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What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in September 2023: Kishiwada Danjiri Festival, USJ Halloween & More Fun Events

What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in September 2023: Kishiwada Danjiri Festival, USJ Halloween & More Fun Events

Date published: 24 August 2023

In September, Japan showcases its unique cultural events like "Otsukimi" (moon-viewing) and the lively "Silver Week" holidays, perfect for recreation. As the summer heat recedes, many consider visiting Japan. Here, we highlight activities in Osaka and Kyoto during September, offering insights into the vibrant events and experiences in these cities.

Table of Contents
  1. Events Held at Theme Parks and Popular Spots
  2. Animation & Character Collaboration Events
  3. Traditional Festivals & Fireworks Display
  4. Food Events
  5. Art Events

Events Held at Theme Parks and Popular Spots

One Piece Premier Summer 2023 (Osaka-USJ)

One Piece Premier Summer 2023 (Osaka-USJ)

Get ready for an exhilarating summer event that's a collaboration between Universal Studios Japan (USJ) and the beloved Japanese manga, ONE PIECE. The event, titled ONE PIECE Premier Summer 2023, is in full swing until October 10th.

An annual fan favorite among both USJ enthusiasts and ONE PIECE fans, this event returns after four years with captivating water-based performances and character greetings that extend right to the audience.

Immerse yourself in a unique USJ original show where the protagonist, Luffy, and his companions bravely confront the antagonistic characters from the series. The show is brought to life with live music, songs, and water-based choreography that truly transports you into the world of ONE PIECE. And don't miss the heart-pounding finale, which offers a chance to interact with Luffy and the crew in a thrilling greeting session!

Event Overview
・Date: July 5th - October 10th
・Frequency: Once per day, with some days off
・Location: WaterWorld
・Admission: Adults (12 and older) from 3,000 yen, Children (4-11 years old) from 2,000 yen.

Halloween Event 2023 (Osaka-USJ)

Halloween Event 2023 (Osaka-USJ)

Universal Studios Japan is all set to host one of the most anticipated events of the year, the Halloween Event. This year, get ready for an even more exhilarating experience. During the day, everyone from kids to adults can join in the frenzy at the Hahaha! Halloween Party, and as night falls, brace yourself for the Street Zombies, the largest zombie gathering ever seen in the park.

At the Hahaha! Halloween Party, a first-of-its-kind event, the park is introducing a Pokémon-themed Halloween Party. Special Pokémon characters like DJ Pikachu and DJ Gengar, dressed in unique park-exclusive costumes, will make appearances. Get ready to dance to the music at the Pokémon Jumpin' Halloween Party or come up close and personal with the Pokémon at the Pokémon Charge Up! Halloween Greeting.

During the night event, Halloween Horror Nights, various zombies dressed in diverse costumes will fill the park's wide areas. They'll appear one after another, giving you the chance to scream, run, and immerse yourself in the unique Halloween-style frightful experience.

Event Overview
Hahaha! Halloween Party
・Date: September 7th - November 5th
Halloween Horror Nights
・Date: September 8th - November 5th
Pokémon Charge Up! Halloween Greeting
・Date: September 11th, 2023 - November 5th

*Please check the official website for information about limited-time tickets for each period.

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s23)
Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2023 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
TM & © 2023 Sesame Workshop
©2023 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: Posted on the official website
      Closed: Open daily

teamLab: Existence in an Infinite Continuity (Himeji, Hyogo)

teamLab: Existence in an Infinite Continuity (Himeji, Hyogo)

Just a 20-minute walk from Himeji Station, you'll find the Himeji City Museum of Art, located close to the world heritage site, Himeji Castle. Here, the art event teamLab: Existence in an Infinite Continuity is taking place.

Renowned for their digital art utilizing projection mapping and computer graphics, teamLab is making a return to Himeji after a hiatus of about four years. The exhibition is divided into two phases, each showcasing a collection of works, including new creations.

Centered around themes of life and existence, the art pieces are depicted with motifs of flowers and flames, creating an ambiance of mystique. With distinct artistic worlds presented in the first and second phases, no matter which period you choose, you're bound to immerse yourself in a fresh realm of art.

Event Overview
・First Phase: July 22nd - October 9th
・Second Phase: October 21st - January 21st, 2024
・Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Last admission at 4:30 PM)
・Admission: Adults 1,500 yen, High School/University Students 1,100 yen, Elementary/Middle School Students 700 yen.

