Fukuoka · General Life

Summer fireworks

Summer in Japan means fireworks, yet as many summer months as I’ve spent in Japan over the years, the closest I’d come to seeing a real fireworks display was from the roof of work two years ago. So this year I determined to make it to the local park, which has the biggest display in the area — 6,000+ fireworks across 90 minutes and 450,000+ attendees.

No, no extra zeroes there. I don’t know how many people there were this year, but my usually sleepy little neighborhood was crawling with thousands of people and the park was overflowing. I managed to find a spot under the trees on the edge of the park, and was immediately adopted by a pair of older women, who gave me some newspaper to sit on, wanted to know where I was from, what I did … and had no shame or fear about telling young folk to sit down or move on if they blocked the view. When they left, they gave me a plastic bag to properly dispose of my newspaper with.

(A note for next year’s attendees:  leave your small dogs and children at home. They were all terrified and quite possibly traumatized by the loud sounds and mass of people.)

The display was spectacular, needless to say, and my view was pretty good, though some were too low or too high and thus blocked by trees. I really wish I’d brought my camera, because the phone wasn’t really up to the task. So you’ll just have to imagine what the real thing looked like based on my phone’s fuzzy efforts.


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