HOME Kansai Osaka USJ, Nanko Port What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in February 2024: Enjoy Japan's Exciting Winter Events
What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in February 2024: Enjoy Japan's Exciting Winter Events

What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in February 2024: Enjoy Japan's Exciting Winter Events

Date published: 26 January 2024

As February arrives, Japan bids farewell to the chilliest part of winter and welcomes the gradual warmth of the approaching spring. This transitional period is celebrated with a variety of events across the country. From the traditional Setsubun festival, where throwing beans symbolizes driving away bad luck and bringing in good fortune, to the romantic festivities of Valentine's Day, there's an array of unique experiences to be had.

In this guide, we'll explore some standout events happening in February across cities like Osaka and Kyoto, perfect for adding to your itinerary on your next visit!

(Main image: PIXTA)

Table of Contents
  1. February Events at Theme Parks and Popular Destinations
  2. February Festivals in Osaka & Kyoto
  3. Flower Events in Osaka & Kyoto
  4. Seasonal Events in February
  5. Illumination Events

February Events at Theme Parks and Popular Destinations

Demon Slayer XR Ride - Racing Through the Infinite Train Dream (Osaka, USJ)

Demon Slayer XR Ride - Racing Through the Infinite Train Dream (Osaka, USJ)

The animated film "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train," which sparked a global craze, is making a much-anticipated return to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) after three years. The attraction, inspired by the 2021 hit "Mugen Train," immerses visitors in the Demon Slayer universe through USJ's innovative XR Ride technology. Guests equipped with specialized gear will experience a roller coaster adventure that stimulates not only their visual and auditory senses but also their sense of gravity.

A highlight of the attraction is the inclusion of two original stories unique to USJ, sure to thrill fans. Guests can engage with beloved Demon Slayer characters like Rengoku, the central figure of the Mugen Train arc, and others including Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke, all while enjoying the excitement of the roller coaster ride.

Event Details:
・Dates: February 1 to June 9
・Time: 9 AM onwards (subject to change)
・Location: Hollywood Dream – The Ride
・Ticket Prices: 4,700 to 6,500 yen

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.
© Nintendo
TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
©吾峠呼世晴/集英社・アニプレックス・ufotable TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

  • Universal Studios Japan
    • Address 2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 3 minutes walk from Universal City Station on JR Yumesaki Line
    • Phone Number 0570-20-0606
    • ・Hours: Check official website
      ・Closed: Open daily

RAXUS Presents Umeda☆Ice Rink Tsurun Tsurun (Osaka, Umeda)

RAXUS Presents Umeda☆Ice Rink Tsurun Tsurun (Osaka, Umeda)

Now in its 10th year, the RAXUS presents Umeda☆Ice Rink Tsurun Tsurun event has become a staple at the Grand Front Osaka Umeda Plaza, conveniently situated right next to Umeda Station in central Osaka. Renowned for bringing ice skating to the heart of the city, it annually attracts those eager to revel in the winter ambiance.

The ice rink is a wonderful spot for families and friends to enjoy skating throughout the winter season. In addition to skating, various related events enhance the experience. Starting in 2024, a new feature will be introduced: projection mapping on the ice rink. This innovation will create enchanting visuals for visitors to enjoy, extending the magic beyond the typical skating hours.

Event Details:
・Dates: November 24, 2023, to February 25, 2024
・Time: 12 PM to 8:30 PM (from 11 AM on weekends and holidays)
・Location: Grand Front Osaka Umeda Plaza
・Skating Fee: Adults 1,900 yen, College Students 1,700 yen, High School Students 1,600 yen, Junior High and Below 1,400 yen

February Festivals in Osaka & Kyoto

Sumiyoshi Taisha Setsubun Festival (Osaka, Sumiyoshi)

(Image photo. Credit: PIXTA)
(Image photo. Credit: PIXTA)

Sumiyoshi Taisha, located in Osaka, is a cherished pilgrimage site with many devotees. The shrine is renowned for its monthly events, especially the Setsubun Festival. This festival, celebrating the shift from winter to spring, is dedicated to dispelling misfortune and bringing in happiness.

One of the festival's standout rituals is the "Tsui-na Hoshashiki." This ancient ceremony is designed to banish evil spirits, featuring archers who perform the "Hosha no Gi." During this ritual, they shoot arrows at targets symbolizing misfortune, typically depicted as "oni" (demons).

The festival offers a rare chance to witness expert archers and horseback archers showcase their refined skills. Additionally, it's an important event for "Yakuyoke," a ritual aimed at eliminating bad luck for the year ahead, making it a significant cultural and spiritual occasion.

