Are you a Jazz Music Fan? Are you likely to be in the Kansai Region of Japan during the "Golden Week" holiday period? If you answered Yes to the two questions, then why not allocate two days out of your schedule, and head-off out to Takatsuki City for the "Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival". Considered one of the greatest free music shows in Japan, the festival has been operating since 1999 and hasn't stopped growing since.
The T.J.S. (as it is known) is a two-day extravaganza of live jazz featuring over 300 acts, comprising of over 3,000 artists, performing in 40 different locations in-and-around the central business disctrict of Takatsuki City. You can choose to either chill-out in one of the four parks, stand curbside or sip a nice latte in one of the many cafes, while listening to some smooth live jazz. If it's "Big Band" or "Small Group" or "Solo" acts you are into, then it's all here. If you are a "Traditionalist" or "New-Wave", it will be here too (along with a surprise or two). I can guarantee you won't leave disappointed. How much is this going to cost you (over-and-above your transportation)? Nothing.Zilch. It's all free (in saying that,the proprietors of the cafes would appreciate you purchasing a coffee etc). There is even a bus that does a circut of all the venues, and it's free also.
Getting here couldn't be easier. Takatsuki City is serviced by both the Japan Rail and Hankyu Rail networks and are both on the Osaka-to-Kyoto Lines.There are plenty of hotels in the area ranging from the "Upmarket" to the smaller "Business Hotel", and lets not forget the B&B (check attached link).
So, when is this extravaganza being held? Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May 2012 kicking-off at 10:30am both days and, if you are a night-owl, the final gig won't finish until about 1am (you will need to check your last train, if you plan to stay for the last act).
Here is an idea, if you are coming as a group. Arrive here here at 10am and head for Shiro-Ato Park (when you arrive there will be volunteerers, all wearing branded t-shirts, and they will give you a brochure, or magazine more like it, of the schedule and times and locations of all the gigs) grab a table & chairs and settle-in for a great days music. Around the perimeter of the park (it's actually a baseball field) will be a flea-market as-well-as food & drink stalls. Make this your base for the day and, if any of your group wants to explore, take it in turns to do so. If you will be on your own, then just wander-about. The music will be everywhere.
I have already bookmarked the dates on my calender and, if you want some company, or help in getting-around, then please don't hesitate to contact me. It would be my honor to accompany you.