HOME Kansai Osaka USJ, Nanko Port What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in October 2023: Events, Festivals, Halloween Fun & More
What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in October 2023: Events, Festivals, Halloween Fun & More

What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in October 2023: Events, Festivals, Halloween Fun & More

Date published: 20 September 2023

October, as autumn deepens and the air turns crisp, is one of the most comfortable times to experience Japan. Ever heard of the phrases "Autumn of Art" or "Autumn of Appetite" in Japan? These encapsulate the numerous art and gourmet events that sprout up throughout the country.

Add to that, a splash of Halloween fun and the mesmerizing colors of fall foliage — it's a festive season not to miss! Ready to dive in? Here's a curated list of must-attend events, especially in the Kansai region, with Osaka taking center stage this October.

Table of Contents
  1. Events at Theme Parks & Popular Hotspots
  2. Animation & Character Collaboration Events
  3. Traditional Events
  4. Art Events and Exhibitions
  5. Music Events
  6. Outdoor Events
  7. Hotel Events

Events at Theme Parks & Popular Hotspots

Halloween Events 2023 at Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)

Halloween Events 2023 at Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)

One of the most awaited yearly events at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is the Halloween Event. This year, it's set to be even grander. The daytime HaHaHa! Halloween Party ensures laughs and excitement for attendees of all ages. However, when evening descends, a record number of zombies take over for the Street Zombie event.

During the HaHaHa! Halloween Party, USJ enthusiasts are in for a surprise with the Pokémon Halloween Party. Meet unique Pokémon, like DJ Pikachu and DJ Gengar, donning park-specific outfits. Dance along at the Pokémon Jumpin' Halloween Party or get a special greeting at the Pokémon Charge Up! Halloween Greeting.

If you're up for some evening excitement, the Halloween Horror Night features countless zombies in various outfits across the park. Embrace the chills and thrills that only Halloween can provide.

Event Overview:
・HaHaHa! Halloween Party
Dates: September 7 to November 5
・Halloween Horror Night
Dates: September 8 to November 5
・Pokémon Charge Up! Halloween Greeting
Dates: September 11, 2023 to November 5, 2023

For limited-time tickets and more details, please check the official website.

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©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

Collaboration Event at Awaji Island Park Anime Park 'Nijigen no Mori' × 'Demon Slayer' (Hyogo Prefecture, Awaji Island)


Here's the rephrased version:

Located within Hyogo Prefecture's Awaji Island Park is the Nijigen no Mori park, dedicated to anime and manga. Enthusiasts can explore attractions inspired by the famous ninja manga NARUTO and the widely cherished anime Crayon Shin-chan. Presently, the park has introduced a special event in collaboration with the hit anime Demon Slayer, which showcases the journey of heroes battling demons.

This event is divided into two unique experiences: The evening experience, Night Walk: Swordsmith Village, and the daytime event, Mystery Walk: Disappearing Pillars in the Flower-Fall Village.

In the Night Walk, participants can journey through a 1.2km forest trail at night, delving into the Demon Slayer world brought to life with projection mapping. The daytime event revolves around a puzzle adventure. In this, original event illustrations and character panels are set up in various areas for the game.

There's also exclusive merchandise and themed food options, making it a must-see for series enthusiasts.

Event Overview:
・Dates: July 28, 2023 to January 27, 2024
- Night Event: 5:30 PM - 10 PM (Last entry at 8:45 PM)
- Day Event: 10 AM - 4:30 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
- Night Walk: Swordsmith Village: 3,300 yen - 3,900 yen
- Mystery Walk: Disappearing Pillars in the Flower-Fall Village: 2,000 yen (Solo mission: Search for the Legendary Blade in the Flower-Fall Village) & 3,000 yen (Duo mission: Find the Illusive Flower)

  • Nijigen no Mori
    • Address Hyogo Prefectural Awajishima Park, 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-2301
    • Phone Number 0799-64-7061
    • ・Hours: 10 AM - 10 PM (subject to change)
      ・Languages available: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean

Animation & Character Collaboration Events

Jutsu Kaisen Cafe 2023 Kaitama Tamaori (Umeda, Osaka)


Step into the enchanting realm of Jujutsu Kaisen at a unique collaboration cafe, located in the HEP FIVE shopping center. Conveniently situated near Osaka's Umeda stations, it's an ideal spot for enthusiasts.

To celebrate the release of the anime's follow-up, Kaitama & Tamaori, visitors will be met with impressive visuals of popular characters like Gojo Satoru and Suguru Geto.

Feeling peckish? The menu offers a delightful journey. Experience memorable scenes from the anime through dishes such as the Cursed Spirit Ball Curry or indulge in both sugary and savory treats with the Bread Lovers & Rice Lovers Dessert Plate.

