O-Bon Festival 2015

On the evening of Saturday the 6th of June 2015, Derry-Londonderry became the first city in the UK and Ireland to host its very own traditional O-Bon Japanese Festival.

O-Bon is one of the most important festivals of the year in Japan. At the heart of O-Bon there was family, food, dance and taiko drumming. The whole festival was a colourful feast of rhythm and lights.

Photography Gav Connolly

Little Tokyo @ The Playtrail

The festival took place at The Playtrail, Racecourse Road. There was fun for all the family from 7pm to 10.00 pm!


There was traditional Japanese games, arts and craft workshops running throughout the evening along with a host of stage entertainment and cultural activities.


We had lively performances from Ibuki Taiko drummers, innovative dance collaborations from Fireworks DDTA and Create Dance, we had a special performance from Yukari Norris and the Hannari Club dancers from Carrickfergus, Japanese folk and singing from the Inishowen Gospel Choir.

You can check out the highlights in this video here

Or have a look at our gallery below for some great memories.


Each person had the opportunity to write a message or aspiration on one of our beautiful hand crafted lanterns and the evening’s celebrations  culminated in a display of lights within the beautiful grounds of The Playtrail woods and amphitheatre.

It was a night to remember for the celebration of Japanese taiko, dance and music!