Japan’s Oldest Summer Festival! “Aizen Festival” in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture

Osaka City: The Economic Hub of Kansai Known by All

Osaka, the second-largest city after Tokyo, is a popular travel destination. As the economic center of Kansai, Osaka is bustling with numerous tourist attractions and gourmet spots, attracting a crowd every day.

Despite being the second smallest in area among Japan’s 47 prefectures, about 7% of Japan’s population resides in Osaka. Additionally, 10% of the foreigners living in Japan are based in Osaka.

Osaka City actively engages in international exchange with many cities worldwide, and it is expected to continue developing as an international city in the context of advancing globalization.

Source: Gadget Tsushin

Wear a Yukata and Join the Aizen Festival!

Location: Shoman-in (Aizen-do), 5-36 Yuhigaoka-cho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture
Date: Annually from June 30 to July 2
Access: 2-3 minute walk from Subway Tanimachi Line “Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka” Station
15-minute walk from JR “Tennoji Station”
URL: http://www.aizendo.com/festival.htm (Official Shoman-in Aizen-do Website)

The Aizen Festival is one of Osaka’s three major summer festivals and is a symbol of summer in Osaka. The festival, which begins on June 30, is also known as the “Yukata Festival” because it marks the start of the yukata-wearing season.

The Aizen Festival was initiated by Prince Shōtoku in 593, based on the tenets of Mahayana Buddhism. It is known as Japan’s oldest summer festival, with a history spanning 1,400 years. In 2015, it was registered as an Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Osaka City.

A highlight of the Aizen Festival is the “Aizen Musume,” twelve women in yukata selected from a public application process. They play a central role in the festival, engaging in various activities. Any energetic and amiable woman who wishes to participate in the festival and can join the promotional activities for three days is eligible to apply.v

Source: Shoman-in Aizen-do Official Website

The Main Attraction: The Hoe Kago Parade!

The Hoe Kago Parade, the main event of the Aizen Festival, features the Aizen Musume being carried around the venue in hoe kago, a type of palanquin named after the Edo period’s Hōei era.

With the energetic chant “Aizen-san ja, Hoe Kago!” the parade culminates in front of the main hall of Aizen-do, elevating the excitement.

On the second day, a contest to select “Miss Aizen Musume” is held, where participants can enjoy various performances and see the Aizen Musume showcase their talents.

Additionally, those who visit the festival in yukata on the first evening can receive a “Love Bracelet” from the Aizen Musume on a first-come, first-served basis. The bracelet is tied around the wrist by the Aizen Musume herself, adding a personal touch.

Source: Journal4

 

Light Rain Connects Couples?

During the Aizen Festival, a light rain often falls, colloquially known as “Aizen Parapara.” It is said that couples who encounter this rain on their way to or from visiting Aizen-san will be bound together.

Why not visit the Aizen Festival in yukata with your loved one? It would be wonderful if you could experience the Aizen Parapara together.

Osaka’s Three Major Summer Festivals

Osaka Prefecture: Sumiyoshi Festival

Osaka Prefecture: Tenjin Festival

 

Featured Image: Courtesy of Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu.

(Editor: 千八乃)

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