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Floating Lanterns in Tokyo

Candle lit lanterns floating on the water – it’s a beautiful sight and one that you can take in during the month of July in Tokyo.  Toro Nagashi, or “lantern offerings on the water,” is just one ceremony that Buddhists use during the Obon festival to memorialize the spirits of the dead and ensure their safe journey and happiness on the ‘other world’.

Toro Nagashi in Tokyo:

Imperial Palace Moat – July 13th from 6:30 to 7:30PM.  The lanterns are best viewed from Chidorigafuchi Park.  The park is a short walk from the Kudanshita Station on Tokyo Metro. (access map – scroll down)

Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park – July 17th from 7PM. Shinobazu Pond is located a short, but scenic, walk from Ueno Station.  (Ueno Park map)

Both events are free to view and it may be possible to purchase a lantern and float it in memory of someone that you have lost.  It’s a beautiful tribute and you do not need to be a Buddhist to participate in Toro Nagashi.

In the case of heavy rain these events will be canceled or postponed.

Photo Credit:  Sprits of the dead on Lantern floated on the river