Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Culver City held their Obon Festival on July 15-16 with massive crowds.
The year’s festival welcomed back Venice’s famous udon and andagi (aka Okinawa dango), and introduced a Beer Garden, featuring Brewyard Brewery beers.
Guests were treated to delicious food, fun and games, a silent auction and opportunity drawing, and the chance to purchase Dustin Noriyuki-designed Obon T-shirts and other merchandise.
As usual, the highlight of the weekend was Bon Odori on both nights, as instructors Judy Hopfield and Julia Ueda led nearly 1,000 dancers from Venice Hongwanji and many friends from temples and community organizations across Southern California and beyond.
In addition to udon and andagi, food offerings included Chef Chris Ono-prepared chicken teriyaki, wonton, hot dogs, chili rice, chicken salad from Feast from the East, sushi, and shave ice and kintoki prepared by our middle-schoolers (Sangha Teens).
We express our gratitude who those came to support the temple, and to our many volunteers (ranging from ages 5 to 90+) for making this possible.
The theme for this year’s Obon was #Kangi-E #GatheringofJoy. Everyone is invited to join once again on July 20-21 for the 2024 Venice Hongwanji Obon Festival.
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo (except where noted)