The shrine’s name is said to have been derived from Sugawara Michizane’s poem that he wrote as he made his way to Taiyuji temple, while others say that the name came from the water that flowed out of a well on the shrine’s premise during the rainy season. Later, the shrine became the setting for “The Love Suicides at Sonezaki” written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. In the story, the shrine was given the nickname “Ohatsutenjin” after Ohatsu, the protagonist of the story, and quickly became a very popular location. People visit the shrine everyday to pay their respects, and recently, the number of visitors during hatsumairi have increased dramatically.
Each year, the mame maki (bean throwing) event is held at the shrine on February 3, where many visitors come to take part in the festival. Sacred sake, zenzai (sweet Japanese dessert), and udon noodles are handed out to visitors, and after the festival float and music presentations, a famous celebrity or well-known local figure is invited to throw out the beans. People born on that year’s zodiac sign can pay a fee and participate as well. Anyone can then participate in the goma ritual (spiritual fire cleansing ritual) that is held afterwards.
Even though the location is surrounded by office buildings, the shrine and the area around it transforms into a retro-looking town during the flea market. With plenty of space between each of the stores, people can come and search for things to buy in a relaxed atmosphere. Find anything from old toys to clothing at the flea market. During the day, many businessmen and office ladies can be seen walking around the premise. Please come and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
There are only about 30-40 stores, but the quality and range of products that can be found is superb. The stores are open every first Friday of the month within the shrine premises. (The flea market maybe cancelled in the event of rain).
A festival filled with shishikura, kasa odori, and yakudaiko!
The festival’s begins at about 7:00 PM, with a special float appearing on the specially made stage. After that, the shishikura (lion dance), kasa odori (umbrella dance) joins in on the fun, and the evening is capped off by a taiko drum performance.
The main festival begins with shrine rituals from 10:30 AM, and from noon the shishikura, taiko drumming, and float dance events start heading their way outside of the shrine. First, six taiko drummers wearing red bird hats depart, making their way through the city of Osaka over 8 hours. They pass by the Hanshin department store, Herbis Osaka, Osaka station, and Ohatsu Tenjin street, illuminating the entire city as they perform. After a while, the group of shishikura, ohayashi, and kasa odori members depart the shrine. They make their way underground, with many of the members consisting of children and girls.
At about 10:00 PM, the shishikura and kasa odori groups reenter the shrine, as a massive musical ensemble perform during the main event of the festival. This exciting summer festival is held every year for two days on the third Friday and Saturday of July.