Sunday Obon. The sun was going down slowly, and walking up La Grange street, you can hear and see people down the street having a good time. It was the last hour of the Obon in West LA. I used to revel in this event. It was one of the greatest moments of the year. I was small and the event was huge. Everywhere I walked felt like something great was happening. These days, it’s just as large, the foods are different and perhaps the changing times are dictating what happens.
No longer can you just buy at the booth. You need to purchase tickets from the specific place. Basically money can’t get messed with by the booth folks. The prizes aren’t the same as they once were. The bake sale area is gone. Goldfish are no longer prizes. Dime pitch into actual glass plates and cups where you keep the item you pitched into, is history.
Yet, the Obon odori (dance) is still festive, the same bonsai look healthy, shave ice (although I didn’t try it this year) looks as great as ever, chicken teriyaki still rules it, chili rice is a solid winner, imagawayaki (pictured below) is something newer and with blueberry and chocolate chip is heroic, bingo remains a favorite, and that’s Obon.