Osaka events

Guide to Top 10 Must-See Events in Osaka / Hyogo, February 2018

Osaka and Hyogo are popular tourist destinations with plenty of historical sites as well as cutting-edge attractions. Furthermore, Osaka and Hyogo are easily accessible from areas like Kyoto and Nagoya. The populous Osaka and Hyogo areas also host numerous events. In this article, we’ll introduce sightseeing spots, festivals, and art events in the Kansai area.

Traditional Festivals

1. [Osaka] Naritasan Fudoson Setsubun Festival – February 3, 2018

Mamemaki is a bean scattering ritual held on setsubun or the day before the start of spring in Japan. Such events are performed across Japan, but the mamemaki at Naritasan is particularly famous and well-attended by various luminaries. The ritual is performed upon a 150-meter long stage, which holds a super-sized wooden box containing the beans. The beans are scattered, while praying for traffic safety and dispelling any troubles before the start of spring, which commences the following day. The mamemaki at Naritasan is known for abbreviating the bean scattering call from “demons out, luck in” to just “luck in”. Reason being, Fudo Myoo (a Buddhist god) is said to convert demons with his presence. Two types of mamemaki are held during this day: the Tsuina and Shofuku mamemaki rituals. Fukumame or lucky beans are scattered during the Shofuku mamemaki. Anyone can participate in this event, regardless of birth year.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

February 3, 2018 (Sat.)

1st run starts at 10:30. Note that only invitees can scatter the beans.

2nd run at 12:00; 3rd run at 13:00; 4th run at 14:00, 5th run at 15:00.

The 3rd and 5th performances are Tsuina mamemaki and the 2nd and 4th performances are Shofuku mamemaki ceremonies.

Access and Address

・Location

Naritasan Fudoson

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

15-minutes by foot from Korien station on Keihan Main Line

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

40 minutes from Osaka station on Kanjo Line (outer circle) / Keihan Main Line

・Address           10-1 Narita Nishimachi, Neyagawa-shi, Osaka Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation Policy

Free and reservations are not required.

Website

http://www.osaka-naritasan.or.jp/

2. [Osaka] Tsutenkaku Setsubun Mamemaki February 1, 2018


Source: youtube

A mamemaki event will be held at Tsutenkaku, the symbol of Osaka. Tsutenkaku is located in Shinsekai, an area that attracts throngs of tourists from around the world. The event will be in its 62nd year come 2018 and is held to bring happiness and prosperity to the citizens of Osaka. Various luminaries are invited to this event, which takes place in the first floor of Tsutenkaku. 5000 bags, which equates to 100 kilograms of beans, will be scattered at the event. Visitors will get a first-hand feel of the local culture and energy that characterizes Osaka. While visiting Tsutenkaku, we also recommend trying kushi katsu or deep-fried sticks of meat and vegetables; there are countless restaurants serving kushi katsu in Shinsekai. We suggest exploring the area with a kushi katsu in hand, after attending the event at Tsutenkaku.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

February 1, 2018 (Thursday) from 10 AM

Access and Address

・Location

Tsutenkaku 1st floor hall

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

3 minutes on foot from Ebisu-cho station Exit 3 on Sakaisuji subway line

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

20 minutes from Osaka station on Osaka Kanjo Line

・Address           1-18-6 Ebisu Higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation Policy

Free and reservations are not required.

Separate admission required for access to the observation deck.

Website

http://www.tsutenkaku.co.jp/

3. [Hyogo] Ikuta Shrine Setsubun Festival     February 3, 2018


Source: Minnano Kobe

Ikuta Shrine, which is located in central Kobe, celebrates Wakahirumeno Mikoto, a goddess and sister of Amaterasu Omikami, who in turn is worshipped at Isejingunaigu. Ikuta Shrine is an old shrine that has protected neighboring residents since ancient times. Accordingly, large crowds gather at Ikuta Shrine’s setsubun festival. At the event, 100 lucky men and women will scatter beans from a special tower. Attendees include shrine staff, cute mascots, and celebrities, among many others. In addition to mamemaki, a concert and mochi pounding will be performed at the event.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

February 3, 2018 (Sat.)

Festival starts at 13:45

Mamemaki ritual starts at 14:00

Access and Address

・Location

Ikuta Shrine

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

6-minute walk from Sannomiya station

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

Tokaido Sanyo Line from Kobe station. 10-minute walk.

