Dancers at Higashi Honganji's 2012 Obon Festival. (Rafu Shimpo photo)
Dancers at Higashi Honganji’s 2012 Obon Festival. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

Higashi Honganji, 505 E. Third St. (at Central Avenue) in Little Tokyo, will hold its annual Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, from 12 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 held as a celebration of the return of the spirits of our ancestors. The festival features food, games, farmers market, flower market, tea ceremony demonstrations, traditional Bon Odori dancing, and various types of entertainment.

Bon Odori starts at 6:30 p.m. both days. Everyone is invited to participate.

Obon/Hatsubon service will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m.; Manto-E services will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Ogasawara Ryu Sencha Matsumura Shachu will give tea ceremony demonstrations on Sunday at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Rodney Kageyama wil serve as emcee for the entertainment. The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 26

1:30 p.m.: Garvey Ranch Dojo

2 p.m.: hereandnow

2:30 p.m.: Fujima Kansei Odori Kai

3:15 p.m.: TaikoProject

4:15 p.m.: Local Mojo

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

Sunday, July 27

1:30 p.m.: Lumbini Kids

2 p.m.: Kinnara Taiko

2:45 p.m.: Halau Hula ‘a’ ala Anuhea

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

6 p.m.: happyfunsmile

Parking will be available at the Medical Building across from the temple at 420 E. Third St. (entrance on Boyd Street) for 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 parking stub to the raffle booth. The parking lot opens at 10 a.m. and closes promptly at 10 p.m.

For more information, call (213) 626-4200 or visit

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