HOME Kansai Osaka Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Fun Things to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in July 2024: Enjoy Summer with Festivals, Fireworks & More
Fun Things to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in July 2024: Enjoy Summer with Festivals, Fireworks & More

Fun Things to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in July 2024: Enjoy Summer with Festivals, Fireworks & More

Last updated: 25 June 2024

July is filled with fun things to do in Osaka and Kyoto! As July arrives in the Kansai region, a wide variety of events and activities take place, including water events, Pokémon-themed events, the Tanabata bamboo decoration night illuminations, and beach events. Two of Japan's three major festivals, Kyoto's Gion Festival and Osaka's Tenjin Festival, are also held in July, filling the cities with excitement and energy.

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Table of Contents
  1. Events at Popular Theme Parks & Tourist Spots Featuring Pokémon and Other Popular Anime
  2. Traditional Summer Festivals
  3. Outdoor Fun at Lantern Festivals, Fireworks Shows, and Food Festivals

Events at Popular Theme Parks & Tourist Spots Featuring Pokémon and Other Popular Anime

Umbrella Illumination Brightening Rainy Days (Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture)

© Masashi Kishimoto Scott / Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot
© Masashi Kishimoto Scott / Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot
© Masashi Kishimoto Scott / Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot
© Masashi Kishimoto Scott / Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot

A special event is being held at NARUTO & BORUTO Shinobizato, a popular attraction at Nijigen no Mori. The event features a mystery-solving walk rally in the "Earth Scroll" area, which is decorated with colorful Japanese umbrellas adorned with floral patterns, creating a picturesque "wa" (Japanese) world. It’s a perfect spot for photos. If you post images or videos taken there on social media with the hashtags "#五月雨祭" or "#NIJIGENNOMORI SAMIDARE FES," you will receive an exclusive original print from NARUTO & BORUTO Shinobizato. This event is perfect for fans of NARUTO and those who appreciate Japan's unique and beautiful "wa" aesthetics.

Event Details
・Location: Nijigen no Mori (Awaji Island Anime Park)
・Dates: June 1, 2024 – July 21, 2024
・Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM (Last admission at 8 PM)
・Fee: Free (attraction admission ticket required)
・Phone Number: 0799-64-7061

  • Nijigen no Mori (Awaji Island Anime Park)
    • Address Hyogo Prefectural Awajishima Park, 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture
    • Phone Number 0799-64-7061

Pokémon in Shima Spain Village Featuring 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' (Shima City, Mie Prefecture)

Pokémon in Shima Spain Village Featuring 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' (Shima City, Mie Prefecture)

Shima Spain Village is hosting a special event titled "Pokémon Extra-Curricular Classes in Shima Spain Village" featuring "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet." This event was inspired by the similarity between the Paldea region, the setting of the Nintendo Switch game "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet" (Pokémon S&V), and the atmosphere of Shima Spain Village. At Mayor Plaza, surrounded by orange walls, a battle court from Table City, featured in Pokémon S&V, has been set up. Over 70 different Pokémon, including Pikachu and Sprigatito, appear throughout the park. Additionally, at Maestro in Mayor Plaza, visitors can purchase the "Gimmighoul Search Book" (1,500 yen) and solve the mysteries written in it to find the hidden Pokémon "Gimmighoul" in the park and win prizes.

Event Details
・Location: Shima Spain Village
・Dates: June 29, 2024 – September 23, 2024 (holiday)
・Hours: Shima Spain Village opening hours vary by date
・Admission: Free (park admission required; Adults 5,700 yen, see website for details)
・Phone Number: 0599-57-3333 (Reception hours: 9:30 AM – 5 PM, until 8 PM during night operations)

NO LIMIT! Summer Splash Parade (Osaka City)

NO LIMIT! Summer Splash Parade (Osaka City)

The annual Soaking Wet Parade at Universal Studios Japan returns this summer. Mario and his friends, Water-type Pokémon, Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Minions, and Sesame Street characters will all gather to spray water using water guns and buckets as they parade through the park. For the first time in the park's history, entertainers will be spraying water even while moving, ensuring a lively atmosphere. There will also be various water effects, such as sprinklers and water cannons, along with performances featuring float rings, parasols, and hula hoops.

