Botanical Garden, Nakanoshima Park, Utsubo Park, Expo ’90 Commemorative Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi)
May 1 - 5 Manbu Oneri Ritual (Dainenbutsu ji Temple)
※Recreating the world of paradise, a unique event to celebrate the blessings of faith to the common people
early-May Unoha Ritual (Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine)
※A ritual to commemorate the establishment of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
※A solemn festival with a dedicated dance on the stone stage
early-May Midosuji Open Festa (Midosuji Shinsaibashi - Namba)
※Osaka’s famous main street is open to pedestrians
late-May to early-June Peak iris blossom period (Shirokita Park, etc.)

Summer

June
early-June June Bunraku Appreciation Class (National Bunraku Theatre)
June 14 Rice Planting Ritual (Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine)
※A ritual designated as an Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property
mid- to late-June Peak hydrangea blossom period (various locations: Osaka Prefectural Nature Park Nukata Site, Ikasuri Shrine, Osaka Prefectural Flower Garden)
late-June to early-July Peak lotus blossom period (Nagai Botanical Garden)
June 30 -July 2 Aizen Festival (Shoman-in Aizen-do)
※Marking the arrival of the summer festival season in Osaka
July
July 7 Heisei OSAKA Legend of the Milky Way (Temmabashi Bridge - Nakanoshima Park)
※Milky Way is recreated by a stream of LED-powered bulbs on the Okawa River
July 11 - 12 Summer festival at Ikukunitama Shrine
※A summer festival at a city shrine pays particular respect to formalities
July 11 - 14 Summer festival at Kumata Shrine
※A dynamic festival with nine floats traveling about the city
July 15 - 16 Summer festival at Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine
※Summer festival at Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine
July 18 - 19 Drum Stand Festival (Kanda Shrine, Kaizuka city)
July 24 - 25 Tenjin Matsuri Festival (Osaka Temmangu Shrine )
※One of three major festivals in Japan. The climax is a boat procession of over 100 vessels coming and going on the Okawa River on the evening of the 25th.
late-July to early-August Osaka Castle Summer Festival (Osaka Castle Park)
A Summer Vacation Bunraku Special Performance (National Bunraku Theatre)
July 30 - August 1 Sumiyoshi Festival (Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine)
※Osaka’s final summer festival
August
early-August A Naniwa Yodogawa River Firework Display (Yodogawa River riverbanks)
early-August An All-Nippon Kawachi Ondo Dancing Competition (Yamato River riverbanks, Kashiwara city)
August 8 A court dance under torch light (Shitennoji Temple)
August 11 - 12 Osaka Takigi Noh (Ikukunitama Shrine)
※Noh drama under torch light
August 13 - 16 Urabon-e (Shitennoji Temple)
※A mystical candle light service to honor ancestors
August 24 Gangara Fire Festival

Autumn

September
First Saturday, Sunday Hikohachi Festival (Ikukunitama Shrine)
※A fan appreciation festival dedicated to Hikohachi Yonezawa, one of the pioneers of Kamigata rakugo, including outdoor stalls and an open-air stage
One week in early-September Osaka Classic (Midosuji area)
※A classical music event with various concerts around Midosuji
August 15 of the Lunar Calendar Moon viewing event (Osaka Temmangu Shrine, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine)
The first and second days prior to the third Monday Kishiwada Danjiri Festival (around Kishiwada and Haruki stations on Nankai Railway)
September 20 - 26 Autumnal Higan-e (Shitennoji Temple)
October
Second Monday Dango Tea Ceremony (Tamatsukuri Shrine)
※Tea party associated with Taiko Hideyoshi
One week in early-October World Super Junior Tennis Championship (Utsubo Sports Center)
※Competition between up-and-coming tennis stars
early-October Midosuji Kappo (Yodoyabashi, Shimbashi)
※Midosuji Street is open for pedestrians
mid-October to mid-November Osaka Castle Chrysanthemum Festival (Osaka Castle Park)
Osaka City Chrysanthemum Fair (Tennoji Park)
late-October Aqua Metropolis Osaka Festival (various locations including Nakanoshima Park and Hachikenyahama)
※Celebrating Osaka’s waterways with boat rides, guided walks and more Osaka Marathon (INTEX Osaka, etc.)
November
early-November A special viewing of the Important Cultural Properties Sengan Yagura and Tamon Yagura (castle turrets) (Osaka Castle Park)
early-November for approx. 3 weeks Bunraku performance (National Bunraku Theatre)
November 22 - 23 Shinno Festival (Sukunahikona Shrine)
※Festival where people come to collect a lucky papier-mache tiger
mid-November to early-December Peak autumn leaf viewing (various locations: Osaka Castle Park, Amanosan Kongoji Temple, Minoh, Settsukyo Gorge Park)

Winter

December
December 14 Gishi-sai Festival (Kisshoji Temple)
middle-December for approx. 2 weeks Osaka Hikari-Renaissance (Nakanoshima area)
※The Nakanoshima area glows with an illumination of lights
mid-December to mi-January Midosuji Illumination (Midosuji, Yodoyabashi intersection - Shimbashi intersection approx. 1.9km)
December 25 Sacred Rice-Straw Hawser Hanging Ritual (Hiraoka Shrine, Higashiosaka city)
January
December 31 - January 1 First shrine visits on New Year’s Day (various sites in the city)
※New Year’s Eve bell ringing at Shitennoji Temple and New Year’s Day first shrine visits on at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine and other locations
January 3 for approx. 3 weeks New Year Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theatre)
January 7 White Horse Shinto Ritual (Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine)
※A ritual based on a traditional belief that seeing a white horse on New Year’s Day is a sign of good luck
January 9 -11 Ten-day Ebisu (Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, Horikawa Ebisu Shrine)
※One of Osaka’s signature festivals where people pray for good business in the year to come
January 14 Doya-doya (Shitennoji Temple)
※A unique festival where young men compete vigorously to lay hold of a talisman
third Sunday Tug-of-War Ritual (Namba Yasaka Shrine)
※A rope shaped like a large serpent is pulled to forecast the fortune of the year
last Sunday Osaka Women’s Marathon (Nagai Stadium)
February
February 3 Setsubun (Abiko Kannon, various sites in the city)
※Spring starts on February 4 in the Japanese calendar. This event, held on the day before, features scattering of beans to ward off evil spirits and attract good fortune. See people in costume roaming the shopping quarters of Kita and Minami.
mid-February to early-March Peak plum blossom period (Osaka Castle Park)
※Osaka Castle Park Plum Orchard is one of the best in the Kansai area.

SPRING

Spring sees the city carpeted in pink cherry blossoms.

SUMMER

Balmy nights come alive with stunning fireworks. Summer is firecracker season.

AUTUMN

Maple trees are ablaze in spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red.

WINTER

The city covered in a fine dusting of snow is a rare, but lovely, sight.

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