10 Most Popular Events in Osaka and Hyogo: December 2017   

There are many tourist spots in “Kobe” and “Osaka”. “Kobe” is a popular and fashionable tourist spot and Osaka is close to “Kyoto”, Japanese ancient capital. You can enjoy not only sight-seeing together with many gourmet places but also various events. In this issue we recommend enjoyable events in “Kansai”. Why not check them up when you visit “Kansai”.

 

Enjoyable Events Together with Children

1. <Osaka> German Christmas Market in Osaka: 17th December – 25thDecember, 2017


Source: Osaka info

Annual Event called “German Christmas Market” at “Shin Umeda City” in Osaka

There are around 30 attractive stalls called “Hütte” at the venue and you can enjoy beer, seasonable white wine and sausages, as if you were at a real German Christmas market.

There are also Christmas ornaments which give off an ambience of the Christmas in Germany. Don’t miss the antique merry-go-round and the Christmas train as well.

Why not experience the German Christmas in full of illuminations?

 

Schedule

 

The duration of this event is one month. The hours differ depending on days of the week. Please check the hours before you visit.

Period: 17th November (Fri) – 25th December (Mon), 2017

Hours: Mon – Thu: 12:00 – 21:00, Fri: 12:00 – 22:00,

Sat/Sun/National holidays: 11:00 – 22:00

 

Access & Address

・Venue: ”Kuchu-Teien Tenbodai” (Observatory of the Hanging Gardens), Umeda Sky Building, Shin-Umeda City Wonder Square, Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Direction from the nearest station

9 minutes walk from “Shin Osaka”/ “Osaka” JR Station

9 minutes walk from “Umeda” Station, Subway or Hankyu Line

・Address: 1-1 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

http://www.skybldg.co.jp/event/xmarkt/2017/

 

Events to Enjoy the Nature

2. <Osaka> Festival of Autumnal Tints at “Banpaku Kinen Koen”: 3rd November – 3rd December, 2017


Source: 大阪守口プラザホテル

The tea rooms called “Han-an” and “Banri-an” respectively in the Japanese garden are usually not open to public. However they are exceptionally open during the seasons for autumnal tints and “Ume” (a Japanese apricot) blossoms in the early spring. You should not miss this chance to see the Japanese garden.

Not only the Japanese garden with beautiful autumnal tints but also “Han-an” is a must visit spot, which has a roof covered with Japanese cypress bark and was used to entertain VIPs during the Osaka World Exposition in 1970. The wooden plate with a calligraphy “Han-an” written by Eisaku Sato (the then prime minister of Japan) is hung over the lintel.

You can enjoy Japanese tea and pastry while viewing rare trees in the garden such as Japanese viburnums and dendropanax trifidus.

“Suikin-kutsu” is another must-see attraction. It literally means “water ‘Koto’ cave” and consists of a buried pot upside-down with a hole at the top. It is built in front of “Tsukubai” (a traditional Japanese basin for washing hands before entering a tea room). When water drips through the hole, “Suikin-kutsu” creates a pleasant sound similar to “Koto”, a Japanese zither. Why not listen to soothing sound and spend relaxing time?

 

Schedule

・Date: 3rd November – 3rd December, 2017 (Note: usually closed on Wednesdays but open every day in October and November)

Hours: 9:30a.m. – 5:0p.m. (last admission 4:30p.m.)

 

Access & Address

・Venue: “Banpaku Koen”, Senri, Suita-city, Osaka

・Direction from the nearest station:

5minutes walk from “Banpaku Kinen Koen” Station, Osaka Monorail

・Travel time: Approx. 40 minutes from “Osaka” Station by “Hankyu Kyoto” Line and Osaka Monorail

・Address: Banpaku Koen, Senri, Suita-city, Osaka

・Map

 

Fee and Reservation

Admission fee: Adults (senior high school or elder):Yen250, Junior high and Elementary school: Yen70, Children before school: free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

http://www.expo70-park.jp/

 

3. <Osaka> Autumnal Tints at “Osaka-jo Koen” (Osaka Castle Park):  The Middle of November – the Beginning of December


Source: vokka

There are many places to enjoy autumnal tints in Osaka. “Osaka-jo Koen” is one of them. The park extends around “Osaka-jo” Castle with full of greenery.