This year, the "360° Soaking Wet! Special Area" (admission fee: 1,700-2,100 yen, depending on the entry date) makes its debut. Water will be sprayed from all directions, drenching everyone as floats and stages surround you. If you plan to watch the parade or enter the "360° Soaking Wet! Special Area," be sure to wear clothes that can get wet and bring a towel or raincoat.

Event Details
・Location: Universal Studios Japan
・Dates: July 3, 2024 – September 1, 2024 (dates subject to change)
・"360° Soaking Wet! Special Area" runs until August 22
・Time: Scheduled to start at 2 PM (approx. 40 minutes)
・Admission: Participation in this event is free (separate USJ admission ticket required, prices vary by date)
・Phone Number: 0570-20-0606

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR.
Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2024 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
© Nintendo
©2024 Pokémon. ©1995-2024 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
TM and © 2024 Sesame Workshop
© 2024 Peanuts Worldwide LLC
TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

  • Universal Studios Japan
    • Address 2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka City, Osaka 554-0031
    • Phone Number 0570-20-0606
    • ・Hours: Listed on the official website
      ・Closed: Open daily

Traditional Summer Festivals

18th Umeda Tanabata Festival (Kita Ward, Osaka City)

18th Umeda Tanabata Festival (Kita Ward, Osaka City)

The Umeda Sky Building, a landmark in Osaka's Umeda area, will host the 18th Umeda Tanabata Festival from Saturday, June 1, to Thursday, August 8. The area will be adorned with luxurious Tanabata decorations sent from the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region. A highlight is the giant arch decorated with streamers at the entrance of Shin-Umeda City. Additionally, various Tanabata decorations will be displayed in the Tower East first-floor lobby and the basement-level Showa Retro Shopping Street, Takimikoji.

During the festival, visitors who dine at restaurants within Takimikoji will receive a Tanabata tanzaku (wish card), which they can write their wishes on and hang within the area. Other attractions include bamboo boat lanterns, jazz live performances, and traditional Japanese festival stalls. Experience the authentic atmosphere of Sendai's Tanabata in Osaka.

Event Details
・Location: Shin-Umeda City, Umeda Sky Building
・Dates: June 1, 2024 – August 8, 2024
・Tanzaku (Wish Cards): June 1 – July 7, 2024
・Bamboo Boat Lanterns: July 5 – 7, 2024
・Festival Stalls: July 5 – 7, 2024
・Jazz Live Performances: July 5 – 7, 2024
・Hours: Varies by event
・Admission: Free (separate admission fee required for the Floating Garden Observatory)

  • Shin-Umeda City
    • Address 1-1-88, Oyodo-naka 1-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 531-0076

Aizen Festival (Tennoji Ward, Osaka City)

Aizen Festival (Tennoji Ward, Osaka City)

Aizendo Shomanin Temple, affectionately known as "Aizendo," is located in Osaka's Tennoji area, a region rich in temples. Just a three-minute walk from Osaka Metro Tanimachi Line's Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Station, Aizendo boasts a history of about 1,400 years and is beloved by the locals.

The Aizen Festival held at Aizendo is one of Osaka's earliest summer festivals. Visitors can enjoy festival food, fortune-telling, and various stalls. There is also a parade that tours the surrounding area, including Tennoji Park (Ten-Shiba). Additionally, the festival offers a rare opportunity to see the temple's principal deities: Aizen Myo-o, known for blessings in love and business, and Dainichi Nyorai, the deity of victory and good fortune. A popular item available at the temple is the "Aizen Myo-o Good Luck Charm Set" (1,000 yen), which includes a red (for women) and white (for men) charm. Couples can share the charms, while those seeking love or in unrequited love are encouraged to carry both charms together.

Event Details
・Location: Aizendo Shomanin Temple
・Dates: June 30 – July 2, 2024
・Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM (held rain or shine)
・Admission: Free

  • Aizendo
    • Address 5-36 Yuhigaoka-cho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 543-0075

Kibune Shrine Tanabata Bamboo Decoration Light-Up (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City)

Kibune Shrine Tanabata Bamboo Decoration Light-Up (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City)

The Tanabata Bamboo Decoration Light-Up at Kibune Shrine, known as the "Shrine of Rain Prayers," is a captivating event. Kibune Shrine, dedicated to the deity of water, has a deep connection to Tanabata. The Milky Way in the Tanabata story is said to resemble a dragon that calls for rain and nourishes water sources. During the event, about seven bamboo decorations and the shrine buildings are illuminated, creating an enchanting evening atmosphere. Normally closing at 6:00 PM, the shrine will remain open until 8:00 PM during this period. Visitors can write their wishes on tanzaku (wish cards) for 100 yen each and hang them on the decorated bamboo, which will be lit up from sunset until closing time. The shrine's lush green foliage also adds to the scenic beauty. Additionally, the unique "Water Fortune" omikuji, where characters appear when floated on water, will be available until 8:00 PM during the event.

