How to Enjoy the Sumiyoshi Festival

Over 300,000 people visit the Sumiyoshi Festival every year. The festival is held in honor of the god of exorcism, and at the Sumiyoshi Festival, traditional rituals are performed in order to exorcise people's misfortunes. This is one of the biggest and most important summer festivals of Osaka.

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When is the Sumiyoshi Festival

The Sumiyoshi Festival will be held on the following dates and times.

Event Date Time
July 30th
20:00 - 22:00
July 31st
17:00 - 22:00
August 1st (main event)
14:00 - 22:00

What is the Sumiyoshi Festival

The Sumiyoshi Festival is a festival in which the Mikoshi, or portable shrine, of the god of exorcism, Sumiyoshi, is carried to the Sakai Shukuin Temple on the afternoon of the last day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar, the day when summer turns to autumn. The act of exorcism has been called “Oharai” since ancient times, and the festival is known as the festival of purification that concludes the summer festivities in Osaka.

Shrines dedicated to the god Sumiyoshi are distributed all across Japan, but the main shrine is located at Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, and this is where the largest and most famous festival is held.

Points of Interest

①Portable Shrine March

The portable shrine, believed to contain within it the spirit of the ancient Sumiyoshi God, is carried by participants across Kishu Highway from Anryu-cho to Shukuin Tongu in Sakai City, crossing the Yamato River during the process.

The portable shrine itself weighs about two metric tons — watching it be lifted and carried across the bridge is a sight to behold.

Departing from Sumiyoshi Taisha, the deity’s party travels south along the Kishu Kaido to Sumiyoshi Taisha Sakaitongu in Sakai Shukuin. The journey takes about seven hours overall. Every year, the procession, including tourists, exceeds 1000 people.

August 01 around 14:00

Departure from Sumiyoshi Taisha

August 01 around 17:00

Omikoshi Handover Ceremony at Yamato River

August 01 around 20:30

Arrive at Shukuin Tongu, Sakai City

②Nagoshi Purification Ceremony

The Natsukoshi Harae Shinji ritual, an essential component of the Sumiyoshi Festival, is designated by the government as an intangible cultural property of Osaka Prefecture. It is said that by passing through a large ring with a diameter of 3 meters, called a Chinowa, one can be absolved of one’s sins and misfortunes for half a year.

General worshipers can also pass through the ring. The chinowa are set up from July 31st to August 1st, so when you visit the shrine, go through the ring to purify yourself.

July 31, around 17:00

The procession passes through the Kaya Rings, which can be seen in some photos displayed in this article.

③Outdoor Food Stalls

At the Sumiyoshi Festival, nearly 200 stalls will appear around Sumiyoshi Taisha. In addition to the classics such as frankfurters and French fries, many stalls will also open with izakaya menus.

In addition to the food stalls, a scary “haunted house” appears every year — it has built a reputation for being pretty scary. It a great opportunity to see a Japanese twist on haunted houses.

Things to know Before Going

①Entry Fees

There are no entry or participation fees.

②Number of People Attending

About 300,000 people attend the Sumiyoshi Festival every year.

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Event Attendees

③Official Website

The Official Sumiyoshi Festival website is here.

④Do You Want to Carry the Portable Shrine?

If you want to help carry the portable shrine, you must be male and at least 16 years old.

Unfortunately, women are disallowed from participating due to ancient Japanese religious traditions. Any men, though, including tourists, are allowed to participate in carrying the portable shrine. In addition, the traditional attire required to be worn by participants will be loaned out free of charge.

⑤Sumiyoshi Festival Event Schedule

Where is the Sumiyoshi Festiavl?

Thanks for Reading

Over 300,000
Event Attendees
Osaka City, Osaka
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