I recently joined Bon-Odori held at Rokugo shrine in Tokyo. Let me describe Bon-odori and how to take part in. Photos here were taken on 15, 16-July.
Bon (or O-bon)
Bon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of ancestors.
In eastern Japan, such as Tokyo, Bon festival generally takes place at shrines or temples around 15 July, which is based on the solar calendar. Otherwise it is held around 15-Aug. that is based on the lunar calendar.
Bon Odori (Bon Dance)
Bon Dance is performed to welcome the spirits of the ancestors. Each region has own dance and music.
As can be seen in the photo above, a lot of participants wear Yukata, a casual summer kimono (note : Kimono is a traditional Japanese clothing). Yukata, lanterns, local music, Shrine/temple… etc, good atmosphere.
Let’s fell and join Bon Odori where possible. Please note that we need to follow local rules!
Local food, Drinks
Stalls may be available around Bon Odori events.
We can eat local cuisine such as Yakisoba: fried noodles, Yakitori: Grilled Chicken and so on.
I took a cup of beer.
Yes, It’s summer, Cheers.
How to find a Bon-Odori to be held
Just search at Google by “bon odori” and “name of place” where you are to visit. There will be many Bon-Odori’s all over Japan during the O-bon season.