tenjin matsuri, 2009


I’ve been to see Tenjin Matsuri (天神祭) most years since moving to Osaka in 2005, and last year was no exception.  The festival, which is over a thousand years old, begins at Osaka’s Tenmangu shrine and is dedicated to Michizane Sugawara, the defied god of learning.The first few times I went to see the festival I watched from the riverbank as the incredible parade of boats and portable shrines floated past, though one year I was lucky enough to ride on the Osaka University boat and be a part of the parade.  For the 2009 Tenjin Matsuri my companions and I found a centrally located spot on one of the bridges that crosses the Ogawa river and watched the boat parade from there.  It was a perfect place to view the fireworks, which were launched on either side of the bridge, and we had an excellent view of the boats as they passed below us.  I didn’t end up getting very many good photographs in the end, but a few of them came out well enough to provide some sense of what the festival is like (and how crowded it can get).

For more on Tenjin Matsuri — 2005, 2006, 2007


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