Any time is a good time to visit San Jose’s historic and lovely Japantown, but never is it more fun than during the annual Obon Festival!
This year, 2016, the Obon Festival will take place July 9th (noon – 10pm) and 10th (noon – 8pm).
What does Obon mean? The word means lantern but the festival is very ancient, more than 2,000 years old, and the celebration is in honor of one’s ancestors.
You’ll find delicious food, tables with goodies to buy, Taiko drumming (3 different groups per day), games to play, the Chidori Band, and dancers in colorful costumes.
Returning visitors, you’ll see something new in 2016! For many years, the San Jose Buddhist Church community has been running a major capital campaign to build a new annex or gym. It was begun just after Obon 2015 and as of last week, it was completed – awaiting only the city’s building department to grant finals on the permits.
Because this is an immensely popular event, it’s advisable to carpool and use the website link below to check on parking options and shuttles.
The location is the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N 5th Street, San Jose (easiest freeway access is 87 to the Taylor exit).
See the lineup of performers at the church’s website: