Easter in Kansai

ByJustin Hanus
Mar 25, 2024

Easter in Kansai

Are you an expat from a Christian country living in Japan? If so, you may have noticed a lack of general excitement each year around the Easter period. Although the Japanese have taken Christmas to heart in recent years, they’ve been slower to adopt Easter traditions. That said, you can find Easter-themed events, services and products across the country if you look for them, including in Kansai. Here’s what you can find if you’re an expat in Kansai planning to celebrate Easter.

Easter Egg Hunts

You can sometimes find Easter egg hunt events for kids in the city areas where there is more of an expat community, for example Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe. One of the most popular in recent years has been the egg hunt in Utsubo Park, Osaka. This has included games, prizes, treat bags, along with food and refreshment stalls for adults. Plus a chance to have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! Entry is around 2,000 yen. Another is the Easter Egg Hunt and Picnic hosted by the Kobe Union Church. This is a family event with entertainment and performances.

Of course, you can also organize your own egg hunt in any of Kansai’s many spacious and picturesque parks and public spaces.

Festivals and Events

Other than egg hunts, Easter festivals in Kansai are thin on the ground. However, one big event in the region each year is the Easter Celebration at Osaka’s Universal Studios. This is a well-established occasion that runs across several weeks. The dates for 2024 are from March 8th through to June 30th, although you’ll have to check for one-off happenings. It’s a chance to take part in the annual Easter march, meet popular Universal characters and buy special gifts.

You can also find other spring festivals across Kansai during this time of year. While not strictly Easter-related, they give expats the chance to sample local culture and customs. Just after Easter each year is Golden Week in Japan, encompassing four public holidays including Shōwa Day and Children’s Day, both of which often involve celebratory events.

Church Services

Attending a church service is a common part of the Easter calendar for those from Christian countries, even if they don’t regularly go to church the rest of the year round. Easter services are typically held on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. With around 1% of its population Christian, Japan does have a number of churches. You can find Easter services at places such as:

Easter Goodies and Provisions

There are a few stores you can try if you want to buy Easter treats such as eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets. Costco sells a range of Easter eggs including this giant 6 kg beauty. Another good location would be the 100 yen stores that you can find across Japan. These shops sell an array of goods including snacks and decorations. If you’re not that fussed about the design of the treat as long as it tastes sweet, you can find boutique chocolate stores across Kansai. Or perhaps you fancy putting a Japanese twist on your Easter feast, in which case you can buy local sweet treats such as mochi, dango, or even hiyoko sweets that are shaped like Easter chicks.

The 2024 official Easter dates are from Friday, March 29th to Monday, April 1st.

Virginia State Parks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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