11 Summer Events in Kansai! Experience and learn about Japanese traditions and customs


1.[Kyoto] Various places in Kyoto City / Gion Festival


Period: Saturday, July 1, 2023 – Monday, July 31, 2023


If you visit Kyoto in July, you cannot miss the Gion Festival! You will be overwhelmed by the gorgeous floats!


For more information, check out the article below!

<Kyoto>Gion Matsuri (July, 2023)|Highlights of Japan’s Greatest Festival

2.[Kyoto] Matsuo-taisha Shrine / Wind-bell Prayer: Sound of Good Luck and Disaster Elimination


Period: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – Sunday, September 3, 2023


Approximately 600 wind chimes will be displayed on the ceiling of the awarding ceremony hall and throughout the temple grounds. It is said that the tones of the wind chimes comfort the gods and purify sins and impurities. Write your wishes on strips of paper and deliver them to the gods.



3, Arashiyama Miyamachi, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


Right by Hankyu Kyoto Line Matsuo-taisha Station

3.[Osaka] Mizunase Jingu Shrine / Wind of Invitation


Period: Friday, July 1, 2023 – Friday, September 9, 2023


A wind-bell prayer will also be held at the Mizunase Jingu Shrine. Passing through the wind chimes, visitors can listen to the cool sound of the light chirping of the wind chimes.
During the period, the shrine will also be decorated with kazaguruma, toys that rotate with the wind, and illuminated with lanterns.



3-10-24, Hirose, Shimamoto, Mishima District, Osaka [MAP]


12-minute walk from Hankyu Kyoto Line Minase Station

4.[Kyoto] Shops along the Kamo River in Kyoto City / Kawayuka, Asayuka


Period: May 1, 2023 – October 31, 2023 (period varies by store)


Kawayuka is one of the traditional cultures of Kyoto. It is a place to enjoy the cool air while dining on delicious food at outdoor terrace seats that jut out into the Kamo River. Visitors can enjoy a variety of gourmet foods at 87 restaurants ranging from Japanese cuisine to Italian and French cuisine.

Among them, “B STORE 1st” opens from 8:00 a.m. as “Asayuka. Why not start your day with a kawadoko?



140-25, Saito-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


Right by Hankyu Kyoto Line Kyoto-kawaramachi Station

5.[Osaka] Minoh Waterfall / Summer Festa Minoh Park 2023


Period: July 15 (earth) – August 27 (sun), 2023


Minoh Waterfalls and other famous spots in Minoh Park are illuminated in this popular event!
On July 29, “Minoo Candle Road” will be held to light up the park with candles, and on July 29 and August 12, projection mapping of Ryuanji Temple will be held.

Also, until October 29 (Sun.), “Kawayuka (riverbed)” will be held at riverside restaurants in Minoh Park, where you can enjoy kaiseki cuisine while enjoying the sounds of nature. Enjoy a quaint moment (reservations required).



1-18, Minokoen, Mino-shi, Osaka [MAP]


[To the entrance of Minoh Park]
5-minute walk from Hankyu Minoh Line Minoh Station
[To Minoh Waterfall]
40-minute walk from Hankyu Minoh Line Minoh Station

6.[Osaka] Umeda area / Umeda Yukata Matsuri (Yukata Festival)


Main Content Dates: Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23, 2023


This is a large-scale event held in the Umeda area of Osaka, where you can enjoy Japanese summer culture all at once!
In addition to the traditional “Bon Odori” dance, “Uchimizu” (sprinkling water on the streets to cool off), and “Ennichi” (fair) stalls typical of summer festivals, stations and plazas in the area will be decorated with “Tenugui”, a flat woven cotton cloth used as a festival accessory. The entire town will be decorated in summer!



Right by Hankyu Osaka-umeda Station and Hanshin Osaka-Umeda Station

7.[Nishinomiya, Hyogo] Nishinomiya Shrine / Summer Ebisu


Period: Friday, July 7, 2023 – Monday, July 31, 2023


Natsu Ebisu is an event that takes place mainly on July 10, and on Thursday, July 20, miko (shrine maidens) perform “Yutate Kagura,” in which they sprinkle visitors with bamboo branches submerged in boiling water, praying for the reprieve from the heat and for good health.
At the “Ebisu Mandoro (Lantern Festival)” starting at 6:00 p.m., the precincts of the shrine are transformed into a fantastic world of light with lit andon (lanterns) and candles.



1-17, Shake-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo [MAP]


5-minute walk from Hanshin Main Line Nishinomiya Station

8.[Kyoto] Shimogamo-jinja Shrine / Mitarashi Festival


Period: Friday, July 21, 2023 – Sunday, July 30, 2023


The Mitarashi Festival is an event to pray for good health by taking a knee-deep dip in the Mitarashi Pond within the shrine’s precincts to purify oneself of any illnesses. The participants hold candles in their hands and visit the Mitarashi-sha enshrined in the Mitarashi-ike pond.



59, Shimogamo Izumikawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto [MAP]


Take the Kyoto Municipal Subway from Hankyu Kyoto Line Karasuma Station and alight at Karasuma Oike Station and 7-minute walk.

9.[Osaka] Yodogawa riverside / The 35th Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival


Image courtesy of Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival Steering Committee

Date: Saturday, August 5, 2023


Fireworks festivals held in various locations are also a major annual summer event!
Please come and see the delicate Japanese fireworks display!

▼Click here for more details▼

<2023>5 fireworks shows in Kansai! This is how Japanese people enjoy fireworks!

10.[Kyoto] Various places in Kyoto City / Kyoto Gozan Okuribi (Bonfire on Five Mountains)


©Kyoto Gozan Okuribi Federation

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2023


This is a traditional summer event in Kyoto to return the spirits of ancestors who were welcomed during Obon to the underworld. A fire is lit on a pyre in the middle of the mountain, and the Chinese characters “Dai”, left “Dai”, “Myou”, and “Hou”, as well as the shape of a boat, float on the pyre.

See the website below for the lighting time and viewing locations.


11.[Kobe] Meriken Park / Kobe Umi no Bon Dance 2023


Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023


The Bon Odori Festival is held at Meriken Park, the port of Kobe. People dance in a circle to typical folk songs from all over Japan. The choreography of Bon Odori is simple! Let’s join in while watching everyone else dance!



2, Hatoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo [MAP]


10-minute walk from Hanshin Main Line Motomachi Station

Summer events & activities are held mainly at night.
Even if you have visited Japan many times, you may discover something new by participating in these limited-time events!

About the author

Your source for sweets and gourmet information!
Editor and writer in charge of outing information media in Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka area for more than 10 years.
I will introduce you to the most popular stores, talked-about gourmet foods, and sightseeing spots in Japan.



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