A symbol of Osaka and one of Japan's largest reconstructed castles. Originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1931 and underwent major renovation during 1995-97 and serves as a very modern history museum.
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Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is dedicated to Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, representing business prosperity. On Jan. 9-11 (centering on the 10th), the shrine holds one of Japan's largest Toka Ebisu festivals to pray for good business. The festival is perhaps Japan's most commercial festival where souvenirs and trinkets for business prosperity are sold.
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One of Japan's Big Three Festivals (besides Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and Tokyo's Kanda Matsuri) is also Osaka's biggest summer festival held on July 24-25. These photos were taken on July 25, 2004. The festival has a procession starting from Tenmangu Shrine in the afternoon and a water procession on the river in the evening. The festival climaxes with fireworks.
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