You may see the small stone statue called Jizo like the photo above while you’re traveling in Kyoto. Jizo said to be a guardian for kids, and the summer festival called Jizo-bon have been maintained in Kyoto. This festival is usually held by each district on the 3rd weekend of every August, for kids who are living in its district. I think Jizo-bon is a particular event only in Kyoto. I’ve never seen or heard it in other prefectures.
The festival starts from the sutra by the Buddhism monk, and the children rotate the traditional long beads. It’s a unique custom!
It’s a paradise for children because a lot of toy and sweet is given away. They can play all day, and may realize they are loved and guarded. However, to tell the truth, I have one complaint against the lunch of this festival! McDonald’s in Kyoto supposed to be very busy on that day every year. Every Jizo-bon I have joined has the McDonald’s lunch! Is it the rule!? Japan has been having a wonderful foodie culture called “Bento” with a various vegetable and colorful looking! It’s definitely healthier than American junk food. If I was in charge of Jizo-bon management in near future, I would change this poor tradition.
The festival finishes at night with the firework play. The children go home and have their good dream.
Jizo-bon Festival is a unique and good tradition, has to be maintained.