Autumn

Hiraoka Shrine Shugosai – an Exciting Traditional Fall Festival in Osaka

Maggie

Writer

Hiraoka Shrine Shugosai is held for 2 days, October 14th & 15th every year to celebrate and appreciate the harvest in the autumn season. Local adults carry 23 futon daiko (large drum stand made with Futon mattress), and it is one of the largest festivals featuring these daiko stands. This fall celebration is full of energy and excitement and is something you cannot miss if you are in Osaka in fall. 

The parade that carries futon daiko starts from Toricho and marches down for about 1 kilometer to Hiraoka shrine while carriers cheerfully chant “Cho Sa!” (チョーサジ) and drummers play the drums on top of futon daiko in the afternoon. Within the 1km route, the path gets steeper, but carriers lift futon daiko even higher and enter the shrine. Around 7 pm, all the futon daiko enter the temple. However, the Nakakatsugi (中担) ritual starts when all the futon daiko go up and down on the main street of the shrine to show the bravery of carriers. On the 2nd day of the festival, about 150000 people visit the shrine and enjoy watching the parade. You will notice many festival food stands in the shrine’s precincts.

Futon Daiko – the Signature of the Festival

Futon daiko are large portable drum stands that are carried in Kawachi & Senshū area in Osaka during traditional festivals. It weighs from one to two tons and carried by 50 to 70 people. As you can see in the picture, there are ornaments on the futon daiko. Each side is bundled with an obi (a rope or traditional belt) to keep the futon together. They are called futon jime. The large cotton knots model a rain cloud on the four corners of the futon daiko, which has another name – makura (pillow). These decorations feature expensive embroidery and become more luxurious with time. Almost all of the four sides have a brace of three-dimensional dragons embroidered with golden thread.

Other Events at Hiraoka Shrine

The temple is also famous for a 500 plum tree grove. Many visitors come in spring to enjoy the majestic blossoming scenery. On December 25th, many places feature Christmas decorations, the shrine hosts a “Laughing Shrine” festival (Shimekake Shinji/注連縄掛神事, or Owarai Shinji/お笑い神事). Everyone laughs for at least 20 minutes with priests to remember how many times you laughed from the bottom of your stomach and welcome the new year with many more laughs.

Details and Access

Dates: October 14th and 15th every year

Place: Hiraoka Shrine

Address: 7-16 Izumoichō, Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

Official Homepage (Japanese only): http://hiraoka-jinja.org/rituals/index.html

Access:

You can access Hiraoka Shrine by a 3-minute walk from the closest station, Hiraoka station on Kintetsu Railway’s Nara Line.

Closing Remarks

The shrine has a long history and it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The shrine itself has so much to tell, but this fall festival is much than tahn just a simple festival. Its traditions live for centuries, and it never looses its popularity. This festival is one of the biggest festivals in Osaka as around 150,000 people come to see it every year. I highly recommend you seeing the tall Futon Daiko and the brave men carry it.

If you would like to enjoy this festival with a local guide who will tell you more about the ancient traditions on the local community, ancient customs around the neighborhood, and introduce you to the wonderful world of Japanese festivals, please click on the banner below!

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URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

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Maggie

Hi! I am Maggie. I love traveling and telling people about cool things happening in Japan. Hope the article helps with your trip to Japan!

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