Festivals & Events
Japan lives on rice. Accompanying almost every meal, specific regional varieties are lauded for their subtle differences in taste and consistency. Whether or not you’re a fan of the grain, rice planting season is a fascinating and beautiful period. Open fields are filled knee deep with water, with green stalks of rice slowly emerging from the surface.
Witness the rice-planting rituals of the Otaue Rice Planting Festival on June 14 at Osaka's Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, and learn how rice was planted centuries ago in Japan.
From Tennoji Station, walk to adjacent Tennoji Ekimae Station and take the Hankaidenki Hankai line to Sumiyoshitorii-mae Station. You will arrive next to Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, where the festival is held in June.
Oxen, harnessed to wooden plows, first till the fields. Priests then perform a purification ritual and distribute the seedlings. Dressed in traditional garb, festival participants begin to plant the seeds, all while a variety of rituals, dances, and songs are performed. You will also witness a procession of Japanese dressed in full samurai garb.
The rice planting festival is held on the grounds of Osaka's Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, a worthwhile destination in itself. The shrine is one of few in Japan that was built prior to the influence of mainland Asia.