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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Savor Farm Grape Picking

Grape picking from over 1,000 vines.
PLACE : Tondabayashi City Agricultural Park (Savor Farm)
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Aizen Festival

Summer festival at Aizen-san, a temple devoted to a god of love and marriage. It is also called Yukata Festival, because people begin wearing yukata summer kimono at this time of the year. This festival has been designated as a cultural property by Osaka city on 3rd of March, 2015. It is a lively festival with 250 stalls open from early evening.
PLACE : Shoman-in Aizen-do (Aizen-san)
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Grape Picking in Habikino

You can pick and eat as many seasonal fresh grapes as you want!!
PLACE : Korokoro Fureai Park
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Takaishi Seaside Festival 2017

The earliest festival in Osaka that fireworks to be set off!!
PLACE : Hamadera Park
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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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Hydrangea Promenade

Over 25,000 hydrangea plants bloom along the 1.5km Hydrangea Promenade.
PLACE : Nukata Picnic Site
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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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Japanese traditional comic storytelling: Tennojimura-yose English Rakugo Part 13

English-language version of the traditional Japanese comic storytelling known as Rakugo.
PLACE : Sanno fukushi Kaikan
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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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Shirokita Park Fair

With the opening of the iris garden in the park, Shirokita Park Fair will be held!
PLACE : Shirokita Park
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Firefly viewing night at Namba parks

In the urban oasis of Osaka, you can enjoy the fantastic scenery of firefly flashing.
PLACE : Seseragi no Mori, Namba Parks
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Hydrangea Festival at Commemorative Park

30 kinds of 4,000 hydrangeas will highlight the Commemorative park livelily.
PLACE : Natural and Cultural Gardens - Ajisai no mori, Sakura no nagare
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Umeda Tanabata

Enjoy summer in Umeda Tanabata, recreating the Tanabata Festival of Sendai.
PLACE : Umeda Sky Building
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