Bon-chochin illuminates the Obon nights

Do you know what Bon-chochin 盆提灯 is? Bon-chochin is a lantern used for Obon お盆, the Buddhist summer event to honour the people passed away and welcome their soul coming back as the annual visit. It has been said Bon-chochin lanterns are to illuminate the direction so that the visitors don’t lose their way from the heaven to the place they used to belong.


Bon-chochin 盆提灯 are usually given to the bereaved family by their relatives on the first Obon after the death of ones in the family, and the Bon-chochin are to be placed in a room during (before/after) the Obon every year.

Obon events are held between July 13-16 in Tokyo and some parts of eastern Japan. In rural areas and most regions of western Japan, the Obon season is between August 13-16.

During the time of Obon, you will see many Bon-chochin sold at home improvement stores, or at even supermarkets. Being beautifully designed, Bon-chochin can be an interior lantern too.

International Tourists should avoid Obon Season

Most companies are closed for summer holiday during Obon between 13-16 August, and the transportation system becomes extremely congested as people go back to their hometown. It is strongly recommended that you avoid traveling in Japan during the Obon season if you are a tourist planning to visit Japan in August.