Participate in a local event for a hands-on experience with local culture! There is no better way to get to know a region than to participate in its festival, or, matsuri. These traditional festivals occur on multiple occasions, year-round in every region without fail, although they tend to be most common in autumn, in order to beckon a good harvest and pray for the wellbeing of each family in the community.
There are two types of “portable shrine” festivals (mikoshi) that are typical of Osaka; the danjiri and the futon daiko. These two types of autumn festivals provide revealing insight into historical sites that are unique to Osaka.
Danjiri is a festival unique to Osaka. This harvest festival is to pray for a good autumn bounty, and is held at various places throughout Osaka Prefecture.
A danjiri is a traditional Japanese wooden float that has elaborate carvings and is decorated with various ornaments. The wooden floats are made in the shape of a shrine or temple, and are pulled through the streets of a neighbourhood during festival days. These are carried by the locals wearing the traditional festival costume named Happi, who then make a procession throughout the town. When it gets dark, the festivals take on a different atmosphere, participants walk more slowly, and you will see the danjiris adorned with lanterns. If you miss the festival, no need to be worry – the Kishiwada Danjiri Kaikan in Kishiwada City is a facility where visitors can get to know the long history of this festival and experience its energy.
While “danjiri” are pulled on wheels, the futon daiko is carried. It is also a festival for the harvest, and each district has a distinctly futon daiko which has been designed in a signature style representing their district. The melody of horns and whistles combined with the synchronized chanting of the futon daiko song create and impressive display for onlookers.
Located in Higashiosaka City, Hiraoka Shrine is one of the ancient Kawachi-no-kuni province, and is was listed in Jinmyocho (shrine list) in the ancient statute book, the Engishiki. Every January 11th, the shrine holds the ritual Kayuura-shinji, in which the year’s rice harvest is foretold through rice porridge with azuki beans. In autumn, it offers a gorgeous atmosphere to see the great autumn festival, featuring many floats mounted with a taiko drum.