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 May 2017

What's going on in Osaka this month??
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Osaka Marathon 2017

32,000 runners run through the city of Osaka, divided into seven rainbow theme colors.
PLACE : Start: Osaka Castle Park, Finish: INTEX Osaka
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Daigaku Festival

See a rare Daigaku with 79 lanterns dangling on the 20m tall pole only at Ikune Shrine.
PLACE : Ikune Shrine
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Collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen "The Tower of Babel" and Great 16th Century Masters

"Tower of Babel", one of the masterpieces of Peter Bruegel, who is a painter representing the 16th century Nederland painting, is exhibited in Japan after an interval of 24 years.
PLACE : The National Museum of Art, Osaka
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Summer Festival at Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine

The festival that showcases local talent...
PLACE : Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine
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Taikodai Festival

A festival in the Sensyu area featuring a big procession.
PLACE : Kanda Jinja Shrine
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Fête de la Musique

A world music concert featuring musical instruments and performers from all over the globe.
PLACE : National Museum of Ethnology
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Rice Planting Ritual

Designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset, this ritual is held in fields of Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine to pray for a rich harvest.
PLACE : Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
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Iris festival at Suigetsu Park

60 kinds of 6,000 irises will be in bloom around from the late May to the mid- June.
PLACE : Suigetsu Park
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One Million People's Candle Night @OSAKA CITY 2017 Summer Nishi-Umeda Night

Turn off the electric lights; light candles instead. On Candle Night, candles will replace neon lights in one of Osaka's busiest areas.
PLACE : Nishi-Umeda venue
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Hydrangea viewing at Ikasuri Shrine

Colorful hydrangea flowers announce the coming of early summer. Some 200 hydrangea plants decorate the shrine precincts.
PLACE : Ikasuri Shrine
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Hydrangea at Katsuo-ji Temple

The huge number of the hydrangea creates a beautiful scene in the rain season.
PLACE : Katsuo-ji Temple
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Chimaki Festival

Regular big festival at Hochigai Jinja. Special ritual to offer Chimaki in to be distributed in the year in the shrine.
PLACE : Hochigai Jinja Shrine
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Osaka Local Sake Tenma Grand Sake Ceremony

Tasting of refined local sake, crafted by 14 different sake breweries of Osaka.
PLACE : Osaka Amenity Park Special Event Site
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CRAFT BEER LIVE brings craft beer breweries from around Kansai together for a 2-day event held in Osaka.
PLACE : Minatomachi River Place
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Lilies Garden at Maishima

2.5 million lilies blooming along Osaka Bay!
PLACE : Osaka Maishima Lilies Garden
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Firefly viewing night at Expo Park

Firefly viewing is one of the delights of early summer. Enjoy the beautiful light emitted by Genji-botaru (Luciola cruciata) and Heike-botaru (Luciola lateralis), the most common firefly species in Japan.
PLACE : Expo Park
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Japanese iris garden public open

About 150,000 Japanese irises are in bloom.
PLACE : Yamadaike Park
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The 'Belgian Beer Weekend' is Japan's finest beer event, returning to Osaka for the 7th time with 88 different Belgian beers.
PLACE : Shin Umeda City (Wonder Square)
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NTN presents 20th Tour of Japan

The largest bicycle road race in Japan will be celebrating 20th anniversary this year!
PLACE : Daisen Park
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