Happyfunsmile gave a lively performance at last year’s HHBT Obon Festival.

Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, 505 E. Third St. (at Central) in Little Tokyo, will hold its Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28, from 1 to 9 p.m.

Obon is a traditional event to honor and express gratitude to the spirits of our ancestors, those before us who provided us with the gift of life. The Obon Festival is a celebration of the return of the spirits of our ancestors. It features food, games, farmer’s market, flower market, tea ceremony demonstrations, traditional Bon Odori dancing, and various types of entertainment.

Everyone, experienced or not, is invited to join in the dancing on both nights. Wear yukata or happi coats if you have them, or come as you are.


Hatsubon service for those who have passed on since the last Obon will be held on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.  Manto-e services will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

The tradition of Manto-e, originating some 1,200 years ago, is to light the sky with “ten thousand lanterns.” Lanterns can be offered in memory of a departed loved one. To apply for one, click here.

Tea Ceremony

Ogasawara-ryu Sencha-do tea ceremony demonstrations will be given by Matsumura Shachu downstairs in Room 2 on Sunday at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Entertainment Lineup

Saturday, July 27

1 p.m.: Live 4 Today

2 p.m.: Higashi Zumba

2:30 p.m.: Halau Hula ‘a’ ala Anuhea

3:15 p.m.: Fujima Kansei Odori Kai

3:45 p.m.: TaikoProject

4:30 p.m.: June Kuramoto and Friends

5:15 p.m.: Bombu Taiko/Kitsune Taiko

6 p.m.: Manto-e Service

6:20 p.m.: Otani Gakuen

6:30 p.m.: Bon Odori

Sunday, July 28

1:45 p.m.: Lumbini Child Development Center

2 p.m.: hereandnow

2:30 p.m.: Kinnara Taiko

3 p.m.: Garvey Ranch Dojo

3:45 p.m.: Local Mojo

4:30 p.m.: Bombu Taiko/Kitsune Taiko

5:30 p.m.: Manto-e Service

6 p.m.: happyfunsmile

6:30 p.m.: Bon Odori

(Schedule is subject to change)


Parking will be available at the Medical Building across from the temple at 420 E. Third St. The lot entrance is on Boyd Street. Obon visitors will receive a discounted maximum daily fee of $5, plus a complimentary Obon raffle ticket valued at $3. In order to receive your discount voucher and raffle ticket, bring your stub to the Raffle Booth at the entrance to the festival.

Be aware of parking lot closing times. The Medical Building lot closes at 10 p.m. and other lots in Little Tokyo close earlier.

For more information on the festival or the temple, call (213) 626-4200 or visit www.hhbt-la.org or www.facebook.com/hhbt.la.

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