2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon


The Gardena Buddhist Church obon was on August 4, 2007 from 3pm-10pm and August 5, 2007 from 2pm-9pm. It was one of the biggest obons I've ever attended.

The dance track alone had to be out on the street, for there were too many people to dance inside! And, the track took up an entire block! When I arrived on Saturday at 5:30pm, the area was already crowded, and lines had already begun to form in front of the food and game booths. I couldn't even find parking that was close by. But, it was all worth it.

It's a good thing I arrived when I did, too, because by 6pm, you could barely walk due to the amount of people that were there. I asked myself later how this one event attracted so many people. I decided that it had to be due to the food. The food lines were, by far, the longest.

And, the food really was very good. I had some really fresh and delicious spam musubi, as well as some sweet and tasty dango. The game and performances weren't all that bad, either. :) I watched as the taiko players performed, and as children tried their best to win prizes at the game booths.

All in all, I had a blast. This collection features pictures of the obon taken by myself and contributing photographer, Vicky Murakami-Tsuda. I'll warn you now about the pictures of food. Viewing them may cause extreme hunger. I know they did for me!

Slides in this album 

Udon Sign

As I entered the obon grounds, I noticed this "Udon Sale" sign. At first, it was hidden by the crowd. But, as they moved, I was able to get a quick snapshot of it. The udon was being sold in the auditorium off to my right.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Udon Sign
País: eishida


It was difficult to find a place to sit in the auditorium, for it was full of people for most of the day. The line to purchase udon had formed along one of the walls, and was blocking the entrance by the time I made my way over to the …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Udon
País: eishida

Sushi Booth

As I walked back outside, my path became narrower and narrower, due to the lines of people in front of the food booths on both sides of the walkway. The sushi was so popular, it had to be sold in two locations because the line at the first booth was …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Sushi Booth
País: eishida


I love "football sushi," or inari sushi. It reminds me of my childhood, when my mother used to buy them for my sister and I. Back then, it was a treat. Now, I can eat football sushi whenever I want! Lucky me.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Sushi
País: eishida


I noticed corn being sold from one of booths, and felt a slight sense of nostalgia. The Fourth of July celebration at the park near my house used to sell corn on the cob like this, and I remember it looking so delicious. I never ate any though, but I've …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Corn
País: eishida

Corn and Firemen

These firemen look like they're having a good time. I'm glad they were sitting up there eating, for if they are relaxed, it means the area is fire free!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Corn and Firemen
País: eishida

Dango Booth

Encountering the dango booth was a bittersweet experience on Saturday. Although I had waited all week for it, the line to the booth was so long. It was, by far, the longest line in the whole place. I debated whether or not to stand in it. I asked myself, "Is …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dango Booth
País: eishida


Of course! Waiting in line for dango seemed like nothing once I was able to eat it. It was delicious, just like I had imagined it to be. :)

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dango
País: eishida

Tamale Booth

I always find the tamale booth intriguing, because it sells a food item that is not traditionally Japanese. I think the idea of combining different cultures through food is a wonderful one, and wonderful for the taste buds!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Tamale Booth
País: eishida


This tamale looks so good. It was smothered in chili, which is something that I've only seen done once before, at the Higashi obon in Little Tokyo. I think it's a really tasty invention!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Tamale
País: eishida

Teriyaki Beef Booth

I was not surprised to see a booth selling teriyaki beef in some way, shape or form. I've never been to an obon that didn't have this for sale. I was, however, very excited to see this booth, because I was hungry. This line was the second longest at the …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Teriyaki Beef Booth
País: eishida

Teriyaki Beef Plate

Often times, teriyaki beef dishes will come with rice and a vegetable side dish. Gardena's teriyaki beef was no different. It was delicious.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Teriyaki Beef Plate
País: eishida


I sort of snooped around the obon grounds, and I discovered some behind-the-scenes action! Ladies and gentlemen, this is where the magic happens. If it weren't for these guys, we wouldn't have had our much anticipated teriyaki beef plates!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Barbeque
País: eishida

Softball Toss

After I was done browsing the food booths and eating my dango, I ventured over to the game booth area. There were quite a number of interesting looking games. They had a fishing booth, and a basketball booth as well. The picture here shows the softball toss booth, in which …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Softball Toss
País: eishida

Moon Bounce

I thought the moon bounce might be meant for people who ate too much to work off the extra calories. I was wrong. It was in fact a place for children to jump around in while parents either took pictures or played bingo, which was very near the moon bounce. …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Moon Bounce
País: eishida


After I had explored the obon grounds inside the parking lot, I ventured out onto the street. There, I found even more excitment. There were people lined up along both sides of the street, waiting for the bon odori, or dancing, to begin. The yagura, here, was already set up, …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Yagura
País: eishida


As I was approaching the street, I heard drums. Naturally, I picked up my feet just a little bit higher and hurried on over there! I didn't want to miss the performance. The crowd was in for a surprise, too. UC Irvine's Jodaiko showed up to play a few songs …

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Taiko
País: eishida

Dancing 1

People began getting dressed a few hours before the dancing began. People grouped together, usually all wearing the same colored hapi coats, which represented their temple or their group. Many people in this picture wore the summer kimono, known as the yukata, and many others wore hapi coats.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dancing 1
País: eishida

Dancing 2

I love this shot, because it shows the variety of dancers that the Gardena obon attracted. There were very young children, older children, adults and older adults, all dancing among one another. It was refreshing to see so many people eager to participate!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dancing 2
País: eishida

Dancing 3

Bon odori was so popular, even the animals wanted to try it! This dog looks like he's having a really good time, too.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dancing 3
País: eishida

Dancing 4

I predict that this child is going to be dancing for the rest of her life. Mom started her early. She looks so tired from dancing the night away. It's a good thing mom is there to help her out!

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dancing 4
País: eishida

Dancing 5

Who could ignore the Elvis impersonators? I was told that they come to this obon every year, and people really anticipate their arrival. They danced around the whole track dressed like Elvis'. It was quite entertaining.

2007 Gardena Buddhist Church Obon - Dancing 5
País: eishida

Album Type

online exhibition

eishida — Atualizado em Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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