・Address           1-2-1 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

Free and reservations are not required

Website

https://ikutajinja.or.jp/

4. [Hyogo] 2018 Nankin-machi Shunsetsu Festival      February 16, 2018 through February 18, 2018


Source: kisspress

Chinese people celebrate the changing of seasons based on the Chinese calendar. One such celebration is the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Following this custom, the Chinatown in Hyogo, Nankin-machi, has celebrated the occasion since 1987, under the moniker of Shunsetsu Festival. In 1997, the festival was certified by Kobe city as an intangible cultural asset. The festival will showcase a parade and various events casting characters from the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, whom will be dressed in Chinese opera costumes. Additionally, Sannomiya Center Street and Motomachi Shopping Street will host a parade and Harborland will stage a lion dance. Visitors can also purchase a lottery ticket to win grand and limited-offer prizes. Shunsetsu Festival is a perfect opportunity to experience a Chinese festival while staying in Japan!

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

February 16, 2018 through February 18, 2018

From 11:00 to 20:00

Pre-event on February 11, 2018

Access and Address

・Location

Kobe city, Nankin-machi area

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

5-minute walk from Motomachi station

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

6 minutes from Kobe station on Tokaido / Sanyo Main Line / on foot

・Address           1 and 2 Sakaemachidori / 1 and 2 Motomachidori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

Free and reservations are not required

Website

http://www.nankinmachi.or.jp/

5. [Hyogo] Nakayama Temple Star Festival Setsubun  February 3, 2018


Source: Kobe Newspaper

Nakayama temple will host a traditional ceremony, known as tsuinashiki, to admonish troubles for the upcoming year. While other temples in Japan also host similar rituals, the ceremony at Nakayama temple is a unique and modern interpretation of the original. The famed Takarazuka group (an all-female theater troupe) musically reenact the story of Kannon transforming three demons (Ton, Jin, and Chi) into benevolent gods (Fuku, Roku, and Ju). The show is staged twice during the afternoon. A mamemaki ritual featuring Takarazuka actresses and various famed men from the Kansai region as the “lucky women and men” will be performed on the day. Additionally, a star luck ceremony will be performed to celebrate the lucky star for that year and provide protection for those facing bad luck. Attendees of the star luck ceremony will receive a lucky charm.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

February 3, 2018 (Sat.)

From 13:00 and 15:00

Access and Address

・Location

Nakayama temple

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

1-minute walk from Nakayama Kannon station

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

30 minutes from Osaka station on Hankyu Takarazuka Line

・Address           2-11-1 Nakayamadera, Takarazuka-shi, Hyogo Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

No admission fee.

No need to reserve.

Website

http://www.nakayamadera.or.jp/

Modern Art Events

6. [Hyogo] Tadanori Yokoo HANGA JUNGLE: November 18, 2017 through February 4, 2018


Source: Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art

Tadanori Yokoo is a Japanese artist, most known for creating a set of colorful posters with erotic and mystical iconography for underground theaters during the 1960s. It is said that Yokoo initiated a trend of graphism, earning a place as one of the leaders of Japanese culture. While Yokoo is most known for his paintings, he is also a prominent creator of hanga artworks. The exhibit is titled HANGA JUNGLE – “HANGA” standing for Yokoo’s “hyper-hanga” pieces and “JUNGLE” symbolizing the diversity of Yokoo’s expressions and imagery for the exhibit. Yokoo’s hanga pieces fill the exhibition walls, conjuring images of the jungle and showcasing his unique creativity.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

November 18, 2017~Februrary 4, 2018

10AM to 6PM

Fridays and Saturdays close is 20:00 (excluding December 29th and 30th). Last entry is 30 minutes before close.

Access and Address

・Location

Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

6-minute walk from Oji Koen station

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

Tokaido, Sanyo Main Line from Kobe station. Walk 15 minutes

・Address           3-8-30 Haradori, Nada-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

General admission 700 yen; university students 550 yen; over 70 350 yen; high school students and younger enter free.

Reservations are not required.

Website

http://www.ytmoca.jp/

7. [Hyogo] Special Exhibit “Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston): Masterpieces from the East and West / Celebrated Collection”          October 28, 2017 through February 4, 2018


Source: kokosil Ueno

The Kobe City Museum will exhibit select pieces from the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)’s famed art collection. The exhibit will feature 80 pieces of art from the Western and Eastern Hemispheres, including artwork from ancient Egypt, China, Japan, France (including Monet), and America. An assortment of media, such as paintings, hanga, and photographs, will be represented at the exhibit. Highlights of the exhibit are the two portraits of the Roulin couple and the large-scale depiction of Buddha’s achievement of nirvana produced by Hanabusa Itcho, a renowned artist from the Edo era. The latter piece is making a homecoming after 170 years abroad and extensive restoration. It is a rare opportunity to see celebrated artworks from around the world.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

October 28 (Sat.), 2018 through February 4 (Sun.), 2018

9:30-17:30; Saturdays close at 19:00

November 24, December 22, and January 26 closes at 21:00 (last entry is 30 minutes before close)

*Closed Mondays (open on January 8, as an exception), December 29 through January 1, and January 9.

