SAN JOSE — San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St. in Japantown, is holding its 2023 Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9.

Special guests will include collegiate taiko groups from throughout California and singer/songwriter Kina Grannis. Obon dancing with live music by the Chidori Band and San Jose Taiko will take place both nights.

The schedule is as follows:


12 p.m.: Food booths open

12:30 p.m.: Stanford Taiko and Jodaiko (UC Irvine)

1 p.m.: Games and bookstore open

2 p.m.: Buddhism 101

2:30 p.m.: Kyodo Taiko (UCLA) and Asayake Taiko (UC San Diego)

3:30 p.m.: Buddhism 101

4:30 p.m.: San Jose Taiko

5:30 p.m.: Temple closes

6 p.m.: Chidori Band

7:30 p.m.: Obon Odori


11:30 a.m.: Temple opens and Buddhism 101

12 p.m.: Food booths open

12:30 p.m.: Raijin Taiko (UC Berkeley), Yukai Daiko (UCLA) and Kazan Taiko (USC)

1 p.m.: Games and bookstore open

1:30 p.m.: Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan (UC Davis) and Jishin Taiko (CSU Northridge)

2 p.m.: Buddhism 101

2:30 p.m. Kina Grannis

3:30 p.m.: San Jose Taiko

4 p.m.: Temple closes

4:30 p.m.: Chidori Band

6 p.m.: Obon Odori

8 p.m.: Raffle drawing

A new dance will be introduced this year, choreographed by Reiko Iwanaga (Hanayagi Rei Michi). Here is a video link for the steps:

Last year about 20% of the food booths were on hiatus due to the pandemic, but this year they are back to full strength. On the menu: Chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki skewers, ramen, tempura, gyoza, assorted sushi, cabbage salad, corn on the cob, Imagawa yaki,  yaki manju, strawberry shortcake, water, soda, beer, sake.

Parking will be available at the public lot on First Street and Hedding Street, with simultaneous shuttles running from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call (408) 293-9292 or visit

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