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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Festivals & Events

Tenjin Festival 天神祭

Osaka's premier summer festival—floats, rituals, dance, fireworks and bonfires on boats

The Tenjin Matsuri is a sensational summer festival in Osaka full of rituals, dance and music and featuring a procession of portable shrines on land by day and a land and floating river procession by night, culminating in a dazzling fireworks display that lasts for an hour and a half.

This raucous festival is over a thousand years old, and honors Sugawara Michizane, the Japanese deity of scholarship and learning. It is considered a quintessentially Osakan celebration.

Quick Facts

The festival began in the year 951 at Tenmangu Shrine

On the night of July 25, a 100-boat parade floats down the Okawa River

The Tenjin Matsuri is considered one of Japan's top three festivals

How to Get There

The festival area can be reached by train and taxi.

The nearest stations to the festival area are JR Osaka-Tenmangu Station and Minami-Morimachi Station on the Tanimachi and Sakaisuji subway lines.

The festival is centered around Osaka Tenmangu Shrine and the Okawa River.

On July 24, the opening rituals take place at Tenmangu Shrine, a six-minute walk from Minami-Morimachi subway station on the Tanimachi subway line.

On July 25, the procession starts from Tenmangu Shrine and heads to the Okawa River, where the portable shrines are loaded onto boats from the Nakanoshima Park area. The area is an easy walk from the shrine.

Sacred rituals and drumbeats

The Tenjin Matsuri begins on July 24 with rituals at the shrine and river, a shishimai lion dance, and prayers for Osaka's safety and prosperity. When the preparations are complete, men in red hats begin playing drums, signaling the start of the festivities.

The festival is centered around the god of learning, Sugawara Michizane, enshrined at Tenmangu. He is moved from the shrine to a portable shrine and carried through the streets, before being taken on a cruise of the city to ensure Osaka's prosperity.

The big procession begins

Starting at 3:30 p.m. on the second day, traditional floats and portable shrines—along with characters in costumes, lion dancers, umbrella dancers and other performers—pack the streets of Tenjimbashi and Nakanoshima throughout the afternoon, led by the drummers in red hats.

You can watch the massive procession carrying mikoshi floats down the street in late afternoon in the vicinity of Osaka City Central Public Hall.

Tenjin Matsuri festivities

Into the night with traditional performances, food, bonfires and fireworks

The highlight of the festival is the evening boat procession carrying the mikoshi, portable shrines, on the river in illuminated boats, with bonfires on some of the craft. You can put on a yukata and geta and join in if you like, because Osakans are friendly sorts.

You'll also see traditional noh and bunraku plays performed on floating stages. The captivating fireworks show over the Okawa River in the evening signal the end of the procession, after which the mikoshi are taken back to Tenmangu Shrine.

There are thousands of festival food stalls set up along the river to satisfy the throngs of hungry festival-goers.

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