However, it's more than just a culinary treat. The cafe provides a stylish setting that's bound to impress. Plus, there's an array of exclusive merchandise that's tempting to any fan. If you're nearby, make sure not to miss out on this cafe experience!

Event Overview:
・Dates: September 15 to October 22
・Hours: 11:20 AM - 9:40 PM (80-minute rotation system)
・Charges: One order per person (if making an advance reservation, a fee of 660 yen is required)

Sanrio Character Festival at Hirakata Park (Osaka - Hirakata Park)

Sanrio Character Festival at Hirakata Park (Osaka - Hirakata Park)

Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, and many more cherished members of the Sanrio clan are springing to life at Osaka's Hirakata Park!

A brief walk from Keihan's Hirakata Koen Station brings you right to the epicenter of this delightful event. Get ready to be charmed by appearances from iconic figures like Hello Kitty, Kuromi, Tuxedo Sam, and Cinnamoroll. A highlight of the event is the Greeting Event, offering fans the chance to interact closely with their treasured characters. However, remember that the character lineup can change based on the date and time, so it's wise to check the official website in advance.

But there's more in store! Anticipate enthralling live shows where Sanrio celebrities light up the stage with song and dance. Plus, a lively game section promises chances to snag exclusive items.

For those with a penchant for unique cuisine or collectibles, the festival boasts a special food & drink selection and merchandise, presenting limited-edition items that are here for just a while. For Sanrio devotees, this event is not to be missed!

Event Details:
・Dates: September 16 to November 26
・Location: Hirakata Park Event Hall
・Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
・Admission: Free (Separate tickets required for Hirakata Park entry and specific events)

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

Traditional Events

Kurama Fire Festival (Kyoto, Kurama)

The Kurama Fire Festival, a time-honored tradition, unfolds every year on October 22 at the Yuki Shrine in Kurama, Kyoto.

A brief stroll from the Eiden Kurama Station leads to the Yuki Shrine, tucked within the spiritually rich Mount Kurama, celebrated for its tales of Tengu. Surrounded by vibrant greenery, this shrine serves as a symbol of the mystical. The Kurama Fire Festival, hosted here, is recognized as one of the "Three Great Unique Festivals" of Kyoto. Both the young and the young at heart carry torches, which are lit sequentially, creating a cascade of sparks as they process.

The torches borne by young adults can extend up to 5 meters. Chanting "Sairei, Sairyou" in unison, their procession with the glowing torches is a breathtaking spectacle.

Event Details:
・Date: October 22
・Time: From 6:00 PM
・Admission: Free

Jidai Matsuri (Jidai Festival): Celebrations at Heian Shrine, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Beyond

Jidai Matsuri (Jidai Festival): Celebrations at Heian Shrine, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Beyond

Immerse yourself in Kyoto's vivid past during the annual Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of the Ages"), one of the city's three major autumn festivals. Held in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, this enchanting event originated in 1895, marking the establishment of the Heian Shrine and commemorating the 1100th year since the capital's relocation to Kyoto.

While the Heian Shrine stands as the festival's focal point, festivities radiate outward, extending through notable locations such as Kyoto's Imperial Palace, City Hall, and renowned spots like Sanjo Street. A notable spectacle is the "Historical Procession" that stretches around 2 kilometers, with participants bringing to life eight significant epochs of Japanese history. These range from the Meiji Restoration and traverse through Edo, Azuchi-Momoyama, Muromachi, Yoshino, Kamakura, Fujiwara, concluding at the Nara period, all divided into 20 enthralling segments.

In the contemporary parade, an impressive roster of 2,000 participants spellbinds spectators, meticulously dressed in era-specific garments and accessories, showcasing the authentic flavor of each historical period.

Event Details:
・Date: October 22
・Starting time: 7:00 AM onwards
・Entry fee: Free (however, there are seats available for purchase)

  • Jidai Festival
    • Address Various places in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, 606-0000
      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)
      30 minutes by bus
    • Phone Number 075-761-0221

Hase-dera Autumn Maple Festival & Special Fall Viewing (Nara, Hase Temple)

Hase-dera Autumn Maple Festival & Special Fall Viewing (Nara, Hase Temple)

Just a short walk from Kintetsu Hasedera Station in Nara Prefecture is the renowned Hase-dera Temple. Every year, starting around early October, the temple hosts the mesmerizing "Hase-dera Autumn Maple Festival & Special Fall Viewing."

Spanning a vast mountainous region, Hase-dera boasts a varied collection of trees, including maples, gingko, dogwood, zelkova, among others. As the Maple Festival unfolds, these trees transform, revealing brilliant shades of yellow, red, and other dazzling colors, presenting an unforgettable display for all who visit.

