Many people who are familiar with Japanese culture would know what obon is. For the ones who don’t know about the term, very basically Obon is
1-a 3-day Buddhist holiday to honor the passed spirits. Obon is usually during the 2nd week of August .(In the past it was the 2nd week of the 7th month in the Lunar calendar)
2-It is believed that spirits come visit the houses where they lived while they were alive during Obon.
3- To observe Obon, Japanese people usually visit graves (お墓) of their loved ones and put their favorite foods and drinks in front of the tombs. Not all Japanese believe that the spirit of the dead person can come and eat the food but it’s just a symbolic act to show respect to the deceased.
4- Obon Break (お盆休み obon yasumi) is a 5-day holiday similar to Christmas break in the West. In the past almost all shops used to close and all big corporation employees used to take 5 days off. Nowadays, most shops are open but big companies still allow their employees to take a 5-day or a week long vacations.
5- During Obon (2nd week of August) both domestic and international tour prices skyrocket (because of high demand).
6- There are many fireworks (Hanabi 花火) during the Obon season which usually take place by the seaside.
7- There’s also a special festival called Bon odori. Participants dance and sing which symbolizes the joy of remembering the spirits and sacrifices they made.
This Obon afternoon we went to Kiyomizu Dear (Kiyomizu Temple) and these are what we captured for you
The fire shaped like 大 is the bon fire that is usually lit during the Obin festival in Kyoto. This picture was taken at the Kyoto JR train Terminal this afternoon (08/13/2011)
A ninja lady protecting these beautiful kimono wearing Maikos in Kyoto. Her shoes seem so comfy
Close up. What a great hairdo…
Japanese write their wishes on a piece of paper or a piece of wood to communicate it to the God (Kami-sama).
Lunch in Kyoto
This is actually Chinese food
Enjoy Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Dera Guidemap