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Sightseeing Spots × Osaka AreaPage: 1/3

Osaka Prefecture, Let's enjoy Plum Festival at Expo’70 Commemorative Park♪

Expo’70 Commemorative Park, in Osaka, is a lovely place overflowing with natural beauty. No matter the season, it is a place where you can enjoy beautiful flowers and trees.
Taking a leisurely walk through the park on a clear day is one of life’s finer pleasures.
This year’s plum festival will be held on February 18th, in Expo’70 Commemorative Park’s Natural Culture Park and Japanese garden.
The Natural Culture Park features around 600 plum trees of around 120 different varieties, while the Japanese garden has around 80 plum trees of 40 varieties. In both locations, you can enjoy a variety of plum blossoms, in colors like white, pink, and red.
Various events are scheduled during the festival period.

Nara Prefecture’s Todai-ji – Nigatsu-do Shuni-e

First held in the year 752, this event has been held every year without fail for over 1260 years!
Held by the temple’s monks in front of Nigatsu-do’s figure of the Eleven-Headed Kannon, the temple’s idol, the event exists to repent for the everyday sins of humanity and wish for everyone’s happiness.
This tradition is so old and familiar to the people of Nara that it is said that spring comes to Nara after Shuni-e ends.

World Heritage Site – Mt. Koya (Part 2) – Walking Around “Okunoin,” Mausoleum for Kobo Daishi

Wakayama Prefecture. After enjoying the autumn leaves at Kongobu-ji and enjoying sesame tofu and shojin-ryori for lunch, let’s continue on and walk around “Okunoin.” Okunoin hosts the graves of historical figures and daimyo from across the country, is filled with interestingly shaped graves and memorial towers, and is home to Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum.
In this second part, I’ll provide information on accessing Mt. Koya and some great value tickets.

Sanjusangen-do – Ohmato Taikai (Archery Competition)

The Ohmato Taikai is a tournament in which only young adult (20 years of age) ranked archers and martial artists can participate.
Participants compete by shooting two arrows at a target around 60 meters away.
Participating in this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people, and every year around 2000 young adults come to compete.
The sight of participants wearing furisode and hakama as they pull their bows taut is brilliant and stunning. Even those who are not familiar with the intricacies of archery can enjoy the skillful displays.
Participation is strictly limited, but anyone can watch the competition. Admission is free on the day of the tournament.

Lake Biwa in Shiga ~Go on excursion of the lake district~

For six months after October, “The culture of water” campaign will take place in Shiga, especially around lake Biwa.
Before the campaign starts, I decided to visit the eastern and northern sides of lake Biwa. The themes of my excursions are “water and life”, “water and prayer”, and “water and food”.
I walked around, talk to locals, and ate local cuisine to re-discover the charm of this beautiful area and “The culture of water”.

Gion Matsuri in Kyoto – One of Japan’s 3 Greatest Festivals

A Festival that Spans a Full Month with Over 1100 Years of History. Gion Matsuri is a religious celebration of Yasaka Shrine, located in Higashiyama-ku of Kyoto City. The festival has its origins in Shinto rituals conducted to ward off the epidemic that plagued Kyoto in 869.
A variety of rituals and events are held across the month-long festival, which lasts from July 1st through the 31st every year.
This article will introduce “yoiyama” and “yamaboko junko,” two of the top events during the month-long festival. The “Kyoto Gion Matsuri Yamaboko Gyoji” is a registered UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage.