SAN JOSE — San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St. in Japantown, is holding its Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

1] Will the 2022 Obon be the same as in year’s past?

Not quite! We have some booths that are on pause this year. We hope to get as many of them back, in 2023, as possible. Huge THANK YOU to all of the organizations who opted in for 2022!

2] Where can I find some of the Odori (Japanese dance) practice videos online? 

You can find the link here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist… (thank you to Mr. Mas Nishimura for compiling). 

3] Is the parking/shuttle situation going to be the same as in the past? 

Yes. We will have parking at the public lot on First Street and Hedding Street. We will have simultaneous shuttles running from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday. Please plan accordingly in case we get slightly backed up. There will be security present at the lot during hours of operation. We also have our regular street parking and we ask that you be respectful of our neighbors, if you decide to park there. 

4] Can I bring my dog? 

If you must bring your pet, we kindly ask that all dogs be on a leash and able to handle crowds, children etc. Aside from assistance animals, we ask that you not bring your dog into the food court. Thank you for your understanding. As always, please clean up after your pets. 

5] Am I expected to wear a mask? 

We are anticipating a sizable crowd. While masks are not mandated outdoors, we ask that you wear a mask in crowded areas unless you are actively eating or drinking. Also, for the safety of others, we will request masking indoors. 

6] Where can I get dressing assistance for the dancing?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide changing rooms and dress assistants this year. However, below are some helpful links if you wish to dress yourself. You are also welcome to come as you are, or in a happi coat.

How to put on a yukata 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch8eWVvwoFk 

How to put on a yukata 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR1t3h2B0YQ

7] I am not comfortable coming out to Obon but I don’t want to miss out. 

We understand that some may still be getting used to being in a crowd. Some of our programming will be live streamed on our San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Facebook/YouTube channels. We look forward to seeing some of you virtually!

8] I would love to volunteer. Are there still spots?

Yes. We have a few shifts that still need help. Send an email to sjobonhelp@gmail.com and we can send you more info. Huge thanks to the many people who have already signed up. 

9] Will there be bike parking?

Unfortunately, as of right now, we will not have the bike parking areas that we’ve had in the past. Please be prepared to securely lock up your bike and know that there have been several bike theft issues this year. 

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