In the park there are 13 buildings designated as the important cultural property, as well as many historic landmarks and legendary places. Though located in a big city, it shows different views in different seasons.

In the park there is a big old ginkgo which is 300 years old in front of the castle tower, a 1km avenue of ginkgos in the outer road in the east side, and are other trees such as zelkovas, maples, wax trees, etc. Leaves of those trees change to autumnal color from early November. You can also see autumnal tints of 300 cheery trees in “Nishino-maru Koen”.

The park is popular among foreign tourists and it is ideal for jogging, walking and music as well. Why not spend some relaxing time away from the bustle-bustle of the big city.

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours:

From the beginning of November to the middle of December, open 24 hours

 

Access & Address

・Venue: Osaka-jo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Direction from the nearest station:

10 minutes walk from “Tanimachi 4-chome” subway station.

・Travel time: Approx. 9 minutes from “Osaka” Station via “Osaka Kanjo” Line

・Address: 1-1 Osaka-jo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free (Note: Admission to “Nishino-maru Teien”: Yen200 for adults)

Reservation not required

 

Official site

http://osakacastlepark.jp/

 

4. <Koko-en> Autumn Tints: 17th November – 3rd December, 2017


Source: 好古園

“Koko-en” is a Japanese garden composed of 9 gardens with different tastes. They are built at the sites which used to be “Nishi Oyashiki” (Lord’s west mansion) and “Buke-Yoshiki” (residences of Samurai). It is a type of Japanese garden with a pond in the center.

“Himeji”-jo” Castle is famous for the white castle tower and attracts many tourists. It is designated as National Treasure of Japan. It was edified in the early “Edo” Period and its main structures such as the main tower and turrets still exist in the good original form. At “Koko-en” you will be truly satisfied with the scenery of autumnal tints with “Himeji-jo” Castle as background.

During this time of year, colored leaves of “Iroha-momiji” (Acer palmatum) and “Yama-momiji” (Matsumurae maple) are breathtakingly beautiful. On the days of “Autumn Tints” the garden will be illuminated. You can enjoy fantastic views different from the day time. During the event of “Autumnal Tints” there are music concerts as well. Why not spend some romantic time with music and illuminations?

At the restaurant “Kassui-ken” you can taste Japanese cuisine such as “Anago-don” (a bowl of rice topped with grilled conger eel), “Hime-gozen” set menu, “Soba” (buckwheat noodles) and others, with the view of the Japanese garden.

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

Dates: 17th November – 3rd December, 2017

Hours: (Fri, Sat, Sun & National holidays only) 9:00a.m. – 8:00p.m. (last admmission7:30p.m.)

(Other days): 9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.

Light-up during the event: Fri, Sat, Sun & National holidays only, till 8:00p.m.

 

Access & Address

・Venue: Koko-en, Himeji-jo Castle, Nishi-Oyashiki-ato Teien

・Direction from the nearest station

15 minutes walk from “Himeji” Station, JR ”San-yo” Shinkansen

・Travel time

15 minutes walk from “Himeji” Station, JR ”San-yo” Shinkansen

・Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji-city, Hyogo

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission fee: Adults (18 year old or over): Yen300,

Senior-high/Junior-high/Elementary school students: Yen150

Reservation not required

 

Official site

https://www.himeji-machishin.jp/ryokka/kokoen/index.php

 

Modern Art Event

5. <Osaka> The Candle Night by 1million People @OSAKA CITY 2017 Winter “Nishi Umeda” Night on 6th December, 2017


Source: 観るナビ

The Candle Night will be held in Nishi-Umeda, Osaka. Lights will be turned off in the entire area for 2 hours and candles will be lit. The purpose of the event is to offer a moment for every participant to think what we can do for ourselves, our family, Japan, future of the world and our planet, the Earth.

There will be ”Paper-bag-lantern” on which you write your wishes, “Message candle” that is a glass candle and you write your wish on it and light it, “Candle corridor” which display illuminated art objects created by artists and students in Osaka and Kansai, and you can walk through, “Candle Harmony” produced by “Candle JUNE” which makes “Nishi-Umeda” Park the sea of candles, and “Candle Night Food Café” where you can enjoy foods and drinks especially made for this event by chefs of hotels and cafés.

You will find peace in your mind surrounded by millions of candles.