Event Details
・Location: Kibune Shrine
・Dates: July 1 – August 15, 2024
・Hours: Evening – 8 PM (Reception for wish cards until around 7 PM)
・Admission: Free

Gion Festival (Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City)

Gion Festival (Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City)

The Gion Festival, with a history spanning over 1,000 years, is one of Japan's three major festivals. This traditional celebration centers around Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto's Gion district and extends throughout the city. It begins with the "Kippuiri" on July 1 and concludes with the "Eki Shrine Summer Purification Festival" on July 31, transforming Kyoto into a hub of festival activity for an entire month.

A highlight of the Gion Festival is the display of "Yamahoko," which are magnificent floats adorned with mountain and spear motifs. The procession of these floats through the city is a spectacular sight.

The main events, "Saki Matsuri" on July 17 and "Ato Matsuri" on July 24, draw large crowds, with numerous street stalls and throngs of visitors from both Japan and abroad.

Event Details
・Location: Various locations in Kyoto City
・Dates: July 1 – July 31, 2024
・Yamahoko Procession: Saki Matsuri on July 17, 2024; Ato Matsuri on July 24, 2024
・Admission: Free (Viewing seats for the Yamahoko Procession are paid)

  • Gion Festival
    • Address Yasaka Shrine and others, Kyoto Prefecture Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, 605-0000
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Kyoto Station (JR Tokaido Line / JR Biwako Line / JR Tokaido Shinkansen / JR Kyoto Line / JR Sagano Line / JR San-in Line / JR Nara Line / Karasuma Line / Kintetsu-kyoto Line)
      20 minutes by bus
    • Phone Number 075-561-6155

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine Tenjin Festival (Kita Ward, Osaka City)

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine Tenjin Festival (Kita Ward, Osaka City)

The Tenjin Festival at Osaka Tenmangu Shrine in Tenma, Osaka, is said to have started in 951, two years after the shrine's establishment. While Tenjin Festivals are held nationwide, the one at Osaka Tenmangu is the most famous and is considered one of Japan's three major festivals alongside Kyoto's Gion Festival and Tokyo's Kanda Festival.

The Tenjin Festival takes place from late June to late July every year. The highlight events are the "Yomiya" and "Honmiya" on July 24 and 25, featuring fireworks and a grand boat procession. On July 7, the "Tenma Tenjin Tanabata Festival" is held, where visitors can write their wishes on tanzaku and hang them on bamboo.

The festival culminates in a fireworks display, a quintessential summer event in the Kansai region, with about 3,000 fireworks launched. The sight of around 100 boats lit up and moving along the river is truly beautiful.

Special viewing areas are set up in Sakuranomiya Park and Osaka Fureai Mizube, where those who want to enjoy the fireworks in comfort can purchase reserved seats.

Event Details
Tenjin Festival
・Location: Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
・Dates: July 24 – 25, 2024
・July 24: Yomiya Festival at 7:45 AM, Hokonagashi Shinto Ritual at 8:50 AM, various events throughout the day at the shrine
・July 25: Main Shrine Ceremony at 1 PM, Procession Departure at 3:30 PM, Boat Procession at 6 PM
・Admission: Free

Tenjin Festival Fireworks
・Date: July 25, 2024
・Time: Sunset to around 9 PM
・Admission: Free (paid viewing seats available)

  • Tenjin Festival
    • Address Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 530-0041
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Tenjimbashisujirokuchome Station (Tanimachi Line / Sakaisuji Line / Hankyu-senri Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 06-6353-0025

Sumiyoshi Festival (Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City)

(Photo courtesy of Osaka Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Photo courtesy of Osaka Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Located just a three-minute walk from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai Main Line, Sumiyoshi Taisha is renowned as a powerful spiritual spot in Osaka. It hosts the "Sumiyoshi Festival," which, along with "Ikutama Summer Festival" and "Tenjin Festival," is considered one of Osaka's three major festivals.

