What Tenjin-matsuri Festival is all about
Held in the evening of July 25 each year, this festival attracts more than a million spectators. Dozens of large rafts full of invited, kimono-clad people towed by small boats go upstream the major river in the heart of Osaka, while on-lookers watch from the river bank, nearby bridges and the pier. There stand stalls selling varieties of food, filling in every nook and corner of the river bank. Thousands of fireworks are shot up into the night sky to the great enjoyment of visitors.
Origin of the festival
The myth says that in the year 951, two years after God descended from heaven and settled in the Tenmangu Shrine, they flowed a sacred float in the river from the nearby beach and a funeral hall was built and "misogi" purification ceremony held at the shore where the float reached. Then, those living near the shrine and worshipers built a ship to contributed to the shrine.
Enjoy seeing a once-in-a-year summer evening gala
You can see ships full of "yukata"-clad people in the festive mood on board the rafts going slowly upstream the river, while being soaked in the cool evening atmosphere. After dark, fireworks setting the skies ablaze make you sigh in joyful excitement. You can have whatever food you like at the stalls built in the riverbank.
The JR train fare from Kyoto station to Osaka station is 560 yen and the subway fare, 180 yen.
Since the venue is very crowded, please do your utmost in protecting yourself from being bumped by others and from theft. If you are there on the days other than the festival day, you can enjoy cruising on board a sightseeing ship called "Osaka water-bus" for a fee of 1,700 yen for one-hour ride. You can see the landscape of Osaka city from different angles as the ship sails along the river. Daytime only, however.