Adding to the allure, during the festival duration, the temple holds the "Special Autumn Treasure Exhibition." This grants visitors the exceptional chance to enter the Main Hall, recognized as a national treasure. Within, individuals are accorded the distinctive privilege of touching the Kannon deity's "Omiai" (sacred feet) and conveying their prayers.

Event Overview:
・Dates: October 7 to December 10
・Special Viewing Fee: 1,000 yen (Note: A separate temple entry fee applies.)

Art Events and Exhibitions

Special Exhibit: "Tofuku-ji" (Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto)

Special Exhibit: "Tofuku-ji" (Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto)

Located a brief distance from Keihan Shichijo Station is the Kyoto National Museum, currently hosting a unique exhibit celebrating "Tofuku-ji", a temple renowned for its architectural wonders acknowledged as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

Explore the rich tapestry of Tofuku-ji's history as the exhibition offers a comprehensive look into the world of "Zen culture". Notable pieces include the magnificent "Five Hundred Rakans" artwork by the esteemed Buddhist artist Meicho, often dubbed the "Painting Sage", and precious cultural relics that fortuitously escaped the devastating flames of the "Onin War" in the Muromachi era. The display captivates visitors with its colossal statues and exquisite samples of calligraphy and artwork that mirror the temple's impressive architectural style (Note: The exhibits are subject to rotation).

Moreover, a specialized store within the museum offers exclusive souvenirs. From keychains and T-shirts adorned with the "Tora Ichimonji" motif—a design that melds textual (Tora being the Japanese character for "tiger") and visual art—to plates and tote bags inspired by the showcased artwork, the collection of unique items promises to delight.

Event Details
・Dates: October 7 – December 3
・First Phase: October 7 – November 5
・Second Phase: November 7 – December 3
(*Note: Some exhibits will switch between the first and second phases.)
・Time: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Last admission at 5 PM)
・Closed: Mondays
・Venue: Heisei Chishinkan Wing, Kyoto National Museum
・Admission: 500 yen

Music Events

Eggs presents FM802 MINAMI WHEEL 2023 (Osaka - Namba)

Eggs presents FM802 MINAMI WHEEL 2023 (Osaka - Namba)

Dive into Osaka's musical core at the "FM802 MINAMI WHEEL" circuit event. Spanning over 20 live music hubs in the lively Minami district, this musical marathon features over 400 bands and artists. Modeled after the renowned "SXSW (South by Southwest)" festival in Austin, Texas, FM802 MINAMI WHEEL illuminates Osaka each autumn, magnetizing numerous music aficionados to this distinct circuit experience.

From October 7 - 9, prepare for a musical journey featuring a spectrum of talent, from up-and-coming Japanese bands to industry stalwarts. The highlight? A single pass grants you access to every participating venue. So, get set to navigate from one live performance to another, reveling in the rich tapestry of musical flavors on offer!

Event Details
・Dates: October 7 – 9
・Time: From noon, expected to end around 9 PM (Note: Performances start at 12:30 PM)
・Venues: Various live houses including club vijon, hills bread factory, SUNHALL, FANJ twice, DROP, VARON, BEYOND, AtlantiQs, ANIMA, Pangea, BRONZE, CLAPPER, BIGCAT, CONPASS, OSAKA MUSE, FootRock&BEERS, OSAKA RUIDO, JANUS, soma, FANJ, Namba Hatch (Note: Only on 10/7)
・Tickets: Single-day tickets start at 4,400 yen, 3-day pass available for 11,000 yen. Valid for all venues.

Outdoor Events

LOHAS FESTA® Expo (Expo '70 Commemorative Park, Osaka)

*Image is for reference only. (Image: PIXTA)
*Image is for reference only. (Image: PIXTA)

LOHAS FESTA® Expo is an environment-themed event held in various parts of Japan. It takes place from October to November within Osaka's Expo Commemoration Park.

Inside the venue, numerous stalls pop up, all prioritizing the environment. You can find handcrafted goods, antique furniture, and artisanal food & sweets made from specialty ingredients. Additionally, there are workshops emphasizing eco-friendly practices.

Event Details
1st week: October 27 - 29
2nd week: November 3 - 5
3rd week: November 10 - 12
・Time: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM *Ticket sales until 4:00 PM
・Venue: Expo Commemoration Park, Eastern Plaza
・Admission: 500 yen (*Free for children below elementary school age.)

Craft Beer Holiday 2023 at Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park (Osaka)

Craft Beer Holiday 2023 at Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park (Osaka)

The eagerly awaited "Craft Beer Holiday 2023 at Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park" is set to spotlight Japan's premier craft breweries and handpicked gourmet treats. Just a convenient train or bus ride away from Osaka or Tennoji stations, this festival is hosted at Hanahaku Memorial Park, Tsurumi Ryokuchi.