Event Details:
・Date: February 3, 2024
・Location: Sumiyoshi Taisha
・Fee: Free

Hatsu-uma Grand Festival (Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Taisha)

(Credit: PIXTA)
(Credit: PIXTA)

Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, known for its endless rows of torii gates (traditional Japanese gates found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine), hosts the Hatsu-uma Grand Festival on the day of "Hatsu-uma" in February. "Hatsu-uma" refers to the first "Day of the Horse" in February, according to the traditional Japanese zodiac calendar system, "Eto." In 2024, this day falls on February 12.

The festival commemorates an event dating back about 1,400 years when the deity of Fushimi Inari Taisha, "Inari Okami" (the god of rice, fertility, and industry), is believed to have appeared.

During the Heian period, pilgrims embarking on the Kumano pilgrimage from Kyoto would visit Fushimi Inari to collect a sprig of sacred cedar from the hill. This sprig, which has come to be known as Shirushi no Sugi, symbolizing their pilgrimage, was shown for blessings in Kumano and later planted back at Fushimi Inari. A new tree's growth from this sprig was seen as a sign of their wishes being granted.

While Fushimi Inari Taisha is always a popular destination, the Hatsu-Uma Grand Festival attracts even more visitors, who come to the shrine seeking blessings. During the festival, Shirushi no Sugi, believed to bring prosperity in business and safety to the household, are sold, in a nod to past tradition. As one of the earliest New Year events in Kyoto, participating in the Hatsu-Uma Grand Festival offers a unique way to engage in the early celebrations of the new year.

Event Details:
・Date: February 12
・Time: 8 AM onwards
・Location: Fushimi Inari Taisha
・Fee: Free

Rime Ice Festival (Nara, Mount Miune)

Rime Ice Festival (Nara, Mount Miune)

Mount Miune, a famous mountain spanning Nara and Mie Prefectures, is known for the phenomenon of 'rime ice' during the coldest periods.

At the 'Mitsue Youth Travel Village' located at the base of Mount Miune, the 'Mount Miune Rime Ice Festival' is held from January 20th to February 18th in celebration of this natural wonder. At the venue, there are sales of local specialties, servings of 'zenzai' (a sweet soup of azuki beans and mochi), and mochi-making events, with various fun activities planned for different days. After enjoying the enchanting rime ice on Mount Miune, why not stop by the festival?

Event Details:
・Dates: Weekends and holidays from January 20 to February 18
・Location: Mitsue Youth Travel Village
・Time: 12 PM to 4 PM

  • Mitsue Youth Travel Village
    • Address 1790, Oaza-Kamisue, Mikazue-mura, Uda-gun, Nara, 633-1301
    • TEL: 0745-95-2070 (Mitsue-mura Tourist Association)

Flower Events in Osaka & Kyoto

Plum Grove at Osaka Castle (Osaka, Osaka Castle)

(Credit: PIXTA)
(Credit: PIXTA)

Osaka Castle, a renowned Kansai region landmark, is home to a myriad of attractions in its vast grounds. Notably, the Plum Grove within Osaka Castle Park stands out as a premier destination for viewing plum blossoms in Kansai, showcasing a variety of plum trees in bloom from January to March.

This grove is a vibrant tapestry of color, featuring 105 different varieties and about 1,245 plum trees, ranging from early to late bloomers. Spanning around 1.7 hectares, its most striking features are the white 'Shirataki Shidare' and the deep crimson 'Kagoshima Beni' plum trees. This season offers a unique opportunity to witness these rare and stunning varieties. Consider spending some time enjoying the plum blossoms with the majestic backdrop of Osaka Castle's tower.

Event Details:
・Dates: End of January to March
・Location: Plum Grove in Osaka Castle Park
・Fee: Free

Tenma Tenjin Plum Festival & Bonsai Plum and Sword Exhibition (Osaka, Tenmangu)

(Credit: PIXTA)
(Credit: PIXTA)

Osaka Tenmangu, nestled close to Osaka Station in the Tenma area and fondly referred to as 'Tenjin-san' by locals, celebrates plum blossoms annually with events running from February to March.

The shrine's grounds are adorned with 1,500 plum trees, but a unique feature of this event is the display of Bonsai Plum trees. These are specially cultivated plum trees in pots, designed for decorative purposes, with some venerable trees being over 200 years old.

Additionally, the event showcases swords associated with Osaka Tenmangu, offering a glimpse into the elegant world of Japanese wabi-sabi and history, complemented by the beauty of the Bonsai Plums. The festival atmosphere is further enhanced with open cafes, antique markets, and pottery stalls.

