ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Don't Miss the Ohatsu Tenjin Natsu Matsuri at Tsuyunotenjinsha Shrine

Updated on April 16, 2018
SgtCecil profile image

I am an expat living in Japan. Everyday is an adventure and a blessing. Here are some of my experiences

Oh-ha-what?

Taiko drum float in downtown Osaka
Taiko drum float in downtown Osaka | Source

Every summer, on the third weekend of July, people from all over the Kansai area gather at Osaka's Tsuyunotenjinsha Shrine to enjoy its biggest festival: the Ohatsu Tenjin Natsu Matsuri. The two-day event starts on Friday and lasts all day Saturday.

What makes all this so amazing is that the tradition continues within the hustle and bustle of one of Japan's largest cities. Yes, "Ohatsu Tenjin Natsu Matsuri" is a mouthful. But don't worry, keep reading and you'll know what it's all about. You'll also know what to wear and where to be.

Forget Umi no Hi!

Let's not get this mixed up with other Osaka events going on in late July. After all, communities throughout Japan love their summer festivals and it's easy to mix them up. First, we have our event: the Ohatsu Tenjin Natsu Matsuri. It starts on the third Friday of July and resumes the next day from morning to night.

Now let's break it down. "Ohatsu Tenjin" is the unofficial name of Tsuyunoten Shrine. Tsuyunoten Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Umeda, a district in Osaka Japan. "Natsu" means summer and "Matsuri" means festival. Too easy!

Then on the national level, we have Umi no Hi. Umi no Hi is Marine Day, a Japanese national holiday celebrated on the third Monday of every July. Some of the locals celebrate by going to work but most have the day off. You'd think people would have fun at the beach but many stay home or go to the mall because it's too hot and humid. While Umi no Hi was officially declared a holiday in 1995, the Tsuyunoten Shrine is over 1,100 years old!

Back in Osaka is the one festival that's easy to mix up with this one: the Tenjin Matsuri. It's a completely different event. It goes down every July 24th and 25th at Osaka's Tenmangu Shrine. One of the largest religious festivals in Japan, you'll find traditional Japanese boats in a long river-parade and fireworks in the evening. It's easy for Tenjin Matsuri to overshadow Ohatsu Tenjin but that's all the more reason to learn more about both!

The taiko drum float

The taiko drum float
The taiko drum float | Source

Instead of taking its festival elsewhere, the drummers of Tsuyunoten Shrine proudly beat their taiko drums while religious and community volunteers push the float through the busy streets. The thunderous sounds can be heard from as far as Umeda's Hankyu Station. The way I found the festival was by listening to the drums!

Since ancient times, the loud rumbling of the taiko drums quiets the audience and summons its attention. Once the people are quiet and attentive, the Shinto gods are pleased. For this reason taiko drums are closely tied with spirituality in Japan.

You'll hear the awesome power of these drums at this festival and many others throughout the year. Don't miss it!

Lion dance - Be there!

Lions bring fortune to a local hotel
Lions bring fortune to a local hotel | Source

For more fun and tradition, don't miss the festival's Lion dance or "Shishi-mai."

The Japanese word for lion is "shishi" and the shishi costume has a red or golden head with a white mane. It has a green body with a white-spot pattern. One person operates the head and another takes the body. A team of shishi performs its dance to traditional Japanese music including flutes and drums. They bless the community with good health and fortune while also protecting it from evil.

Shishi can also make house calls. Before the festival, any local business can order a small dance. Then on the day of the festival, shishi answers the call, delivering extra special attention.

If you can't make it to the festival there's no need to worry, nearly every Shinto festival has its own Shishi-mai. What makes this one so special is that it involves several generations in one event.

Can't make it to this one? Don't worry, there's plenty more!

There are festivals of all sizes throughout Japan all year round. Making it to just a few each season is an adventure in itself. But there's no need to worry. Go to any one you like and have a great time. There's usually a parade, stands that sell food and other stands that offer games with prizes.

What will you wear? Nearly everyone goes in their regular clothes: t-shirt and shorts in the summer. This is a life-saver in any hot, humid evening. Others like to spice things up with a yukata or kimono. You can wear what you like, just make sure you are comfortable and have fun.

Just remember: if you wear something traditional, watch out for messy festival food. Keep it low-key with corn dogs or corn on the cob. Your dry cleaner will thank you!

Ohatsu Tenjin

A
Ohatsu Tenjin:
2 Chome-5-4 Sonezaki, Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 530-0057, Japan

get directions

Festivals are held all year round

Have you ever been to a Japanese festival?

See results

Are you interested? - If you were in town, would you swing by?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 

      5 years ago

      You look like you're really experiencing the culture with your time in Japan.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      6 years ago

      If I were in Japan, I'd be catching all the festivals I could possibly fit into my schedule. Enjoyed your photographs of this one!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      6 years ago

      Absolutely! I've always wanted to travel, and now that my son's hurdling toward 18, I'm starting to feel some serious wanderlust. Japan's pretty high on what has become a very long list of destinations.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 

      6 years ago from Slovakia

      Very interesting lens and well written. Maybe one day I'll make it to Japan.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)