The traditional Sumiyoshi Festival, which purifies the entire city of Osaka, leaves participants feeling refreshed and renewed. Every year, the surrounding area is bustling with festival stalls. On the final day, August 1, a procession featuring a mikoshi (portable shrine) carrying the "divine spirit" parades through the area.

Event Details
・Location: Sumiyoshi Taisha
・Dates: Tuesday, July 30, 2024 – Thursday, August 1, 2024
・Fee: Free

Outdoor Fun at Lantern Festivals, Fireworks Shows, and Food Festivals

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport 'World Fair 2024' (Izumisano City, Osaka Prefecture)

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport 'World Fair 2024' (Izumisano City, Osaka Prefecture)

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport, a towering landmark hotel 256 meters above ground, is located across from Kansai International Airport. On the 28th floor, the beer salon "Patio 28" hosts the "World Fair 2024" every Friday and Saturday for dinner. The outdoor beer garden, situated 130 meters above ground, offers a stunning view of planes taking off from Kansai International Airport and a refreshing sea breeze. Guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring world cuisine and a wide variety of drinks.

In July, the menu includes American and Latin American dishes such as barbecued pork ribs and seafood ceviche. In August, guests can savor Asian dishes like Thai-style glass noodle salad and coconut curry. The event also features table magic performances by a magician for five special nights during the period.

Event Details
・Location: Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport, 28th Floor, Beer Salon "Patio 28"
・Dates: June 21 – August 31, 2024 (Thursday to Sunday, and holiday on July 15)
・Hours: Thursday: 6 PM – 10 PM (120-minute seating, Last order 30 minutes before closing); Friday to Sunday, and holidays: 5:30 PM – 10 PM (120-minute seating, Last order 30 minutes before closing)
・Admission: Adults 6,600 yen; Junior High School Students and older: Adult fee; Elementary School Students: 3,000 yen; Preschool Children (4–6 years old): 1,000 yen; Children under 3: Free
・Closed on: July 12, and August 10 – 12, 2024

Senshu Beach Lantern Festival vol.5 (Sennan City, Osaka Prefecture)

Senshu Beach Lantern Festival vol.5 (Sennan City, Osaka Prefecture)

The Beach Lantern Festival in Sennan, Osaka, is a heartwarming event where people release sky lanterns to cleanse their hearts and wish for new beginnings. This tradition is popular in Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan. "Senshu Beach Lantern Festival vol.5" takes place at the famous Tarui Southern Beach in Sennan City, where participants float lanterns with their wishes into the sky.

In addition to the lantern release, the festival features a carnival with games and attractions suitable for adults, a "Kids Park" with balloon play equipment, a variety of gourmet food trucks offering unique treats and cold drinks, and performances by top-notch street performers.

Event Details
・Location: SENNAN LONG PARK, Tarui Southern Beach
・Dates: July 6 – 7, 2024
・Hours: 3 PM – 8 PM, Lantern release at 7:30 PM (tentative)
・Admission: Free
・Fee: Lantern 4,000 yen (advance ticket purchase required, no tickets sold on the day); Family Seat 4,000 yen (for 4 people, includes 4 drink tickets); Pair Seat 2,000 yen (for 2 people, includes 2 drink tickets); Sofa Seat 25,000 yen (for up to 4 people, includes 1 lantern and 5,000 yen worth of coupons usable within the venue)

    SENNAN LONG PARK -泉南りんくう公園
    • Address 2-201 Rinku Minamihama, Sennan City, Osaka, 590-0535
  • Rinku Minamihama Beach (Tarui Southern Beach)
    • Address Rinku Minamihama, Sennan City, Osaka 590-0535

Kushi Fest in Kobe 2024 (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture)

Kushi Fest in Kobe 2024 (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture)

The "Kushi Fest" will be held at Maiko Park, a well-known resort spot in Hyogo Prefecture. The event is easily accessible, just a five-minute walk from JR Maiko Station and Sanyo Electric Railway Maiko Koen Station.

This festival takes place in a location with a stunning view of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, a Hyogo Prefecture landmark, and features numerous vendors specializing in skewered dishes. These dishes typically consist of pork, beef, seafood, and more, grilled on skewers. In addition to skewered cuisine, visitors can enjoy beverages and desserts. Enjoy the beautiful night with the illuminated Akashi Kaikyo Bridge as a backdrop.

