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Sightseeing Spots × Osaka AreaPage: 1/3

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

A Festival that Spans a Full Month with Over 1100 Years of History. 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.

Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine – “Yabusame-Shinji”

“Yabusame-shinji,” held at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine, takes place in early May every year. It is held as both a purification ritual and to ensure that Aoi Matsuri, or “Hollyhock Festival,” which is also held in May, can be carried out safely without problems.
During the event, archers on horseback ride through the forest and shoot at targets. It is said that, if the arrows meet their marks, there will be an abundant harvest of crops that year and wishes will be granted.

A Kyoto Spring Tradition, “Aoi Matsuri” (“Hollyhock Festival”)

Aoi Matsuri is an annual festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The official name of the festival is Kamo no Matsuri (Kamo Festival).Aoi Matsuri is one of the three major festivals in Kyoto, and it is known for having old-fashioned sense of refined grace. Out of modern-day Japanese festivals, Aoi Matsuri is one of the few festivals remaining that truly preserves old dynastic traditions.

Enjoy Japan's Beautiful Flowers Whenever You Visit Osaka's Expo '70 Commemorative Park!

Are you aware of a spot in Osaka that you can visit to appreciate flowers in season? That spot is the Expo '70 Commemorative Park! This park stands on the former site of the Japan Expo, the first Exposition held in Asia in 1970. Its extensive grounds house the symbolic Tower of the Sun, facilities offering a variety of experiences, and an area where many different flowers can be appreciated in each season.

Osaka, Koinobori Festa 1000

In the Koinobori Festa, around 1000 carp-shaped streamers are hung as wishes for children’s health and for protection of the Akuta River, a symbol of Takatsuki City.
A huge number of colorful carp streamers “swim” in the sky as they hang from ropes strung across the Akuta River.
The streamers used in this festival are donated by local residents or handmade by the children at local kindergartens.

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.