Event Details:
・Dates: February 10 to March 3
・Time: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
・Location: Osaka Tenmangu
・Admission: Adults 700 yen (high school students and above), Children 400 yen (junior high students and below) *Separate fees may apply for each event

Seasonal Events in February

Valentine Chocolate Exposition 2024 (Osaka, Umeda)

Valentine Chocolate Exposition 2024 (Osaka, Umeda)

Held at the Hankyu Umeda Main Store, conveniently located near Osaka and Umeda stations, the Valentine Chocolate Exposition stands as one of the Kansai region's most celebrated Valentine's Day events.

This exposition, among Japan's largest chocolate events, brings together a diverse array of chocolates from local and international chocolateries, patisseries, and confectioners. The primary exhibition on the 9th floor is complemented by related products available in the basement food section and throughout various floors of the building. The 2024 theme, 'Feeeeever,' promises an impressive display of around 300 brands and around 3,000 types of sweets and chocolates.

The event caters to all chocolate enthusiasts, featuring areas like 'Cacao World,' which highlights global cacao varieties, and 'Chocolate Meets Caramel,' dedicated to caramel-infused treats. Whether you have a particular preference or are simply browsing, the sheer variety and atmosphere are bound to elevate your experience.

Event Details:
・Dates: January 20 to February 14
・Time: Varies by floor
・Location: Various floors including the 9th floor and basement of the Hankyu Department Store Umeda Main Store
・Fee: Free *Prices for individual products vary

Hanshin Valentine 2024 (Osaka, Umeda)

Hanshin Valentine 2024 (Osaka, Umeda)

The Hanshin Valentine 2024 event, an annual celebration, takes place at the Hanshin Umeda Main Store, conveniently located near the Hanshin and Osaka Metro Umeda Stations. For 2024, the event introduces a delightful twist to the typical Valentine's fare by focusing on 'strawberries,' merging them with chocolate for an innovative taste experience.

Participants can engage in an 'ichigo-gari' (strawberry picking) activity, selecting their top five choices from eight exclusive Japanese strawberry varieties, including 'Kotoka' and 'Akihime.' The event also offers a range of dine-in desserts, such as parfaits and mille-feuilles, creatively combining large, juicy strawberries with rich chocolate to create a perfect blend of flavors.

Moreover, the event showcases an assortment of strawberry-centric confections, featuring items like truffle chocolates filled with strawberry ganache and sweets infused with white chocolate and the renowned 'Tochiotome' strawberries. It's a celebration that's all about strawberries in their many delicious forms.

Event Details:
・Dates: January 24 to February 14
・Time: Varies by floor
・Location: Various floors including the 8th floor, 1st floor, and basement of the Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store
・Fee: Free (*Prices for individual products vary)

Spring Semba Expo 2024 'Semba's Hina Matsuri' (Osaka, Semba)

Spring Semba Expo 2024 'Semba's Hina Matsuri' (Osaka, Semba)

The 'Spring Semba Expo 2024 “Semba's Hina Matsuri”' takes place in Kita-Semba, an area steeped in the history of Osaka. Celebrated on March 3rd, Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) is a special day in Japan dedicated to wishing for the health and happiness of girls. In line with this tradition, the event showcases a stunning array of Hina dolls.

Nine prominent families from Kita-Semba display their exquisite Hina dolls across eight different venues, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to appreciate the intricate beauty and craftsmanship of these dolls.

Additionally, the expo is complemented by markets offering snacks and bento boxes that reflect the festive spirit of the season, along with events like concerts that enhance the Hina Matsuri experience.

Event Details:
・Dates: February 26 to March 3
・Time: 9 AM to 6 PM (*Varies by area)
・Location: Various areas in Semba
・Fee: Free (*Separate fees may apply for each event)

Illumination Events

Shiawase Kairou: Nara Rurie (Nara, Nara Park)

Shiawase Kairou: Nara Rurie (Nara, Nara Park)

Shiawase Kairou: Nara Rurie is a captivating annual illumination event set in the enchanting Nara Park, renowned for its free-roaming deer.

This luminous event spans the 'Sanshaji' ('three shrines') area adjacent to Nara Park, linking three iconic temples of Nara – Kasuga Taisha, Todai-ji, and Kofuku-ji – through a mesmerizing corridor of light. The 'Rurie' in the event title, symbolizing a blue gemstone, is brought to life by the predominant use of blue LED lights, which cast a surreal, dreamlike glow over the surroundings.

Complementing the illuminations, the event features various engaging activities, such as market stalls, the exclusive 'Happiness Cocoa' beverage, and tanzaku, strips of paper for writing and hanging wishes, adding to the festive and magical atmosphere.