  • Himeji City Museum of Art
    • Address 68-25, Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012
    • Phone Number 079-222-2288
    • Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Korean

Hyogo Prefectural Awaji Island Park Anime Park 'Nijigen no Mori' x 'Demon Slayer' Collaboration Event (Hyogo, Awaji Island)

©Yoseharu Gotoe / Shueisha, Aniplex, ufotable
©Yoseharu Gotoe / Shueisha, Aniplex, ufotable

Hyogo Prefectural Awaji Island Park, known as 'Nijigen no Mori,' is an anime and manga-themed park where you can enjoy attractions inspired by popular titles like the ninja manga 'NARUTO' and the anime 'Crayon Shin-chan'. This park is currently hosting a collaboration event featuring the hit anime 'Demon Slayer,' which portrays the adventures of heroes striving to defeat demons.

The event offers two unique experiences: the nighttime 'Night Walk: Swordsmith's Village' and the daytime 'Mystery Solving Walk: The Vanished Pillars in the Village of Falling Flowers.'

During the nighttime event, participants explore a 1.2km forest at night, immersing themselves in the world of 'Demon Slayer' recreated through projection mapping. The daytime event takes place in an area adorned with character panels featuring event-exclusive artwork. Here, attendees can engage in mystery-solving games.

Exclusive event merchandise and food menus are available for purchase, making it a must-visit for fans of the series.

Event Overview
・Dates: July 28th, 2023 - January 27th, 2024
Night Event: 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM (Last entry at 8:45 PM)
Day Event: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
Night Walk: Swordsmith Village 3,300 yen - 3,900 yen
Mystery Solving Walk: The Vanished Pillars in the Village of Falling Flowers
- Single Mission Course: 2,000 yen (Search for the Sword Passed Down in the Village of Falling Flowers)
- Double Mission Course: 3,000 yen (Find the Illusory Flower)

  • Awajishima Anime Park
    • Address Hyogo Prefectural Awajishima Park, 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-2301
    • Phone Number 0799-64-7061
    • Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (subject to change)
      Languages available: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean

Animation & Character Collaboration Events

Sylvania Forest Kitchen Pop-up Cafe (Shinsaibashi, Osaka)


A captivating Sylvanian Families pop-up cafe is currently being held in Tokyo and Osaka, enchanting both children and adults alike. In Osaka, you can find it on the 9th floor of Shinsaibashi OPA, a location just a 5-minute walk from Shinsaibashi Station.

This cafe has opened to celebrate the release of the Big Waterfall in the Secret Forest. The interior is unified by a natural motif, featuring Sylvanian Families' adorable babies embarking on adventures amidst a forest-inspired setting.

The spotlight is on the cafe menu. It includes visually delightful and charming dishes such as curry inspired by a treehouse, Genovese pasta resembling a forest, and a fruit sandwich shaped like a turreted castle. These food items are not only a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes.

Furthermore, limited-edition items like plates and lunch mats are available for purchase, along with special benefits for those who make advance reservations. If you're a fan of Sylvanian Families, don't miss the chance to visit this delightful cafe.

Event Overview
・Dates: August 25th - October 1st
・Hours: 11:15 AM - 8:35 PM (80-minute seating sessions)
・Price: One order per person (715 yen required for advance reservations)

  • kawara CAFE&DINING Shinsaibashi
    kawara CAFE&DINING 心斎橋店
    • Address 9F Shinsaibashi Opa, 1-4-3 Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 542-0086
    • Phone Number 06-4708-3131
    • Closed: Same as facilities

Detective Conan Land (Namba, Osaka)

© Gosho Aoyama / Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, TMS 1996
© Gosho Aoyama / Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, TMS 1996

The immensely popular detective manga, Detective Conan (Case Closed). After last year's highly successful run, the Detective Conan Land event is making a return at the Namba Marui department store, located right by Namba Station.

Centered around both fun and learning, this event, held at 5 venues nationwide during its 2022 edition, drew over 30,000 attendees. This time around, the event has been substantially expanded in scale, with a complete overhaul of its content and the addition of new elements.

In the "Trick Rally," you can experience tricks from the series by visiting 5 different booths. Collect keywords from each booth, and upon reaching the goal, you'll receive a random original postcard out of a set of 7.

Moreover, there are exclusive photo spots and original merchandise available only at the event venue, offering numerous enjoyable elements for any Detective Conan fan!

Event Overview
・Dates: September 8th - September 24th
・Hours: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
・Admission: Free (Separate charges apply for merchandise, etc.)

Jujutsu Kaisen Cafe 2023 (Umeda, Osaka)

©Akutomi Shimoda/Shueisha, Jutsu Kaisen Production Committee
©Akutomi Shimoda/Shueisha, Jutsu Kaisen Production Committee

A collaboration cafe based on the popular series Jujutsu Kaisen, which portrays battles of sorcerers, is currently being held. The venue is in the HEP FIVE shopping facility, conveniently accessible from various stations in Umeda, Osaka.

