Full of Limited Time Fun! Five Things to Do in Osaka in the Summer
Osaka is full of specialty food and tourist destinations that you cannot miss. And many of them can only be experienced during a particular season. Here are five ways to experience the appeal of Osaka in the summer!
Check out the Tenjin Festival, which is one of Japan's three great festivals. It is the annual festival of Osaka Tenmangu during which there are sacred rituals and food and game stalls.
On the 25th, which is the Hongu (main day) of the festival, you can watch the Rikutogyo, a parade of approximately 3,000 people clad in brilliant costumes carrying portable shrines. In addition, on Okawa, a river that runs near Tenmangu, there is a Funatogyo, a parade of approximately 100 boats including those figuratively carrying deities and Dondokosen (boats that proceed while playing taiko drums and gongs). Also, be sure not to miss the climax of the festival, the Hono Hanabi, a display of approximately 3,000 fireworks.
Event dates: July 24 - July 25
Sumiyoshi Festival, which is the last of the summer festivals in Osaka, is also recommended. It is held at Sumiyoshi Taisha and is an event to purify the entire city of Osaka.
On July 31, the main day of the festival, a "Natsugoshi-no-Harae Shinji" ritual is held in which women and children in medieval costumes go through a large ring made of thatch. The general public is welcome to participate in this ritual, which is held to wish for good health. There is a festive atmosphere for three days starting on July 30, with a variety of amusement facilities, such as a ghost house, and stalls with food and games set up. On Marine Day, a ritual in which the portable shrine is purified with seawater to pray for safety on the seas is held, and on August 1, there is a parade called Mikoshitogyo in which the portable shrine is carried.
Event dates: Marine Day (third Monday of July), July 30 - August 1
Enjoy an Iconic Osaka Summer Festival - Sumiyoshi Festival
Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival is an annual fireworks show held in the middle of Osaka in early August. It is an exciting show held with the skyscrapers in the background.
The highlight is the underwater fireworks that spread in a semicircle on the surface of the water. The program includes other exciting, dynamic fireworks such as large fireworks that are shot up in rapid succession and combinations of various fireworks of different heights. You won't be able to take your eyes off the beautiful show lighting up the summer night. The fireworks can be enjoyed from both banks of Yodo River.
Event date: August 5
If you get tired of the heat, why not take a ride on an aqua bus to cool yourself down and enjoy views of the city from the water?
There are various courses, including the Aqua-Liner (1,700 JPY/adult, 850 JPY/child (elementary school)), which circles Okawa, where the Tenjin Festival is held. The highlights are Osaka Castle and various retro buildings. The Aqua Mini cruise (1,200 JPY/adult, 600 JPY/child (elementary school)) runs between Okawa and Dotonbori, which flows through the bustling city center. It is a 50-minute, one-way ride on which you can enjoy scenery representative of Osaka.
Another fun thing to do in the summer is to go to a beer garden that opens in places such as building rooftops. The recommended beer garden is the Umehan Beer Garden Marche in the main store of Hankyu Department Store in Umeda. You can comfortably enjoy food and beer in a liberating space on the rooftop.
During the summer of 2017, they are serving food and drinks evoking uniquely Japanese scenes such as summer festivals under the theme of Japonism Beer Marche. There is also a wide selection of dishes served buffet style, including their signature roast chicken. The price is 3,980 JPY (120 minutes) for the standard plan.
*The image is for illustrative purposes only
Enjoy Beer in a Beer Garden
These events are all within Osaka and are easily accessible, so be sure to check them out.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.