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Northern/Central California Obon/Summer Festivals This Weekend

The weekend of July 13-14 will be a busy one for festival-goers in Northern and Central California.

• Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church’s 57th annual Japanese Bazaar on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 32975 Alvarado Niles Rd. in Union City.

Entertainment/displays: O-Nami Taiko, kendo, Japanese dance, hula, ikebana, bonsai

Food: Chicken teriyaki gyoza, udon, sushi, manju, teri-burgers, teri-dogs, corn on the cob, shave ice

Games: Bingo, Demon Smash, Koi Pond, Nickel Pitch

Also featuring a Buddhism mini-lecture, silent auction, boutique and crafts, bookstore and more.

Info: (510) 471-2581,,

• Konko Church of San Francisco Summer Festival Bazaar, Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1909 Bush St. (at Laguna) in San Francisco Japantown.

Food: Yakitori, award-winning curry (beef and veggie), chirashi sushi, barbecue spare ribs, maki sushi, sanuki udon, ohagi, inari sushi.

Also featuring bingo (win great prizes), silent auction, bake sale, raffle, and bounce house for kids.

A portion of proceeds will go toward supporting Boy Scout Troop 58.

Info: (415) 931-0453,

• San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Obon Festival on Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 12 to 8 p.m. at 640 N. 5th St. in San Jose Japantown. Schedule:

Saturday, July 13

11:30 a.m.: Temple opens/Buddhism 101

12 p.m.: Food booths open

12:30 p.m.: Kyodo Taiko

1 p.m.: Games and bookstore open

2 p.m.: Buddhism 101, bingo opens

3 p.m.: Jodaiko Taiko

3:30 p.m.: Buddhism 101/My Path to the Betsuin

4:30 p.m.: San Jose Taiko

5:30 p.m.: Temple closes

6 p.m.: Chidori Band

7:30 p.m.: Bon Odori starts

Sunday, July 14

11:30 a.m.: Temple opens/Buddhism 101

12 p.m.: Food booths open

12:30 p.m.: Touzan Taiko

1 p.m.: Games and bookstore open

1:30 p.m.: Bakuhatsu Taiko

2 p.m.: Buddhism 101, bingo opens

3:30 p.m.: San Jose Taiko

4 p.m.: Temple closes

4:30 p.m.: Chidori Band

6 p.m. Bon Odori starts

Info: (408) 293-9292,

• Fresno Buddhist Temple’s 74th annual Obon/Festival of Lanterns on Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m. at Fresno Buddhist Dharma Center, 2690 E. Alluvial Ave. in Fresno.

2 p.m.: “Asian flair” foods (some traditional, some not so traditional), beverages, beer and dessert booths open

4 p.m.: Carnival-style games, bake-walks, taiko drumming

7:30 p.m.: Special memorial ceremony honoring those who have passed since the last festival

8 p.m: Bon Odori, taiko drumming

Join in on the dancing — no experience necessary.

Honor a loved one with a personalized memorial lantern.

There will also be a raffle drawing.

Info: (559) 442-4054,,

• Soto Mission of San Francisco (Sokoji) Toro Nagashi (Floating Lantern) Festival on Saturday at 1691 Laguna St. (at Sutter) in San Francisco Japantown.

Toro nagashi is a long-held Japanese tradition where candle-lit lanterns are released into rivers to guide the spirits of ancestors back to the other world during the Obon season.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; program starts at 7:15 p.m.; lantern ceremony at 8:30 p.m.

Design your own lantern from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Cost: $20.

Bento box (pre-order): $12. Character bento or yakitori bento.

Beer, sake, wine, dessert: $5.

Info: (415) 346-7540,,

• Berkeley Buddhist Temple/Berkeley Higashi Honganji Obon Odori on Saturday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 2121 Channing Way in Berkeley.

The two temples take turns hosting the event. This year’s host is Berkeley Buddhist Temple.

Kimono dressing starts at 5 p.m. in upstairs classrooms. All dancers are asked to arrive early.

Final dance practice on Thursday, July 11, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Obon/Hatsubon service (honoring members who have passed away since the 2018 Obon) on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Guest speaker: Rev. Michael Endo.

Info: (510) 841-1356, (510) 843-6933,,

• Sacramento Betsuin Obon Odori on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2401 Riverside Blvd. in Sacramento.

Final dance practice on Thursday, July 11, from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Refreshments will be sold during Obon and the rehearsals by church organizations.

Hatsubon service on Sunday. Family service at 9:30 a.m. with guest speaker Rev. Bob Oshita, minister emeritus from Sacramento; Japanese service at 11:30 a.m. with guest speaker Rev. Masanari Yamagishi, resident minister from Lodi.

Info: (916) 446-0121,

• Enmanji Buddhist Temple’s 65th annual Chicken Teriyaki and Bazaar on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1200 Gravenstein Hwy. in Sebastopol.

Teriyaki chicken plate: generous half chicken, potato salad, rice, tea or coffee, all for just $13. Drive-thru pickup of boxed dinners opens at 8 a.m.

On the outdoor stage: Ten Ten Taiko, Sonoma County Taiko, Ensohza Minyoshu (Japanese folk music and dance), DeLeon Judo Club, Takemusu Aikido of Sebasotpol, Whispering Light (Native flute and guitar).

Also featuring bonsai, exhibits, handicrafts, raffle and bingo.

Info: (707) 823-2252,

• Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple’s 73rd annual Obon Festival on Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. at 1155 Noche Buena St. in Seaside.

Enjoy delicious Japanese foods, ikebana and bonsai displays, Asian Store, raffle drawings all afternoon.

Schedule of events:

12 p.m.: Opening ceremony on Yagura

12:15 p.m.: Shorinji Kempo on Yagura

12:30 p.m.: Tai chi with Rev. Hei Takarabe in Social Hall; tea ceremony in Tea Room

1:30 p.m.: Bonsai demonstration by Katsumi Kinoshita in Social Hall

2 p.m.: Introduction to Buddhism by Rev. Jay Shinseki in Hondo; Bojuka Ryu (martial arts) on Yagura

2:30 p.m.: Ikebana demonstration by Junko Matsuoka in Social Hall; tea ceremony in Tea Room

3 p.m.: Shinsho Mugen Daiko on Yagura

3:30 p.m.: Obon service officated by Rev. Shinseki in Hondo

4 p.m.: Silent auction ends; raffle grand prize drawing; Bon Odori begins in Yagura area

This is a free event; donations welcome. Limited parking is available across the street from the temple.

Info: (831) 372-8181,

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