As winter relinquishes its hold, February in Osaka welcomes a vibrant array of events that showcase the city’s rich cultural tapestry and dynamic spirit. From the iconic Osaka Castle bathed in mesmerizing neon lights to age-old traditions, there’s something for everyone to explore. Today we’ve curated a lineup of events that promise to captivate your senses and immerse you in the unique charm of this dynamic city.
Osaka Castle Illumination
Nestled in the heart of Osaka, this beautiful icon of Japanese architecture stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. This majestic fortress, dating back to the 16th century, transports visitors through time, offering a glimpse into Japan’s feudal past. For the 2023 – 2024 winter period, the iconic Osaka Castle is lit up with neon displays depicting oni, women in kimono and even Ultraman defending it from kaiju. A sight not to be missed!
Dates: November 22nd, 2023 – February 25th 2024
Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka
Start/End Time: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Fees: Normal Admission – 1500 yen/adult, 800 yen/children
Priority Admission – 2000 yen/adult, 1300 yen/children
Dojima Yakushido Setsubun Omizukumi Festival
Setsubun is an age-old tradition celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring, with a festival performance aimed at driving evil spirits from the home. People dressed as demons are playfully driven out from local shops and houses by soybean-throwing occupants shouting “Evil spirits out! Good fortune in!” Osaka’s Dojima Yakushido Temple adds a unique twist to the festival. In addition to the bean-tossing, they throw joss sticks (a type of Buddhist incense) into a fire, accompanied by a water drawing ceremony where participants can get holy water blessed by a priest.
Dates: February 2nd
Location: 1 Chome-6-20 Dojima, Kita Ward, Osaka
Start/End Time: 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Ichiya Kanjo (One Night) Festival
Over 300 years ago, plagued by turbulent weather, flooding rivers, and disease, the village of Nozato sought protection from the gods by sacrificing a young girl on January 20th every year. On the 7th anniversary, a samurai sought to put an end to this dark tradition by offering himself up as a sacrifice. After his noble deed, the village was freed from all its ailments. To commemorate their sacrifice, both a private procession and a public parade are held one month after the anniversary of this date. Six small girls, dressed in traditional outfits, make their way through the streets, ending at Nozato Sumiyoshi Shrine. A small ceremony is performed, serving as a poignant reminder of those brave girls and the honorable samurai who brought an end to the afflictions.
Dates: February 20th
Start Time: 2:00 PM
Sennan Oyster Festival
Due to their distinct flavor, nutritional value and reputation as an aphrodisiac, oysters are a popular delicacy. Elevating the culinary scene, the Sennan Oyster Festival is a thrilling gathering for food enthusiasts, offering a tantalizing experience with free samples, oyster tastings, and gourmet oyster dishes available for purchase.
Dates: January 20th – March 17th
Location: 2-201 Rinkuminamihama, Sennan, Osaka
Start Time: 2:00pm
Osaka Auto Messe
Held every year since 1997, the Osaka Auto Messe has become a must-attend event for car enthusiasts worldwide. This car show, with its focus on customizing the visual appeal, performance, and selection of custom parts, attracts an impressive crowd of 200,000 people annually. Car lovers flock to witness the latest innovations, unique modifications, and cutting-edge designs that make the Osaka Auto Messe a thrilling showcase of automotive creativity and passion.
Dates: February 10th – February 12th
Start/End Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Fees: 3000 yen (2700 yen pre-sale tickets)
The 21st Seafood Show Osaka
Dive into the forefront of seafood technology at the 21st Seafood Show Osaka. The event showcases cutting-edge seafood processing machinery and related equipment, offering a glimpse into the future of the industry.
Explore a spectrum of related exhibitions like the Sushi EXPO, and specialized corners like Aquaculture Technology, Aquaponics EXPO, Smart Fish Technology, Sanitary Management Promotion, Sea and Water Industry SDG’s, and Fisheries Ecolabel. This comprehensive lineup ensures an immersive experience, uniting various aspects of seafood and food technology in one dynamic event. Whether you’re a professional in the field or simply intrigued by the latest innovations, this expo is a condensed journey into the evolving landscape of seafood and technology.
Dates: February 21st – February 22nd
Location: 2 Chome-1-10 Nankokita, Suminoe Ward, Osaka
Start Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
As February passes by in Osaka, its cultural richness and dynamic energy are shown through each event offering a unique immersion into the city’s essence. From the luminous Osaka Castle to Setsubun festivities, our guide beckons you to explore diverse facets and create enduring memories in the heart of Osaka’s February spectacle.
Feature photo credit: Russ from Arigato Travel