This is the time of year you can consume alcohol in public at your picnic as long as you don't walk around with an open container. So pick up some beer or wine or just a bottle of cold Japanese green tea if you prefer.
Summer is the season Japanese go all out to celebrate their culture. Festivals are bigger, brighter and louder. Ghosts and demons come out to play too, dancing to the beat of drum and flute. The sights, sounds and colors are worth the heat.
Although some of Obon's rituals are somber, much of the holiday is festive; a time when families happily reunite and celebrate the sacrifices that their briefly visiting loved ones made for them before they passed away.