I am developing a map of the various annual festivals in the Kansai area. The dates of the events reflect the date that they were previously held, for many events these dates will be changed to coincide with weekends and holidays. However, you can get an idea of when these events occur in a seasonal sense.
The markers on the map indicate which time of year the festivals occurs. So similar icons occur around the same time of year. Please comment and recommend other festivals or ideas for the map.
- Toshiya - Late January, around Jan 27, morning to afternoon - archery event at Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto.
- Tsunahiki -3rd Sunday of January, morning time - Namba Yasaka Shrine. Giant snake made of rope is paraded around the Namba area.
- Hoekago - Jan. 10 - A parade in the Dotonbori area.
- Doya Doya - Boys in loinclothes clamor to get lucky charms at Shitennoji Temple.
- Tondo bonfire - around Jan. 15 after sunset- at Kamishindenten Shrine near Senri Chuo station.
- Wild Boar Festival - Jan.25th, 10am-3:30pm - at Sasayama Castle
- Kayu ura shinji - Around Jan.11 - Red bean prridge is used to predict the fortune for the coming year.
- Touka Ebisu Festival - 1/9-1/11 - Festival for the god of prosperity.
- New Year's Firefighters demonstration - Early January - near Trade Center Mae station.
- Automesse - Around Feb. 14 - A large car show at INTEX, near Nakafuto station inn Osaka.
- Otaimatsu bonfire - March 16th, after sunset - Huge torches are lit to represent the passing of the Buddha.
- Ikeda Cherry Blossom Festival - around April 9 - lanterns are placed around the park.
- Embu Taikai - 5/3-5/5 - Kendo event at the Budo Center in Kyoto.
- Kamo Kurabe Uma Horse Race Ritual - 5/5 - at Kamigamo shrine in Kyoto
- Aoi Festival - 5/16 - parade of people in historic costues that marches from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Shrine.
- 1,000,000 Candles - Around 6/10 - Artists set up candle light exhibits around Umeda.
- Amagawa - 7/7, after sunset - 50,000 LED balls illuminate the river.
- 7/1- Ice lanterns will be in display at Nara's Himuro Shrine. Near Kintetsu Nara Station.
7/2. 10:30a-9pm. Tatsuta Shrine handheld fireworks show. Near JR Sango (near Oji) station in Nara Prefecture. Fireworks start at 9pm.
6/30-7/2. 10a-4p. Kyoto Pulse Plaza Antique Fair.
7/1-7/2 to about 4:30pm. Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Park Cosplay Day.
7/1, 7/9. 11a-4p. Farmers Market. Small Farmers Marche near Karasume Oike station in Kyoto.
7/1-7/2. "Reptiles Fever" exhibit at ATC.
Tanabata- The Star Festival 7/7
- Amanogawa- River lit by LED balls near Temmabashi station
- Shitennoji Tanabata tunnel. Near Shitennoji Yuhigaoka-mae station. 7/6-7/8.
- Hatamoto Shrine Tanabata. Near Tsuda station.
- Tezutsu- handheld fireworks. Fireworks at 7p but thr festival starts at 4:30/. Near Konan station.
- Umeda City Tanabata. Tanabata decorations at Umeda Sky Building until 8/8.
- Hoshiai (Star Lovers) matsuri at Osaka Tenmangu. Lights and music at the shrine. Near the Ananogawa LED location.
- Shiramine Jingu Shrine Tanabata Festival- kemari (a ball kicking game) played at 3pm. A group dance will be performed at 4pm. Horikawa Imadegawa bus stop in Kyoto.
- Kifune Shrine Water Festival. 10a-Noon. You will need to take a bus from Kifunguchi train station. Lanterns on display until 8pm.
- Kodai-ji Tanabata. Temple light-up until 9:30p. Bamboo tree decorations.
7/8-7/9. 10a-5p. [6th Annual] Namba Japanese Sword Fair.
7/8-8/28. 9:30-4:30p. Sumo and Japanese Swords exhibit at the Osaka History Museum. Near Tanimachi-4chome station. ,
7/11-7/12. 9a-11p. Ikutama Shrine Festival.
7/11-7/14. Kumata Shrine Summer Festival. A great place to see danjiri in Osaka. Near Hirano station. The main parade of danjiri will be on the 13th at 7pm.
7/13. 6:30p. Namba Yasaka Shrine to Dotombori river boat ride.
7/14. Nachi Ogi. Torches paraded to the famous waterfall in Wakayama prefecture.
7/14-8/16. Fun Fan Festa. The 5th floor of Osaka Station City.
