Obon or just the Bon festival in Japanese is a Buddhist custom to honors one’s ancestors. It’s not an official national holiday but people still take this time out to be with their families, pay their respects to their ancestors, or just to relax.
The Obon festival in Sano was held at the Akiyamagawa river, a short ten minute walk from my apartment. It was pretty small compared to the Hidesato festival but I assume it’s because this is more of a spiritual affair. It was filled with your usual Japanese festive foods; Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Soba noodles, beer, etc. The monks set up their own tent for those who wanted (to pay) to send a special prayer to their ancestors. There was traditional Okinawan Oban dancing and singing, and at the end of it all there was thirty minute firework filled with smiley faces and strawberries.
This time officially marked the end of the summer holidays. All the teachers started showing up to work regularly giving supplemental summer lessons before the next semester starts. Which means that I’ll actually have to start working pretty soon *sad sigh*