Sakai Matsuri 2018 – Experience Sakai City’s Largest Celebration of



Sakai matsuri (堺まつり/Sakai festival) is a big civil festival in Sakai city, Osaka. For the first time this matsuri has been held officially in 1974 as an alternative event to the Sakai Grand Evening Fish Market and since then, it is held on the third weekend of October every year. This year, the 45th Sakai matsuri is going to be held on October 20th and 21st. The first day is the eve of Sakai matsuri, and the second day holds the main event that has a big parade, Futon Daiko and various kinds of performances.

The Origin of Sakai Matsuri

  I think that history is very important for this festival when local people celebrate their 1,600 years of heritage. The origin of this festival came from Sumiyoshi Matsuri (住吉祭/Sumiyoshi festival). This festival is one of the most loved summer festivals in Osaka. The others are Tenjin Matsuri (天神祭), and Aizen Matsuri (愛染祭). Sumiyoshi Matsuri was painted in a byobu (屏風/folding screen) 400 years ago, so it is said that Sakai matsuri also has a long history. Sakai festival’s main events include the Pre-parade Party, Grand Parade, Grand Tea Ceremony, and Namban Markets.

Grand Parade

You can enjoy the Grand Parade on the main day, on Sunday. The main street becomes pedestrian precinct, so you can see people who are wearing costumes that reproduce actual clothes of Japanese old periods flaunting there. The costumes represent the Japanese civil war period and international trading period, so you can enjoy not only Japanese traditional clothes like the samurai one but also Jesuit missionaries, and merchant’s clothes. Sakai city was a big international trading city so there was a lot of Lusitanian back then. In addition, Sakai is the first city which was making Japanese guns. So, the group of harquebusiers also appears and fires guns in the air during the celebration. You can see almost all Japanese old periods through this parade.

Image courtesy of Osd4117

Futon Daiko

Futon Daiko (布団太鼓) is a portable shrine that tiers five square Japanese-style beddings on its roof. Yelling loudly, people who have this portable shrine bump into each other. This performance is the finale of a grand parade. It has a tremendous impact, so you should check this show if you have a chance.

Shows and Performances

From the nearest train station to the main street which holds a grand parade, you can see many kinds of performances like marching bands, dancing, etc. A lot of food stalls are also near the station and the main street. There are so many festival food stalls that you cannot check all of them without planning.

Access and Details

Dates: October 20th, 21st in 2018. Every third weekend in October every year.

Place: Civic Square in front of the Sakai City Office, Oshoji Symbol Road, Osaka

Address: Sakai-ku, Sakai-shi, Osaka

Official Website (Japanese only):


Because of the Grand Parade, the traffic around the venue is strictly controlled, so I suggest you use public transportation. This festival takes place in a wide area, so the nearest stations are Sakai station (堺駅) or Sakai Higashi station (堺東駅). Sakai station is close to the parade venue, and Sakai Higashi station is near the place with performances. So, Sakai Higashi station is a more comfortable station to use.

Closing Remarks

Sakai matsuri is a large scale traditional civil festival, so strongly recommend you check the information and make your plans in advance. Except for the grand parade and Futon Daiko show, you also shouldn’t miss the Grand Tea Ceremony at Daisen Park and at Nanshu-Ji Temple. This will provide you with wonderful memories and show you how locals celebrate their heritage.

If you’d like a local guide to take you to this festival and show you much more, please click on the banner below!

The Real Kyoto Gion Festival

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Of course, the Tenjin Festival is a great event to attend, and you should do it when you have a chance! As you probably know, the Kyoto Gion festival is also one of the three best festivals in Japan. Besides, Kyoto is close to Osaka. Why don`t you visit Kyoto in spring and enjoy Gion festival under the cherry blossoms as well? I am sure you will enjoy one of the most popular Gion festivals in Japan! For more information about Kyoto`s Gion Matsuri, please click on the link below!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!



My name is Sayaka. I am a chocoholic. I have traveled in Canada, America, Spain, Italia, France and Singapore. I would love to travel abroad more.

Written on

Other Events You May Like