7/15-17. Sea Shrine Summer Festival near Tarumi station. 7/16. 10a. Matsuno-o Onda Festival. Rice planting girls are paraded around the shrine on men's shoulders.
7/16-7/17. 10a-8p. Kobe Love Port Minato Matsuri in Meriken Park.
7/17. Summer Featival at Ofusa Kanon Temple. The temple will also have a wind chine festival from 7/1-8/31. Near JR Unebi station.
7/17. 10a-3p. Himeji Port Fureai Festival.
7/17 and 7/24. Gion Matsuri parades in Kyoto. 7/17 is the main event.
7/22- Cerezo Osaka soccer game against the Urawa Reds at Nagai stadium (near Nagai Station) at 7pm.
7/22- Shigaraki Fire Festival. Festival from 7pm. Fireworks at 9pm.
7/22- Mino Waterfall Candle Road 7p-9p.
7/22-23. 1pm-8pm. Umeda Yukata Matsuri at Grand Front next to Osaka Station. Look for tourism department surveyers who like to give out gifts to foreigners.
7/22-7/23. Motomiya and Yoimiya Festival. Hundreds of candles will decorate the hugely popular Fushi Inari shrine in Kyoto. Ceremoies will be 6pm on the 22nd and 9am on the 23rd.
7/22-7/30. 5:30p-9p. Mitarashi at Shimogamo Shrine. Walk through a stream at this shrine to offer prayer candles. Near Demachiyanagi station in Kyoto.
7/24. 4pm-10pm. 7/25. 12:30-10pm. Daigakku Festival at Tamane Shrine near Tamade train station. In this festival an array of lanterns resembling the mast of a sailboat is paraded around the park near the shrine.
7/24-7/25. Noon-8pm. Gochizan Rengenji Cucumber Purification Ritual. People write their names and ages on a cucumber then rub the cucumber over their bodies and bury it in the ground; this is done to ward off illness.
7/25. 9a-3p. Anraku-ji Temple Shishigatani Pumpkin Service. Cooked pumpkin is served to ward off illness (500 yen for entry and the pumpkin).
7/25. 9a-3p. Shinnyo-do Temple will display the contents of their treasury and serve tea (500 yen for admission and tea).
7/24-25. Wakayama Tenjin Matsuri.
7/25- Tenjin Matsuri. Osaka's largest festival. Parades and fireworks.
7/28. 7pm-?. Tanukidani Fudo-in Temple. Hi-watari fire-walking ritual.
7/29. 10a-9:30p. Amanogawa Tanabata Matsuri. Near Kisaichi station. Light up after 7pm.
7/29. 7:30-8:45p. Himeji Port fireworks.
7/29. 7:40pm. Kishiwada Port Festival Fireworks.
7/29-30. Kokawa Matsuri
7/30-8/1. Sumiyoshi Matsuri. August first there will be a parade in which the portable shrine is carried to the river for special cleansing ceremony. The shrine will have a summer festival from July 30th.
July 31. 1-9:30p. Sakai Fish Auction. Main event at 7pm. Check the website at yoich.com
7/31. 10a-7:30p. Anpara Matsuri. There will be fireworks after 7:30pm. Near Miwa station.
7/31. 9pm. Atago Shrine Sennichi Mairi shrine visit. Prayers for fire protection, with a special fire ceremony at 9pm. Near the Kiyotaki bus stop.
Late July- Birdman Rally. Engineering students attempt to fly their contraptions over Lake Biwa in Hikone. Shuttle bus from Hikone station.
Summer (?)- Tennoji night zoo.
Ukai - Cormorant Fishing. Leashed waterfowl and boats with fiery torches are used to catch river fish in this ancient practice.
7/1-9/23. 7-8pm. Ukai, cormorant fishing at Arashiyama.
7/1-9/30. Ukai on Nakanoshima in Uji. Near Uji station.
7/16-9/14. 9:30-9:45a. Summer Shikayose. Calling in the deer for feeding with French horn music.
- Floating Obon Candles - 8/16 - Candoes float down the river in honor of the spirits of ancestors. Near Hankyu-Arashiyama station.
- Yoshitsune Festival - 9/15 - martial arts demonstrations in honor of Yoshitsune, the famous samurai.
- Akashi Castle Festival - 10/12 - Dancing, music and food the castle near Akashi station.
- Bellows Ceremony - 11/8 - a small hunk of steel is forged at Ikutama Shrine near Uehonmachi station in Osaka.
- 47 Ronin Memorial - 12/14 - Martial arts demonstrations and children in costume in honor of the famously vengeful samurai.
If you are having trouble with the embedded map above, please click this link to go directly to the Google Map page.