I checked on the internet last night to see if there would be any events in Osaka to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. To my surprise, I found there were several events organised, including a parade! Until now, I had been completely unaware of any Irish presence in Osaka.
The parade was due to be held in Osaka Castle Park. We drove there with the intention of parking the car near the end-point of the parade and then walking back along the route until we met the parade.
However, our plan didn’t work out. The car park was full and we had to drive on until we came to another car park, and by the time we walked back to the castle park, the parade was already over. Approaching the end point, we heard fiddle and box music and saw a lot of people wearing green, standing around in the warm sunshine.
There were two enormous Irish wolfhounds dressed up for the day.
Shiro and Miffy were patriotic too.
Mark Donnellan from Tipperary was in the role of St Patrick. I heard one curious Japanese person ask him if he was Santa Claus!
The parade was organised by Irish Network Japan (Osaka). As well as the parade, they had organised a live music session on a boat, a céilí and pub crawl, and other events. We had other plans for the day though, and couldn’t stick around. I was kind of sorry I hadn’t known about this more in advance.
Walking back to the car, we visited the plum grove of Osaka Castle, which was a sea of blossom despite being past its peak.
These guys were doing some pretty impressive skipping moves in Taiyo no hiroba at the north end of the park.