The Aizen Festival is touted as the first major summer festival in Osaka of the year. Along with the Tenjin Festival and the Sumiyoshi Festival, it’s also known as one of the three big Osaka festivals.
For 2023, the summer festival stalls will be back but on a smaller scale.
Known colloquially as “Aizen-san” (the other two big festivals get the same treatment), Aizen Festival takes place in and around the temple, Aizendo. One of the big draws of the festival is the Hoekago Parade in which a geisha (a beautiful young woman — not the elaborately made up figure you’re imagining) is carried aloft in a palanquin called a hoekago (blessed treasure basket). Parade participants chant “ho-e-ka-go” while carrying the young woman aloft.
The parade will be held on the first day of the festival and depart from Tennoji Park at noon. It will make its way to Aizendo Temple where the hoekago is raised up and down in a special ceremony that commences from 1 p.m.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.