In celebration of the airing of the second series, "Cursed Womb Arc," of the anime adaptation, popular characters like Gojo Satoru and Yuji Itadori are featured in the main visual.

The cafe menu faithfully reproduces memorable scenes and distinctive traits of characters from the series. Unique food and drink items like the "Cursed Spirit Gem Curry" and the "Bread Lover & Rice Lover's Sweet Plate" showcase the series' essence.

With a stylishly designed interior, the cafe also sells goods using visuals exclusively created for this event, making it a must-visit spot for fans.

Event Overview
・Dates: September 15th - October 22nd
・Hours: 11:20 AM - 9:40 PM (80-minute seating sessions)
・Price: One order per person (660 yen required for advance reservations)

Sanrio Character Fest in Hirakata Park (Hirakata Park, Osaka)

Sanrio Character Fest in Hirakata Park (Hirakata Park, Osaka)

An event by Sanrio, the creative minds behind beloved characters like Hello Kitty and Pompompurin, is taking place at the Hirakata Park amusement park in Osaka.

Held within a facility at the park, just a short walk from Keihan's Hirakata-kōen Station, this event brings together cute characters like Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Kromi, and Tuxedosam. One of the highlights is the Greeting Event, where you can interact with these popular characters. Different characters are available to meet depending on the time and date, so make sure to check the official website.

Additionally, there are live stages where Sanrio characters sing and dance, as well as festival-like games where you can challenge yourself to win goods.

Themed food and drink menus and exclusive merchandise add to the festival atmosphere. Since these items are only available for a limited time, Sanrio enthusiasts won't want to miss out!

Event Overview
・Dates: September 16th - November 26th
・Location: Hirakata Park Event Hall
・Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
・Admission: Free (Separate Hirakata Park admission tickets and event participation tickets required)

  • Hirakata Park
    • Address 1-1 Hirakata Koen-cho, Hirakata City, Osaka, 573-0054
    • Phone Number 0570-016-855
    • Hours: From 10:00 AM (*Subject to change)
      Closed: Same as the days the park is closed

Traditional Festivals & Fireworks Display

Nagahama-Kita-Biwako Grand Fireworks Festival (Shiga, Lake Biwa area)

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

The Nagahama Kitabiwako Grand Fireworks Festival, a fireworks event that has been held since 1980 in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture.

In 2023, the event coincides with the 450th anniversary of the founding of Nagahama by the feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Sengoku period. In collaboration with the Nagahama 450 Years of Sengoku Festival, the event will feature unique fireworks for about 20 minutes with a "Sengoku" theme, including underwater fireworks and music-synced fireworks.

The fireworks will be launched offshore from Ho Park's Free Plaza. In addition to paid seating areas, fireworks cruise tickets are also available for purchase.

Event Overview
・Dates: September 5th - September 8th
・Time: 8:30 PM onward (approximately 20 minutes)
・Admission: Free (Paid seating areas available)

  • Ho Park
    • Address 1325 Koen-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture

Suito Kurawanka Fireworks Festival (Yodogawa River area, Osaka)

Image photo. Credit: PIXTA
Image photo. Credit: PIXTA

Introducing the Suito Kurawanka Fireworks Festival, a relatively new event that is in its second year in 2023. This festival has revived the spirit of a local fireworks event that used to be held annually until 20 years ago, now rekindled as a "memorable fireworks festival" by the community.

The festival takes place in two locations: the Hirakata Venue and the Takatsuki Venue. Even before the fireworks are launched, each venue hosts the Suito Music Festival (music stage), food trucks, food booths, and drink sales, creating a festive atmosphere.

This year's fireworks will total 4,704 rounds. The number of fireworks launched corresponds to the number of children born in Takatsuki City and Hirakata City in Osaka Prefecture. This community-driven fireworks festival showcases a collaborative effort and promises a stunning spectacle of vibrant lights.

Event Overview
・Date: September 17th
・Venues: Yodogawa Riverside Park - Hirakata Venue (Hirakata District) and Takatsuki Venue (Otsuka District)
・Time: 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM (Fireworks from 7:30 PM)
・Admission: Free (Paid seating areas available)

  • Yodogawa River Park
    • Address Fukushima-ku, Osaka 534-0000 - Oyamazaki Town, Otokuni-gun, Kyoto

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival (Kishiwada, Osaka)

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival (Kishiwada, Osaka)

The Danjiri Festival is a traditional event held in the vicinity of Kishiwada Station, part of the Nankai Main Line, in Osaka's Kishiwada City. Having originated in the mid-Edo period, this festival boasts a history spanning over 300 years.

