The annual Obon period in August is one of the two times in the Japanese calendar when many people leave the cities and return to their hometowns to be re-united with their relatives.
The other such occasion is Golden Week in late April and early May. Many companies and businesses taken a holiday during Obon. And as during Golden Week buses and trains are booked solid and the traffic increases on highways leading to horrendous traffic jams.
At Obon, the dead, the ancestors, are honored. Graves are cleaned and many communities hold the Obon dance known as Bon Odori - sometimes huge affairs such as the Awa Odori in Tokushima.
The Obon holidays this year will run from August 11-15 with some companies remaining closed to the 17th.
Japan Obon folklore Bonodori
Tuesday, August 14, 2012