Sumiyoshi Matsuri at the Grand Sumiyoshi Sanctuary

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Sumiyoshi Matsuri at the Grand Sumiyoshi Sanctuary

The famous Sumiyoshi Matsuri takes place every summer in the Sumiyoshi Taisha, one of the most important Shinto sanctuaries in Japan (there are 2,300 in all).

Also known as the Grand Sumiyoshi Shrine, the Sumiyoshi Taisha shrine venerates three Shinto gods (Sokotsutsu no Onomikoto, Nakatsutsu no Onomikoto, and Uwatsutsu no Onomikoto), considered the gods of the sea and sailing. In addition to these three Sumiyoshi brothers, the temple is dedicated to Empress Jingu who was, according to legend, Empress consort of Emperor Chuai, and later regent, until her son Ojin ascended the throne in 269.

Each summer, the temple hosts the famous Sumiyoshi Matsuri festival. Ceremonies last for three days, from July 29 to 31, and even a little before, for the ‘Day of the Sea' (July 17). During this period, a large crowd in yukata (traditional costumes) pays tribute to the gods, while in Sumiyoshi Park food stands (yatai) and games await visitors. One of the highlights of the festival is on the last day: a mikoshi (palanquin) carrying the effigies of the deities is taken to Osaka Bay, escorted by a procession of bedecked young people dancing and playing music. After being carried over five kilometres, the mikoshi is bathed in water for purification before being taken back to the Grand Sumiyoshi Shrine later in the evening.

Sumiyoshi Matsuri
2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi
Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture 558-0045

17 July and from 29 to 31 July 2017