Obon in Sasebo is punctuated by the sound of firecrackers and the glow of lanterns that are floated down the Sasebo River on the evening of August 15th. The lanterns are blessed by priests and passed hand over hand to be placed into the lazy current of the river that runs next to Sasebo Park in the city center. The sight of these vessels weaving their way slowly downstream as they shepherd the souls of the city's departed spirits back to the afterlife is magical.
Toronagashi in Sasebo
Lanterns float down the river to mark the end of Obon