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

6th December, 2017 (Wed) 18:00 – 22:00

 

Access & Address

・Venue: Nishi-Umeda Venue ( outdoors: 1-chome – 3-chome, Umede)

・Direction from the nearest station

In the vicinity of “Nishi-Umeda” Station, “Yotsubashi” Subway Line

・Travel time

Approx. 5 minutes walk from “Osaka” Station

・Address: Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

http://www.candle-night-osaka.jp

 

6. <Hyogo> “umie” Christmas Illuminations: 3rd November – 25th December, 2017


Source: travelers

“umie” is a giant shopping mall at “Kobe Harborland” where “umie” Christmas Illuminations is held.

Though there are pretty fantastic illuminations every year, it will be different this year.

On the center street there is a Christmas tree called “Coral Tree” having effects of platinum white lights and sounds. It is called “Ice Time”. At “Mosaic Flower Square” you will find colorful illuminations of shade lamps. At “Mosaic Light Square” you will find other illuminations called “Wish Lamp Tree”. Also soothing sea breeze will relax your feeling.

During the period from 11th November (Fri) to 25th December (Sun), “Kobe Umi Akari” will be held. It is an event that the entire area of “Kobe Haborland” including the Harbor Walk and the brick warehouses of Kobe, is covered with full of illuminations. It is a must-see attraction as well.

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

3rd November – 25th December, 2017

10:00a.m. – mid-night, (Hours may differ depending venue)

11th November (Fri) – 25th December (Sun) : “Kobe Umi Akari”

 

Access & Address

・Venue: Kobe Harborland “umie”

・Direction from the nearest station

5 minutes walk from “Kobe” Station, JR Kobe Line or “Harborland” Subway Station

10 minutes walk from “Kosoku Kobe” Station, “Hankyu Kobe Kosoku” Line

・Travel time

5 minutes walk from “Kobe” Station

・Address: 1-7-2 Higashi-Kawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-city, Hyogo

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

http://umie.jp/

 

7. <Hyogo> Christmas Street 2017 at Kitano, Kobe: 1st November, 2017 – 31st January, 2018


Source: 異人館のクリスマスイルミネーションと夜景壁紙写真

The quarter of « Ijin-kan » (former foreign residences) is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kobe because of its exotic atmosphere. Around 120 years ago foreign settlers in Kobe built western style buildings for their residences in the area. Today they are open to public and you can see their life styles and house lay-outs back then. Since there are many fancy cafés, restaurants and shops for small gadgets in the neighborhood, it is good for a promenade.

There are winter illuminations every year in this exotic quarter of “Kitano-zaka” and “Kitano Ijin-kan”.

During this period the trees on the streets are decorated by 40,000 LED lights. Also “Kazami-dori no Yakata” (The mansion of weathercock) is illuminated at night. This spectacular light-up makes the quarter even more exotically fantastic. It gives off completely a different atmosphere in the night than during the day time. Why not check it up?

 

Schedule

1st November, 2017 – 31st January, 2018

Light-up at “Kitano-saka”: 5:00p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

(Note) Ligh-up at “Ijin-kan” differs in each building

(Note) The illumination will last till 31st March, 2018 as a part of the event “Kobe Romantic Faire”.

 

Access & Address

・Venue: The “Ijin-gai” Quarter on “Yamamoto-dori”, “Kitano-zaka”

・Direction from the nearest station

7 minutes walk from “San-no-miya” Station, JR “Kobe” Line

7 minutes walk from “San-no-miya” Station, Hankyu/ Hanshin Line

・Travel time

Approx. 14 minutes by train from “Kobe” Station via Tokaido/ Sanyo Line

・Address: Yamamoto-dori, Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-city, Hyogo

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

none

 

Traditional Events

8. <Osaka> Osaka “Gishi” (Loyal Retainer of Feudal Lord) Festival: 10th December, 2017


Source: 観るナビ

“Kisshou-ji” Temple is located in Ten-no-ji-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka. The temple is for “Soto-shu” (Soto sect of Zen Buddhism) and the family temple for Lord “Asakura” Clan of “Ako” Domain. There are tombs for the 47 samurais of “Ako” Domain and their stone statues in the temple.

The temple was founded in 1603 and rebuilt in 1711. The tombs of the 47 samurais were made in 1739 even before “Sengaku-ji” Temple.