The festival also includes a variety of attractions, such as a children's fashion show and music performances, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Event Details
・Location: Maiko Park, Lawn Plaza
・Dates: July 13 – July 15, 2024 (public holiday)
・Note: Event will proceed in light rain; no postponement if canceled due to severe weather
・Hours: 1 PM – 8 PM
・Admission: Free

  • Maiko Park
    • Address 2051, Higashimaikocho, Tarumi-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo, 655-0047
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Maiko Station (JR Kobe Line / JR San-yo Line)
      4 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 078-785-5090

46th Ashiya Summer Carnival (Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture)

46th Ashiya Summer Carnival (Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture)

The Summer Carnival at Shioashiya Beach in the upscale residential area of Ashiya City is a spectacular event. The highlight of the carnival is the fireworks display. Launched from the southernmost point of Ashiya Beach, these fireworks are synchronized with music using the latest technology, creating a breathtaking experience. Approximately 6,000 fireworks will be launched over 45 minutes. Admission requires a ticket, and there are seven types of seats available, including premium seats, arena seats, couple viewing seats, and seats with chairs.

In addition to the fireworks, there will be various performance events by professional artists and local citizens during the day. To attend, you must have a viewing seat ticket or a citizen plaza admission ticket. Tickets are limited and may sell out quickly, so be sure to purchase them early.

Event Details
・Location: Shioashiya Beach
・Dates: July 27, 2024
・Hours: 1 PM – 9 PM (Fireworks from 7:45 PM – 8:30 PM)
・Admission: Citizen Plaza Free for residents, 500 yen for non-residents; Premium Seat 40,000 yen per person; Arena Seat 45,000 yen for 2 people; Other seating options 7 types available

  • Shioashiya Beach
    • Address Minamihama-cho, Ashiya-shi, Hyogo 659-0037
    • Phone Number 090-8147-9890

NAKED Summer Festival 2024 at World Heritage Site Nijo Castle (Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City)

NAKED Summer Festival 2024 at World Heritage Site Nijo Castle (Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City)

The "NAKED Summer Festival 2024," a summer event by NAKED known for utilizing the latest technology in light displays, will be held at the World Heritage site Nijo Castle in Kyoto from July to August.

This event will feature a projection of the announcement video for the Honmaru Goten Palace, open to the public for the first time in 18 years, onto the stone walls of the inner moat. In the digital festival area in front of the kitchen garden, there will be a collaboration with the movie "Summer Wars," celebrating its 15th anniversary. Additionally, there will be light-ups of the Ninomaru Palace (a National Treasure) and the Karamon Gate (an Important Cultural Property), as well as projection mapping of fireworks on the stone walls of the inner moat.

The festival atmosphere will be enhanced with stalls offering shaved ice, carbonated drinks, and other summer treats.

Event Details
・Dates: July 26, 2024 – August 25, 2024
・Hours: 6:30 PM – 10 PM (Last admission at 9:20 PM)
・Admission Fee: Early Bird Tickets: Middle School Students and above 1,400 yen (1,800 yen on Fridays, weekends, and holidays), Elementary School Students 600 yen (1,000 yen on Fridays, weekends, and holidays); Same Day Tickets: Middle School Students and above 1,800 yen (2,200 yen on Fridays, weekends, and holidays), Elementary School Students 1,000 yen (1,400 yen on Fridays, weekends, and holidays)

July in Kansai is packed with vibrant festivals, cool Tanabata night illuminations, and fun water-soaked events at popular theme parks. Kyoto can get quite humid in the summer, so please take precautions against heatstroke when attending these events.

(The information in this article is as of June 2024. Please check the official websites for the latest updates.)

Written by:

Kaori Kimura

Kaori Kimura

Kaori Kimura is a Japanese travel writer with roughly 20 years of experience in editing and publishing travel guides. After graduating from university, she worked at a publishing company for about 10 years, specializing in travel guides. She has undertaken numerous assignments both internationally, including in places like Paris, France, and Taiwan, as well as domestically in areas such as Hokkaido and Kyushu. Following this, she lived in Guangzhou, China for about two years as an expatriate spouse and contributed to local media, writing on economics and travel guides. Upon returning to Japan, she gained experience in editing and writing for web media. A key strength of hers is her involvement in creating travel guide articles for both inbound and outbound tourism. She possesses the highest level (HSK-6) of the standardized Chinese language proficiency test, level 2 in Japan's French language test, and EIKEN Grade Pre-1.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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