Yokosuka Travel Guide

News 2023.07.07

Experience the Magic of Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival 2023

Immerse yourself in the enchanting spectacle of the Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival 2023. This annual event, set against the scenic backdrop of Yokosuka, Miura, and Hayama in Kanagawa Prefecture, is a vibrant celebration of light, tradition, and community spirit.

The Enchanting Light Display at the Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival

The Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival, a summer event deeply rooted in Japan’s rich cultural heritage, transforms the city into a mesmerizing realm of light. Each bamboo lantern, meticulously crafted and illuminated, is a testament to the region’s history and craftsmanship.

Understanding the Cultural Significance of the Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival

To fully appreciate the festival, it’s essential to understand the cultural context. From Obon, a Buddhist event honoring the spirits of ancestors, to Bon Odori, a traditional dance that symbolizes dancing with ancestors, and Goma Kuyo, a tribute to the souls of the deceased, the festival is steeped in rich traditions.

Obon (お盆)

Obon is one of the Buddhist events. In Buddhism, it is believed that the spirits of ancestors return to this world during the Obon period from July to August, and a series of events are held to pay tribute to these spirits. Obon is considered one of the most important family events of the year in Japan. Although Obon is not an official holiday, many offices temporarily close.

Bon Odori (盆踊り)

Bon Odori, or Bon dance, is a type of traditional Japanese dance that encourages people to symbolizes dancing with their ancestors.

Goma Kuyo (護摩供養)

There are two types of Goma, one for writing wishes and the other for praying for the happiness of ancestors. Goma Kuyo is the act of paying tribute to the souls of the deceased.

Immersing Yourself in the Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival

The serene grounds of Joraku-ji Temple, illuminated by bamboo lanterns as the sun sets.

The festival offers a plethora of experiences for visitors. Beyond the captivating display of lanterns, you can enjoy traditional performances, local cuisine, and engage with the community.

Experience Live Band Bon Dance at Joraku-ji Temple

People dancing the Bon Odori under the night lights, the quintessence of Obon festival at a Japanese temple.

Located in Ashina, this temple has its origins in the Kamakura period. As you enter the temple grounds through the Tanabata arch, numerous bamboo lanterns shine along the approach. With the cooperation of local residents, many stalls and food trucks are set up. A children’s festival is also held. On the 13th, enjoy the traditional Japanese incense firework festival, and on the 15th, experience the true Obon at the temple! The Bon dance, calling the spirits of ancestors, is performed live by the Imagine Bon Dance Department in the temple grounds and main hall. There’s plenty to see beyond the bamboo lanterns, including the “Letter Visit” where you can send a letter to your ancestors, and a stamp rally touring four temples. Enjoy the Japanese Obon for just three days with people you haven’t seen in a while and your neighbors.

The historic Joraku-ji Temple in Yokosuka, a place of deep heritage and tradition

Event Date and Time: August 13-15, 4 PM – 9 PM
August 13: Incense Firework Festival
August 15: Urabon-e, Bon Dance (Kamakura Imagine Bon Department)
August 13-15: Letter Visit, Tanabata Tanzaku, Stalls Available, Stamp Rally, etc.
Access: 2-30-5 Ashina, Yokosuka City
Parking: 10 cars
Contact: 046-856-8622

Here is the multilingual information about Jorakuji Temple.

Enjoy Movie Screening at Fukusen-ji Temple

The romantic grounds of Fukusen-ji Temple, bathed in the soft glow of bamboo lanterns.

This temple was founded about 450 years ago by the son of a devout believer of Kamakura Komyo-ji Temple, to mourn his father’s death. The sound of the bell in the bell tower resonates solemnly every morning, serving as a pillar of faith in the community, surrounded by the sea and mountains. From the high ground where the graves are located, you can see Mount Fuji beyond Sagami Bay, and at sunset, a calming time arrives. Tonight, the temple grounds are lit with bamboo lanterns, livening up the area. A sutra copying meeting and a movie viewing meeting (limited to 50 people) are held. The area is bustling with stalls set up by local residents.

Fukusen-ji Temple, a tranquil sanctuary located in Miura City.

Event Date and Time: July 28-30, 4 PM – 9 PM
July 29: Movie Viewing Meeting (from 4 PM) Reservation Here
July 30: Sutra Copying Memorial Service (from 8 PM)
July 29-30: Stalls Available
July 28-30: Letter Visit, Tanabata Tanzaku, Sutra Copying, Stamp Rally
Access: 1020 Mito, Hasse-machi, Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Parking: 15 cars
Contact: 046-888-1959

Witness Rakugo Performance at Fudan-ji Temple

The historic grounds of Fudan-ji Temple, a place of deep heritage in Suka City.

Fudan-ji Temple is said to have been built by Hojo Tsunetoki, the fourth regent of the Kamakura Shogunate. The Hojo family crest is painted in the main hall, but if you look closely, you’ll find some that are different, so try to find them. Also, a bag of rice is hung at the entrance of the main hall, which is a set of tools needed when those who passed away last year return to this world. Tonight, the path from the mountain gate to the main hall is lit with bamboo lanterns, welcoming those who visit the main hall. You can participate in the Goshuin stamp rally and Letter Visit in the main hall. Please come and visit.

Event Date and Time: July 7-8, 6 PM – 9 PM
July 7: Rakugo Performance
July 8: Yoga Experience
July 7/8: Tanabata Decorations, Letter Visit, Stalls Available, Stamp Rally
Access: 5-1-1 Nagai, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Fudan-ji Temple
Parking: 3 cars
Contact: 046-856-2352

Bamboo Lanterns Creating a Serene Space! Takeyama Venue: Touzen-ji Temple

The historic Touzen-ji Temple in Yokosuka City, with its stone steps steeped in history.

Touzen-ji Temple is an esteemed temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism. The main hall’s front is the principal image Amida Nyorai, and on the right side is the “Higane Jizo” enshrined, which was vowed by Minamoto no Yoritomo for his prayer fulfillment. As you climb up the mountain gate from the roadway, numerous bamboo lanterns illuminate the temple grounds, and inside the main hall, cylindrical bamboo lanterns inscribed with the posthumous Buddhist names of the newly deceased are enshrined, creating a unique Obon space. There are places to rest in the temple grounds, so we hope you can feel the atmosphere of the night temple.

Event Date and Time: August 4-6, 7 PM – 9 PM
Letter Visit, Tanabata Tanzaku, Stalls Available, Stamp Rally
Access: 2-12-13 Take, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Parking: About 20 cars
Contact: 046-856-0221

Please Come in Your Yukata! Goma Kuyo Hayama Venue: Choun-ji Temple

The gate and grounds of Choun-ji Temple, set against a backdrop of lush trees.

This temple, located in Hayama and Nagae, is associated with Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa. With the start of Obon, we will perform the secret method of Fudo Goma, a memorial service for the Obon spirits. Matcha, shaved ice, and other stalls are available.

Event Date and Time: August 13-15, 4 PM- 9 PM
August 13: Welcome Goma
August 15: Send-off Goma
August 13-15: Letter Visit, Tanabata Tanzaku, Goma Kuyo Acceptance, Matcha & Shaved Ice (Free), Other Stalls, Stamp Rally
Access: 615 Nagae, Hayama Town (Parking: About 15 cars)
Contact: 046-856-0221

Unveiling the Magic: A Recap of the Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival 2023

The 2023 Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of culture, tradition, and community spirit. Festival tells the story of the region’s rich heritage and is a must-see for those who want to experience the true essence of Yokosuka, Miura, and Hayama.

Official Website: Yokosuka Miura Hayama Bon Take Lantern Lighting Festival 2023