While June 1 kicks off the hurricane season in Hawaii, it’s also the launch of o-bon season. The Japanese community starts prepping for this summertime tradition – filled with dance, music and cultural foods – several months in advance to honor the spirits of family members who have passed away.

In Hawaii, there’s usually a bon dance every weekend till August. The glow of colorful lanterns and steady beat of the taiko drum fill the night skies, while mixed crowds of old and young, Japanese and non trickle into hongwanji missions and temples.

If you’re looking to attend a bon dance this summer, check out some of these events happening in and around the Honolulu area, as well as on neighbor islands:


June 1 (Sat.): Hawaii State Library, 1030-1130am

July 5-6 (Fri./Sat.): Moiliili Hongwanji, 6pm (949-1659)

Aug. 2-3 (Fri./Sat.): Palolo Higashi Hongwanji, 7pm (732-1491)

Aug. 3 (Sat.): Princess Kaiulani Hotel Obon Festival, Time TBD

Aug. 9-10 (Fri./Sat.): Manoa Koganji, 530-1030pm (988-4905)


June 15 (Sat.): Wailuku Shingon Mission, 8pm (242-5618)

June 22 (Sat.): Punnene Nichiren Mission, 8pm

Aug 17 (Sat.): Paia Rinzai Zen Mission, 7pm (579-9921)

Aug. 31 (Sat.): Kula Shofukuji Shingon Mission, 730pm

Hawaii Island

June 22 (Sat.): Papaikou Hongwanji, 7pm

July 6 (Sat.): Kohala Hongwanji, 7pm (775-7532)

Aug 3 (Sat.): Paauilo Kongoji Mission, 7-1030pm (776-1474)

Aug 10 (Sat.) Hilo Higashi Hongwanji, 8pm (935-8968)


June 14-15(Fri./Sat): Kapaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 730pm (822-4667)

July 12-13 (Fri./Sat.) West Kauai Hongwanji Hanapepe Temple, 730pm (338-1537)

Aug. 2-3 (Fri./Sat.): Kapaa Jodo Mission, 730pm (822-4319)


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