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Toro nagashi is a long-held Japanese tradition where candle-lit lanterns are released into rivers to guide the spirits of ancestors back to the other world during the o-Bon season.

On Aug. 16, the Asakusa Toro Nagashi will see 2,500 lanterns set afloat on the Sumida River between the Azuma-bashi and Kototoi-bashi bridges near Asakusa. A hauntingly beautiful sight, the peaceful custom is a gesture of respect for those who have passed away and gives participants a moment to think about their ancestors, loved ones or even past pets.

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