Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will hold its annual Obon Festival on July 7 and 8 from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
The highlight of the festivities will be the Obon dancing, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Traditionally, participants from all over Southern California come to dance and share in the temple’s “Gathering of Joy.”
The scheduled stage entertainment will include Taiko Ichiza along with JSPACC (Japanese Speaking Parents Association of Children with Challenges) Kizuna Taiko; Ha’ Aloha Polynesian Dancers; Matsutoyo Kai; Miko Shudo and the Grateful Crane 4; Nishi Center Kids; and Kokoro (Saturday evening).
At the carnival, there will be beef and chicken teriyaki, chirashi and maki sushi, udon, somen, hot dogs, chili rice, Okinawa dango, manju, chashu bao, Paso Almonds, shave ice, beer, soda, and bottled water.
The event will also feature games for the children and bingo for the adults; a raffle drawing; plenty of plants from San Gabriel Nursery; farm-fresh produce; hand made craft items; white elephant sales; tea ceremony demonstrations; and cultural displays.
The Obon service will be held at the temple on Sunday, July 15, from 10 a.m. with guest speaker Rev. George Matsubayashi, former rimban of Nishi Hongwanji and BCA (Buddhist Churches of America) minister emeritus.
Nishi Hongwanji is located at 815 E. First St. (at Vignes Street) in Los Angeles. For further information, call (213) 680-9130.
Access suggestion: Take the Metro Gold Line to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. From there it is a short 0.3-mile walk eastwards to the temple.