The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival, or Danjiri Matsuri, dates back over 300 years and is held every year in September in Osaka. Around 500,000 tourists visit Kishiwada to experience this exciting festival.
Danjiri are traditional floats used in festivals in Japan. The floats at this festival are hand-made from wood and have intricate carvings of ancient battles.
The 34 large floats weigh around 4 tons and are fiercely pulled down the narrow streets of Kishiwada at top speeds. Watching the floats skid around the street corners is often a dramatic event.
Each Danjiri represents a town, or cho, in Kishiwada city. Teams of people get together from each town for the event.
One person is elected to stand at the top of the float to control its direction. The Daikugata standing at the top of the float puts on quite a performance with dancing and dangerous maneuvers. Others on the float play taiko drums and musical instruments to heighten the spirit of the performance.
The festival begins at 6:00 am with the sound of a siren and lasts all day. In the evening, the floats are beautifully lit up with red lanterns.
To get to the festival, take the Nankai Line to Kishiwada Station. Once at Kishiwada Station, there is a Festival Information Center where you can find out the location of the parade.
Date: September 16-17, 2017
Schedule of Events:
- 6:00 am-10:00 pm – Parade of floats (starts at 9:00 am on the 17th)
- 7:00 pm – Evening parade with lanterns
Fee: Free admission
Website: Kishiwada Festival Official Website (in Japanese)
Transportation: Nankai Line from Namba Station to Kishiwada Station – about 25 minutes, 490 yen one-way
Photo credit: ©JNTO