Food favorites will be back for the return of the Nishi Hongwanji Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will hold its first Obon Festival since the pandemic. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The highlight of the Obon festivities will be the Obon dancing, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. on each day. Traditionally, participants from all over Southern California come to dance and share in the temple’s “Gathering of Joy.”

On Saturday there will be shave ice, beer, bottled water, and a pre-ordered teriyaki chicken pick-up. On Sunday there will be chirashi sushi, Spam musubi, hot dogs, hot dog/chili dogs, beer, and bottled water.

At the carnival, there will be:

• Farmer’s Market sale, plant sales, bingo, and a raffle drawing

• Entertainment by The Nishi Center Kids, ABAsonics, and Taiko Ichiza

• Demonstrations by aikido and tea ceremony groups

• Exhibits by Nishi Center and Nishi Hongwanji Archives

• Information booths by Little Tokyo Service Center, L.A. Metro, Japanese American National Museum, and Boy/Girl Scouts. 

The Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple is located at 815 E. First St. (at Vignes) in Los Angeles. For further information, call (213) 680-9130.

Access suggestion: Take the Metro to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. From there, it is a short 0.3-mile walk eastward to the temple.

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