The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is a traditional festival held in Osaka every September, on the weekend before Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hi). It features more than 30 hand-carved danjiri floats made by talented local craftsmen. Each float represents a different area of the city and competition for the fastest float between neighbourhoods is fierce. This is definitely Osaka’s wildest festival, similar to running of the bulls in Pamplona. There are casualties every year.
Weighing up to four tons, these giant wooden floats are pulled and pushed around the streets of Kishiwada city. The sight of hundreds of men not only pulling the floats but also dancing on them is a sight to behold. In the spring, a similar festival is held in Kobe though it's not quite as grandiose.
A danjiri is a Japanese wooden float that is decorated with ornaments so that the float resembles a shrine or a temple. The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri took place in 1703 for the first time when the lord of Kishiwada Castle, Okabe Nagayasu prayed to the Shinto gods for an abundant harvest. The September Festival's main highlight is Kishiwada Danjiri by the Castle which runs from the Nankai to the seaside. Another danjiri festival takes place in Haruki Town near Nankai Haruki Station, however, it is less popular.