Access and Address

・Location

Kobe City Museum

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

10-minute walk from Motomachi station East Exit.

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

Tokaido / Sanyo Main Line from Kobe station. Walk 11 minutes.

・Address           24 Kyomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

General admission 1,500 yen; university students 1,100; high school students 900 yen, elementary and middle school students 600 yen

Reservations are not required

Website

http://boston2017-18.jp/

Cultural and Historical Events

8. [Osaka] Shitennoji New Spring Treasure Exhibit    January 1, 2018 through February 4, 2018

Shitennoji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, is hosting a treasure exhibit in its treasure house. The 2018 exhibit is titled “Shitennoji Reiin – History of the Temple Worshipping Prince Shotoku Taishi” and showcases a variety of treasures celebrating Prince Shotoku, including a statue of the prince. Additionally, the exhibit aims to educate visitors on the history of Shitennoji Reiin, which is a special place for those that worship Prince Shotoku. From January 1 to 15, the exhibit will showcase a national treasure, “Senmen Hokekyo Sasshi”. Note that visitors cannot park in the temple from midday on January 14th, January 21st, and January 22nd, so look for parking in the vicinity if you are driving. Note that there is a lot of traffic in the area around new year’s.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

January 1, 2018 through February 4, 2018

8:30 to 16:00 (January 21: 8:00 to 16:30)

Last entry is 20 minutes before close

Access and Address

・Location

Shitennoji Treasure House

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

5-minute walk from Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka station Exit 4 on Tanimachi subway line.

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

30 minutes by foot and train on Tanimachi Line from Osaka station.

・Address           1-11-18 Shitennoji, Shitennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

Admission to treasure house: adults 500 yen; university and high school students 300 yen; free admission for middle school students and younger

Reservations are not required

Website

http://www.shitennoji.or.jp/

Family Events

9. [Osaka] Ghibli Architecture Exhibition      December 2, 2017 through February 5, 2018


Source: Studio Ghibli

The event, which is hosted at Abeno Harukas Art Museum, will showcase the architecture appearing in Studio Ghibli’s animations. The architecture from the Ghibli works are simultaneously fantastic and realistic. Some examples include the “Abura-ya” from Spirited Away, Raputa Castle, and Howl’s Moving Castle. The exhibit will feature large-scale pictures, art boards, production drafts, and 3D replicas of architecture from Ghibli works starting from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind to When Marnie Was There. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Studio Ghibli.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term

December 2, 2017 through February 5, 2018

10:00-20:00

Last entry is 30 minutes before close

Closed December 4, December 11, and January 1.

Access and Address

・Location

Abeno Harukas Art Museum

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

Immediately by Tennoji station on JR / Midosuji subway line.

Immediately by Osaka Abenobashi station on Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line.

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

20 minutes from Osaka station on JR Osaka Kanjo Line.

・Address           1-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture; Abeno Harukas 16th floor

・Map

Admission and Reservation

General admission 1,500 yen; university and high school students 1,100; middle and elementary school students 500 yen

Website

http://www.ytv.co.jp/ghibli2017/

Nature Events

10. [Osaka] Signal of Spring Bonbai Exhibit  February 6, 2018 through February 18, 2018


Source: Kawachinagano Tourism Blog Web Site

The Osaka Garden of Flower Culture is located in Tako, Kawachinagano-shi, Osaka prefecture. Countless seasonal flowers bloom in the 10-hectare garden. The garden also includes a green-house where visitors can study various flowers and greenery. The garden is a perfect destination for botanical enthusiasts with the garden providing free guided tours and gardening classes taught by professionals. On the weekend, the garden hosts various events. In February, the 300 plum trees, comprising 130 different varieties, will bloom and the garden will concurrently host a bonbai exhibit. Bonbai is a plum tree sculpted into the form of a bonsai. The mini plum trees also blossom and emanate the luscious aroma of plum. We suggest attending this event to get an early taste of spring!

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

・Scheduled Programs During Event Term)

February 6, 2018 (Tues.) through February 18, 2018 (Sun.)

10:00-17:00 (last entry is 16:00)

Closed on February 13, 2018.

Access and Address

・Location

Osaka Garden of Flower Culture

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station

15-minute walk from Kamitako bus stop on Nankai bus

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station

1 hour and 20 minutes on Osaka Kanjo Line, Nankai Koya Line, bus, and foot from Osaka station

・Address           2292-1 Tako, Kawachinagano-shi, Osaka Prefecture

・Map

Admission and Reservation

Adults 540 yen; high school students 220 yen; free admission for middle school students and younger

Reservations are not required

Website

http://gfc-osaka.com

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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.