Distinctive for each district, the "danjiri" or festival floats are adorned with impressive decorations and carvings. Teams of "pullers" from each district haul these floats through the city's shopping streets and shrines. During the daytime, you can witness the powerful spectacle of the grand danjiri floats racing around, while at night, the floats are adorned with lanterns as they move gracefully.

Starting with the "Trial Pull" on the 15th, the festival continues for three days, with rows of fair stalls lining the streets throughout the period. The festival transforms the traditional castle town into a vibrant celebration.

Event Overview
・Dates: September 15th - September 17th
・Venue: Kankanba (Kishiwada Sports Park)
・Time: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Different timings for the Trial Pull and Evening Procession)
・Admission: Free (Paid seating areas available)

Kangetsu Festival (Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Osaka)

Image Photo. Credit: PIXTA
Image Photo. Credit: PIXTA

In Japan, there is a custom of appreciating the full moon known as "Chushu no Meigetsu" or the "Mid-Autumn Moon." Throughout Japan, there are numerous events and traditional customs that take place in alignment with this special occasion.

Close to Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai Electric Railway, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Osaka, a destination that attracts many visitors, also holds the "Kangetsu-sai" or Moon Viewing Festival.

During the Kangetsu-sai, people gather on the iconic "Sorihashi" (drum bridge) of the shrine to observe the rising full moon. An event is organized where unique poems and waka poems from all around the country are recited in a traditional manner.

Following this, various dances, including the Sumiyoshi Odori dance that has been passed down through the ages at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, are performed. Under the enchanting light of the full moon, attendees can enjoy a truly mystical and enchanting experience.

Event Overview
・Date: September 29th
・Time: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
・Admission: Free (Tea ceremony seating is available for a fee)

Food Events

OSAKA-JO SAKE SQUARE 2023 (Osaka Castle Park, Osaka)

OSAKA-JO SAKE SQUARE 2023 (Osaka Castle Park, Osaka)

This year marks the inaugural edition of the OSAKA-JO SAKE SQUARE, a Japanese sake-tasting event. Co-organized by the Osaka Prefecture Sake Brewers Association and radio stations FM802, FM COCOLO, and ZIP-FM, the event aims to invigorate the sake industry in the Kansai region.

Taking place at the plaza of JR Osakajokoen Station, the event brings together 21 breweries from various regions in Kansai, including Osaka.

From the Paid Tasting Booth, where you can sample a variety of Japanese sake in small quantities, to the Snack Booth and Souvenir Sales Booth, offering foods that pair well with sake, there's a diverse range of offerings.

Moreover, there's a dedicated DJ booth at the venue, allowing you to indulge in the rich flavors of sake while enjoying music for a truly luxurious experience.

Event Overview
・Event Period: September 23rd and 24th
・Event Hours: September 23rd: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM, September 24th: 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM
・Venue: Plaza in front of JR "Osaka Castle Park Station"
・Admission: Free (Separate charges apply for drinks and food)

  • Osaka-jo Koen Station Square
    大阪城公園駅 駅前広場
    • Address 3, Osaka Castle, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 540-0002

Art Events

Rokko Meets Art Art Walk 2023 "beyond" (Kobe, Hyogo)

Rokko Meets Art Art Walk 2023 "beyond" (Kobe, Hyogo)

This is an art event held at the mountaintop of Mount Rokko in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture.

Since its inception in 2010, this event showcases artworks by selected artists through public submissions and invited artists. Visitors can enjoy the abundant greenery and clean air of Mount Rokko while experiencing a diverse range of art pieces.

A Night Pass is available for exploring Mount Rokko during the evening, and there will also be gourmet food and event merchandise.

To reach the mountaintop of Mount Rokko, take a bus from JR or Hankyu Rokko Station or Rokko-michi Station to the Rokko Cable Station at the foot of the mountain, and then ride the cable car to the top.

Event Overview
・Dates: August 26 to November 23
・Time: Nighttime
・Venue: Mount Rokko Summit Facilities
・Admission: Free

The peak of summer might be behind us, but September in Japan still brings intense heat. Enjoy the last moments of summer by immersing yourself in charming festivals and fireworks displays, or indulge in indoor events centered around popular anime or unique seasonal activities.

Please note that the information in this article is based on August 2023. For the latest updates, be sure to check official websites and sources.

Written by:

Shiro Tsuchida

Shiro Tsuchida

After graduating from university, Shiro worked with an advertising agency for about a year. Leveraging her experience from a journalism club she was part of during her college days, she began her career as a freelance writer. Based in the Kansai region, she capitalizes on her local insights, writing event coverage and reports spanning genres like art, music, comedy, food, and entertainment within the Kinki area. She also handles photography. Additionally, she focuses on region-specific anecdotes and deep dives into local culture and history. Currently, she regularly contributes articles to more than five media outlets.

*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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