Event Details:
・Dates: February 8 to February 14
・Time: Varies by program
・Location: Nara Park (Kasuga Taisha, Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji)
・Fee: Free (*Separate admission fees for each temple may apply)

  • Nara Park
    • Address The area covering Kasugano-cho, Zoshin-cho, Takabatake-cho, and Noborioji-cho in Nara, Nara, 630-0000
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Kintetsunara Station (Kintetsu-nara Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0742-22-0375

Kobe Illuminage (Hyogo, Kobe)

Kobe Illuminage (Hyogo, Kobe)

The 'Kobe Illuminage' is currently being held at 'Michi-no-Eki Kobe Fruit & Flower Park Osawa' until February 12. Themed 'Secret Garden,' this event offers a chance to experience a fantastical world of illuminations. A highlight this year is the introduction of the 'Arabian Palace,' joining the 'Three Great Illumi Palaces' alongside the Pink Palace and Ice Palace. Its elegant and graceful appearance captivates all who see it.

Additionally, there are interactive attractions like the Jurassic maze and a giant illuminated piano that makes sounds when pressed, allowing visitors to enjoy the illuminations while being active.

Event Details:
・Period: November 1, 2023 to February 12, 2024 (*Open daily during the period)
・Hours: 5 PM to 10 PM
・Illumination Hours: 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
・Admission: Adults (13 and over) 1,800 yen, Children (1 to 12 years old) 1,000 yen

  • Kobe Fruit & Flower Park Osawa Rest Area
    道の駅 神戸フルーツ・フラワーパーク大沢
    • Address 2150 Kami-Osawa, Osawa-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo 651-1522
    • Nearest Station Okaba Station (Kobe Electric Railway)
      15 minutes by bus or cab

Light Amusement Park – Flowering Illumination (Hirakata Park, Osaka)

Light Amusement Park – Flowering Illumination (Hirakata Park, Osaka)

The Light Amusement Park – Flowering Illumination at Hirakata Park in Osaka, easily accessible from Keihan Electric Railway's Hirakata Park Station, is an annual highlight for both locals and visitors. This family-friendly theme park, boasting classic rides like a Ferris wheel and roller coaster, alongside a charming zoo, transforms into a radiant wonderland from November to April.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023, this year's "Flowering Illumination" theme pays homage to floral motifs. Marking the event's first major refresh in five years, this anniversary is commemorated with vibrant new elements.

For the first time, the illumination includes seven distinct areas, each brought to life with innovative "Ensemble LEDs." The spotlight of the event is the debut of the "Tree of Flowers and Fairies," an impressive structure standing around 13 meters tall. Visitors can also enjoy over 20 night attractions under the lights, including the Sky Walker, which offers a breathtaking 80-meter-high panoramic view of the illuminated park.

Event Details
・Event Dates: Specific days from November 3, 2023 to April 7, 2024
・Time: 5 PM until park closing
・Admission (Online Purchase): Adults 1,600 yen, Children 900 yen

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

Osaka Castle Illuminage (Osaka Castle Park)

Osaka Castle Illuminage (Osaka Castle Park)

The Osaka Castle Illuminage is a mesmerizing illumination event taking place in Osaka Castle Park's Nishinomaru Garden, conveniently located a short stroll from the park's entrances near Osaka Metro's Tanimachi 4-chome Station and Morinomiya Station.

The 2023 theme, "Osaka Historical Illumination – Fully Experience OSAKA," brilliantly narrates the city's evolution from the turbulent Sengoku era to contemporary times, illuminated by approximately 3.5 million lights.

Set against the scenic backdrop of the castle's iconic Tenshukaku (castle keep), the spacious garden becomes a photographer's paradise, bathed in lights. The event also features interactive elements like whimsically lit seesaws, inviting visitors to play and immerse themselves in the luminous environment. Previous editions of this event have celebrated Osaka's unique charm with themed illuminations, showcasing everything from classic Osaka cuisine and historic streetscapes to prominent figures in the city's past, creating unforgettable visual experiences.

Event Details
・Event Dates: November 22 to February 25, 2024
・Time: 5:30 PM - 10 PM (Gates open at 5 PM, last entry at 9:30 PM)
・Venue: Nishinomaru Garden, Osaka Castle
・Admission: Adults (ages 13 and above) 1,500 yen, Children (ages 1 and above) 800 yen

February in Japan marks a transition from the cold to milder weather, creating a perfect setting to enjoy a range of events. This time of year is rich with various cultural experiences, from relatively modern celebrations like Valentine's Day and Setsubun to age-old Japanese traditions and festivities. It's a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse aspects of Japanese culture.

(*Note: The information in this article is accurate as of January 2024. For the latest details, please refer to official websites.)

*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.

Share this article.

Limited time offer: 10% discount coupons available now!