Zenko-ji Temple Summer Ennichi
Ennichi (縁日), meaning “festival day”, is a day believed to have a special relation with one of the many Japanese deities. Summer in Japan, from July to August, is the most enjoyable time of the year for festival-lovers. Many Buddhist/Shinto related festivals take place in various cities in Japan. The “Zenko-ji Temple Summer Ennichi Festival (善光寺お盆縁日)” would offer you a great chance to enjoy Japan’s festival tradition.
At the festival you will find many food stands which offer popular Japanese food like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, etc. Other types of stands let you enjoy games like gold fish scooping, superball scooping, and a shooting gallery.
In Shinto/Buddhist culture, August is believed to be the period, called “Obon,” when ancestors’ souls come back home from the afterworld. This festival is also to welcome ancestors’ souls, and they have a style of dance, called “Bon-Odori” made specifically to welcome them. Visitors, including youths, elders, females, males, and everything in between is invited to dance together in a big circle!
Since the festival is held in the late evening, from 17:00 to 21:00, we recommend booking accommodation in the city. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Nagano City Area’ hotel page. Just make sure to book well in-advance as the hotel’s will be full over the weekend of the festival.
17:00 - 21:00
August 14th & 15th
Approximately 60-minutes drive from the Jigokudani Monkey Park
Taking place at Zenko-ji Temple, the festival is within easy walking distance of Nagano Station. Exit the station via the Zenkoji Exit and simply follow the crowds to the temple - around at 1.6km / 20-minute walk