Osaka Festival Photography has many parallels to Tokyo as well as Kyoto, to the point where some people refer to them as the three sister cities of Japan, but Osaka has a character entirely its own!
At the start of every year from January 9th to the 11th, local Osaka residents and many people from surrounding neighborhoods and cities adventure to the Imamiya Ebisu Jinja Shrine as part of their New Year ritual. Ebisu is the god of good fortune, and a city that is home to so much commerce and finance, it makes sense that the god of prosperity and good fortune is very popular. The photo ops abound, especially on the morning of the10th as local celebrities in costume attend the festival and enjoy the mirth and celebratory atmosphere. During the photo tour, you may also photograph geisha and fuku-musume or “lucky maidens.” Everyone is dressed in costumes or traditional Japanese garb to bring good luck in the New Year. I and other Blain Harasymiw photography workshop leaders will keep you close to the pulse of the festival’s action and help you get photos you would be happy to hang in a gallery.
Osaka’s next photo worthy gathering is the Tenjin Matsuri in July. It is one of the most notable festivals in Japan, and its origins date back to the 10th century. Taiko drum performances are a large part of the main celebration, and I or another photo tour leader will help you be in the best position to capture every beat of the drum on camera. Mikoshi, or portable shrines, are also a huge part of the main events as about 3,000 participants join the celebration and help march the portable shrines around the festival area. Every move of the shrines resonates with the festival’s rich history and capturing some of these moments in time is precisely what you will be able to do during your festival photo tour. This festival, however, is not exclusively landlocked. 100 boats on the Okawa river carry portable shrines, kabuki performers, and other forms of Japanese festival entertainment. The eclectic nature of this festival is what sets it apart from its big city brethren. The climax of the festival is a breathtaking fireworks display, and your workshop leader will ensure that you are in the best position to get the best photos for your time spent in Osaka.