One of the oldest festivals in Japan
Osaka's Tenjin Matsuri is one of the oldest festivals in Japan, having taken place for more than 1000 years. It is organised by the ancient Tenmangu temple dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), a famous character of literature, arts and politics in the tenth century. The most important days are the 24th and 25th of July, although there are celebrations that run for several days beforehand. The festivities include mikoshi processions through the streets of Osaka and a series of cultural activities related to the arts, especially calligraphy and poetry. It is impressive to see nearly 3,000 people participating in the procession and the more than 100 boats sailing the Dojimagawa river to the march of drum beats and claps.