It is often said that the events in Osaka mark the passage of time through the year like a clock. Regardless of the month people visit, there is always something exciting happening in the big city. Wether it be a seasonal must-see, like cherry blossom viewing, the autumn leaves, or a yearly festival like the Tenjin Matsuri and the various small festivities happening at local shrines and temples, there is plenty to do. Being in a metropolis offers a great chance to see traditional events, but also music, contemporary art, comedy and theatre, sport and a great selection for the family to do together. If you’d like to dig around to see what’s on offer, use the handy search function, or browse the list below.


Spring is Sumo season in Osaka, and one of the six major tournaments held throughout Japan occurs at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in March. Film buffs should keep an eye out for the Osaka Asian Film Festival, an excellent collection of films from Japan’s international neighbours. The cherry blossom viewing festivals at the end of March herald the beginning of school and a new fiscal year starting in April: the Japan Mint Bureau’s cherry blossom walk has been running for more than 120 years and is the crown jewel of the area. The weather in May and June bring flowers with them: rose garden viewing opens in Nagai Botanical Gardens, Nakanoshima Park, Utsubo Park and Tsurumi Ryoukuchi Park, and if you’ve had enough of that, Irises await you at the Shirokita Gardens.


The traditional spectacle of O-Taue Shinji (a rice planting ceremony) at Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrine in June has been designated an important intangible folk heritage, and not to be missed if you’re into history and culture. A more lively and fun festival in the same month is the Aizen Festival at Shoman-in Temple, where women clad in summer yukata are paraded on long palanquins to the delight of yearning bachelors. July brings Osaka’s Tenjin Matsuri Festival with it—a mammoth of an event, and one of the biggest in Japan. Deities from the nearby shrine are paraded up and down the river and everyone drinks, eats and has a great time, with the night ending in fireworks.


Over 20 years in existence, Dance Delight, an annual street dance competition, attracts competitors from overseas to the stage to compete for the grand prize. The seasonal moon viewing festivals in September are best viewed at either Osaka Tenmangu and Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrines, where the event have become spectacle. The world Super Junior Tennis Championships are held at the Utsubo Tennis Center in October, and the Osaka Marathon held later the same month, with the course going right through the city past a number of great scenic spots. The Japanese maple trees burst into colour at the end of November, with visitors flocking to Minoh Falls, one of the best places to see them.


Short days and chilly evenings in December would normally have people staying indoors, but in Osaka everyone heads out to see the various Illuminations around the city; a good example being the Osaka Hikari Renaissance Festival which brings light to the Nakanoshima and Midosuji Areas. Everyone heads to their local shrine on January 1st to make their first prayers for the year, some from 12:00 midnight, and trains run all night on new years to ferry people across the city. For something more light hearted, check out the Doya-Doya festival, a unique festival where men clad in only loincloths wrestle to grab banknotes said to bring good luck as they are splashed with cold water. The Plum Blossom Viewing at Osaka Castle Park marks the end of winter.

Event Guide December 2017

What's going on in Osaka this month??
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2018 Osaka Half Marathon

Competition for marathon enthusiasts on Naniwa (Osaka) Road. Please give them hearty cheers at the venue.
PLACE : ■Start Osaka Castle Park East side (Tamatsukuri-suji)   ■Finish Yanmar Stadium Nagai
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The 37th Osaka International Women's Marathon

Annual big race. Top domestic and international runners race along the "Naniwa Road".
PLACE : Nagai Stadium, Osaka city (Yanmar Stadium Nagai)
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Tug-of-war Shinto ritual

Fortune telling event of Namba Yasaka Jinja Shrine. A 29m rope modeled after a huge snake is pulled from both ends. Winners will receive a year of happiness.
PLACE : Namba Yasaka Jinja Shrine
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Exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of the museum opening
"Travelers: Stepping into the Unknown"

The special exhibition is being held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
PLACE : The National Museum of Art, Osaka
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Choco-Run 2018 Osaka

A unique and sweet running event where you run while eating delicious chocolate!
PLACE : Hattori Ryokuchi Park Sports Hiroba A, and special course in the park
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Universal-Cool Japan 2018

An event where you can enjoy a realistic experience of the world view of Japan's proud "cool" entertainment brand.
PLACE : Universal Studio Japan®
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Yu Noen Farm Muratake Strawberry picking

All you can eat sweet and fragrant strawberries grown with minimal pesticide.
PLACE : Yu Noen Farm Muratake
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Agricultural Garden Tawawa Strawberry picking

You can enjoy picking large and sweet "Akihime" at the Agricultural Garden Tawawa.
PLACE : Agricultural Garden Tawawa
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One of the three major Japanese unusual festivals carried on in Shitennoji Temple. A spectacular contest by crowds of semi-naked young men, praying for good luck in the year ahead.
PLACE : Shitennoji Temple
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Osaka Tondo Festival

Largest class Tondo festival in Osaka. Also designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage of the city.
PLACE : Senritenjin Shrine
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Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine Ichiebisu Taikokusha annual festival "Ebessan" 

Worshipped by business people as "Ebessan of Sumiyoshi".
PLACE : Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
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White Horse Shinto ritual

Shinto ritual at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine when a white horse, the servant of the gods, makes a circuit around the shrine grounds to expel evil spirits.
PLACE : Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine In front of First Main Shrine
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Railway Expo 2018

Various types of "rail fans" can enjoy themselves to their heart's content over the three days!
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Strawberry Farm Haru, Strawberry Picking

Enjoy Asuka Ruby strawberries, a variety called "red jewel," in all-you-can-eat style for 1 hour, with free drinks and sweet treats of cakes and ice cream. Large, juicy strawberries are ready to be picked.
PLACE : Strawberry Farm Haru
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Shimenawa-age (Raising of sacred shrine rope)

The town in charge of bearing portable shrine at the summer festival of the year carry Shimenawa rope on their Danjiri for dedication.
PLACE : Kumata Shrine
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Harvest Hill, Strawberry Picking

Enjoy three varieties of strawberries in all-you-can-eat style, with no time limit.
PLACE : Harvest Hill
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1000 times rice cake pounding

Young men with upright pestles pound rice cake in time to the music.
PLACE : Mizuma-dera Temple
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Senbonzuki mochitsuki (1,000-time rice cake pounding)

Young men wielding vertical pestles perform acrobatic rice pounding along with music.
PLACE : Mizumadera Temple
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Ritual of holy water, New Year's Day celebration

Ritual of drawing and dedicating holy water, which is believed to banish evil spirits and rejuvenate the self.
PLACE : Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
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