Festivals: Owara Kaze no Bon / おわら風の盆

I first went to the Owara Kaze no Bon festival (おわら風の盆) in September, 2008. Compared to other summer festivals in Japan it’s a fairly subdued affair, but it makes up for that in the beauty on display.



Japan, so undeniably ugly at times – think of all the concreted river banks, bland convenience stores, and electricity cables in the streets – makes up for it at festivals like this.


This was the Senyasai (前夜祭), the preliminary festival before the main on starts in September. If you want to avoid the crowds it’s probably the best time to go.


It’s in Yatsuo, Toyama prefecture (富山県八尾).

All photos are mine so please don’t use them without permission. Thanks.




Cycled since I was a kid, moved to Japan in 2001, bought my first 'serious' camera in 2005. Spent the later half of the 1990s travelling in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines and wish I'd photographed a lot more back then.

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