The chief priest at the time of “Uchi-iri” (the raid by the 47 samurais) was from “Ako” Domain and was acquainted to “Naganori Asano” (then the lord “Ako”). The temple burnt down in 1916. It was rebuilt in 1925 but again burnt down except their tombs in 1945 by bombardments during the war.

“Uchi-iri” took place on 14th December and therefore the “Gishi” Festival is held on the second Sunday of December every year for commemoration.

In the festival “Uchi-iri Soba” noodle is served and “Jidai-Gyoretsu” (a parade) is held in which children dress like the 47 samurais. You can enjoy attractions for dedication such as martial arts, drums and “Rakugo” (a comic story-telling). It is a historical event and samurai-lovers would surely enjoy it.

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

10th December, 2017 (Sun): 10:00 – 16:00

(Second Sunday of December every year)

 

Access & Address

・Venue: “Kissho-ji” Temple

・Direction from the nearest station

5 minutes walk from “Shiten-no-ji-mae Yuhi-ga-oka” Station, Subway “Tanimachi” Line

・Travel time

Approx. 18 minutes from “Osaka” Station

(Go on foot from “Osaka” Sation to “Higashi-Umeda” Station, and then take “Tanimachi” Line

・Address: 1-20 Rokumantai-cho, Ten-noji-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

none

 

9. <Hyogo> “Ako Gishi Festival”: 14th December, 2017


Source: カメラと散歩

300 years ago there was a serious incident of raid by “Ako Gishi” (Loyal Retainers of “Ako” Domain). It took one year and 9 months for them to take revenge of their feudal lord, “Asano Akumi-no-kami”. Their loyalty has been legendary and praised by the Japanese people. The 14th December is the day when they accomplished the mission. Though it is commemorated in many places in Japan, this “Ako Gishi” Festival takes place in “Ako” itself.

The main attraction of the festival is “Chusin-gura” Parade. People dressed like a feudal lord and “Gishi” make a procession in the street of 1.1km from the main gate of “Ako-jo” Castle to “Ikitsugi” Square. There are other various events such as a memorial service at “Kagaku-ji” Temple, a ceremonial occasion at “Oishi” Shrine, and a local product exhibition at “Ako-jo” Castle Park.

On the eve of Festival (13th December), a memorial service is held at “Kagaku-ji” Temple and “Oishi” Shrine. Why not enjoy the historical spectacles?

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

14th December, 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.

13th December (Eve): Memorial service 5:00p.m. – 9:00p.m. (till 8:00p.m at “Kagaku-ji” Temple)

 

Access & Address

・Venue: In the vicinity of the main gate of “Ako-jo” Castle and “Ikitsugi” Square

・Direction from the nearest station

15 minutes walk from “Banshu Ako” JR Station

・Travel time

Approx. 33 minutes by rapid train (Shin Kaisoku) from “Himeji” Station via San-Yo Line

・Address: Kariya, Ako-city, Hyogo

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Admission free

Reservation not required

 

Official site

none

 

Sport Events

10. <Hyogo> 29th Sanda International Masters’ Marathon: 17th December, 2017


Source: yurikano

“Sanda” International Masters’ Marathon is an annual winter event in “Sanda”. It is a marathon event authorized by JAAF (Japan Association of Athletic Federation) and there are many regular participants.

The course is a public road which runs through beautiful down town area and greenery country side. There is a tough uphill road having 70m difference of elevation. Along the course people cheer the participants and a delicious “Ton-jiru” (a pork soup) is served after the goal-in.

This year’s guest runner is Yuri Kano who was in 7th place at the world female marathon of Berlin in 2009.

It is a half marathon so that many people participate and attractive awards are offered. Unfortunately the entry is closed already for this year but you can cheer them up along the course. Why not join the crowd for cheering?

 

Schedule

・Dates & Hours

17th December, 2017 (Sun) starting at 10:30 (rain or shine)

 

Access & Address

・Venue: Athletic field of “Arima” Prefectural High School

・Direction from the nearest station

15 minutes walk from “Sanda” JR Station

・Travel time

Approx. 1hour36minutes from “Himeji” Station by rapid train via “Tokaido-Yan-yo” Line or “Fukuchiyama” Line

・Address: 2-1-50 Tenjin, Sanda-city, Hyogo

・Map

 

Admission fee & Reservation

Free visit

Reservation for visit not required

 

Official site

www.sanda-masters.org/