Osaka’s ‘Gal Mikoshi’ Event Returns after 4-Yr Break

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Women practice for the ‘Gal Mikoshi’ parade in Osaka City on Saturday afternoon.

Women practiced toting a portable shrine Saturday in Kita Ward, Osaka City, ahead of the city’s long-established Tenjin Festival, which takes place on July 24-25.

Participants in the women-only parade, known as ‘Gal Mikoshi’ (girls’ portable shrine) will process along the Tenjinbashisuji shopping street a day before the festival kicks off.

It will be the first time for the Gal Mikoshi parade to take place in four years, due to the effects of novel coronavirus pandemic. Some 80 women between the ages of 15 and 33 were selected from among 186 applicants to carry the shrine; 77 selectees participated in Saturday’s practice.

Dressed in traditional happi coats, the women worked in groups of around 20 to carry the 200-kilogram shrine while cheering enthusiastically. They later offered prayers for the festival’s safety at Osaka Tenmangu Shrine.