This event, which has been gaining traction among Kansai's beer and spirit enthusiasts, celebrates its triumphant comeback after a hiatus of roughly four years. This edition showcases a roster of breweries, with some making their first appearance at a Kansai event. Additionally, attendees can indulge in a curated range of dishes, meticulously selected to complement the beers presented.

Both pre-purchased and day-of-event tickets come with six food and drink vouchers, along with a commemorative glass to cherish the memories of the day.

Event Details
・Date: October 7 - 9
・Time: 11 AM – 8 PM (closes at 7 PM on the last day)
・Venue: Hanahaku Memorial Park, Tsurumi Ryokuchi
・Admission: 3,900 yen (includes six food and drink tickets and an original glass). Additional tickets can also be purchased.

  • Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park
    • Address 2-163 Ryokuchi-Koen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka, 538-0036
    • Phone Number 06-6911-8787

SIKI Garden Autumn Season (Mt. Rokko, Hyogo)

SIKI Garden Autumn Season (Mt. Rokko, Hyogo)

Situated within the Rokko Mountains of Hyogo Prefecture, the Rokko Morinone Museum is a sanctuary where "sound" and "nature" converge seamlessly. To reach this serene location, simply walk for about 5 minutes from Shin-Kobe Station on the Kobe City Subway, take a scenic ropeway journey, and disembark at the "Museum Mae" stop.

The vista from Rokko Mountain evolves with each season. Since its autumn foliage emerges earlier than in the city's regions, guests can savor the brilliant shades of trees such as maple, oak, azalea, and hydrangea. As evening sets in, these colorful leaves glow under special illuminations.

Come October, the insides of the treehouse undergo a transformation to capture the essence of Halloween. This enchanting combination of seasonal blooms and Halloween-themed decorations presents a visual feast.

Event Details
・Dates: October 1 to November 23
・Admission: Free

  • Rokko Morinone Museum
    • Address 4512-145, Kita-Rokko, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-0101
    • Phone Number 078-891-1284
    • ・Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM (reception until 4:20 PM)

Minato HANABI-2023: A Five-Day Spectacle Illuminating Kobe (Hyogo, Kobe)

*Image is for reference only. (Image: PIXTA)
*Image is for reference only. (Image: PIXTA)

In the heart of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, iconic landmarks like the Port Tower and Marine Museum stand tall, often referred to as the "$10 Million Night View." Against this magnificent backdrop, the city is all set to captivate its spectators with 'Minato HANABI-2023,' a five-day consecutive firework extravaganza. This event will be hosted at 'Meriken Park,' which is approximately a 15-minute journey from the JR & Hanshin 'Motomachi Station.' In just 10 minutes, attendees will be spellbound as around 700 fireworks illuminate the sky one after the other.

One of the highlights is the 'Musical Fireworks' display. With Kobe's renowned nightscape as a backdrop, fireworks will ascend in perfect harmony with requested songs spanning various genres, including Japanese music, Western tunes, and Jazz. This delightful fusion of lights and melodies promises an authentically romantic atmosphere.

Event Details:
・Dates: October 16 - 20
・Time: 6:30 PM to 6:40 PM
・Admission: Free

Hotel Events

Halloween Fair (Osaka, USJ area)

Halloween Fair (Osaka, USJ area)

Perfectly timed to coincide with the Halloween festivities at Osaka's renowned theme park, 'Universal Studios Japan,' the park's official hotels, 'Hotel Universal Port' and 'Hotel Universal Port Vita,' have launched their 'Halloween Fair.' Inside their cafes and restaurants, you can indulge in sweets and food menus that are bursting with Halloween spirit, featuring vivid reds, purples, and oranges.

But that's not all! 'Hotel Universal Port' is currently offering an exclusive 'Halloween Party Stay Plan' for its guests. With this plan, you can savor 12 playful dishes delivered right to your room. Imagine 'Mummy-Wrapped Bone-In Sausages,' 'Finger Dogs,' a colorful variety of 'Potato Fries,' and 'Popcorn' cleverly crafted to resemble skeletal hands. And what's a party without some bubbly? You'll also receive sparkling wine to elevate your Halloween night experience with your family and friends.

Event Details:
・Dates: September 7 to November 5
・Location: Hotel Universal Port and Hotel Universal Port Vita

Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2023 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2023 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. CR23-2953

As October deepens into autumn, Kansai comes alive with various music and gourmet events. On top of that, fully embrace and indulge in the festive celebrations of Halloween and the breathtaking views of the fall foliage.

(*Note: The information in this article is accurate as of September 2023. For the most up-to-date details, please check the official websites or other relevant sources.)

*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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