Sunday, August 10, 2008

for what is summer in tokyo without hanabi

The fireworks tonight was said to be the last biggest one held in Tokyo, featuring over 12,000 bursts of sparkles & dazzles over the skyline from Tokyo Bay. I was actually quite hesitant to go, knowing full well that it would be packed, right from the train to the station to the assembly area. What was supposed to be a 15-minute walk turned out to be a half-an-hour shuffle. Thank God it wasn't as humid as usual!

I had a really good time 2 years ago catching the hanabi in Nagaoka with Alden, Konan & Farhana when we were still doing our Intensive Japanese course. I doubt anything in Tokyo can beat that unless they start having big-shot sponsors and music accompaniment with the fireworks. Which was what I experienced back then. Anyways, I decided to give this a shot since some uni friends were so gung-ho about it. They even wore the yukata, complete with the obi and geta!

In fact, 1 out of every 2 Japanese grrls were seen looking cute & pretty in the summer-style kimono. Having donned one of these 2 summers ago and joining in the Niigata festivities, I know how hot it can be underneath! But for some of them, the hanabi is a once-in-a-year event that warrants a reason to wear the yukata. In fact, some of the men join in too. A good reason to keep the traditional costume alive.

Along the way to the area where we would get a place to sit and enjoy the show, many roadside stalls were on hand to make money off desparate make sure we were well-fed and nourished. Most were selling soft drinks, bottled water and local food such as takoyaki, yakisoba, edamame and yakiniku.

Since the queue was too long, we decided to hold our hunger as long as we could and try to get a proper dinner after the show. Good thing our Thai friends brought a plastic mat along, and we managed to find a good area to catch the hanabi. And so, we oooh-ed and aaah-ed along with the Japanese as the fireworks shot up into the cloudy sky and brought cheer on a balmy summer evening.















(The last one was almost deleted, if not for the fact that the left ones looked very much like white daisies against the dark backdrop)

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