Hanabi: It’s the little things…#6

Promenade in Brooklyn Heights

Promenade in Brooklyn Heights

Fourth of July (independence Day) in NY is a day for BBQing in the park or in the backyard…and sometimes, come evening, you head down to The Promenade in Brooklyn Heights or over to Dumbo (long before it became known as DUMBO) down by the water front, and try to catch the fireworks. This was once a year. It’s usually so crowded that you regret going and ask yourself why hadn’t you just trusted your instincts and watched it on TV like any sensible New Yorker would? There’s usually a casualty or two, and more than a few stick-ups and pick pockets. Not to mention the fireworks don’t look much different from the year before or the year before that or the year before that or…

Then you come to Japan where fireworks are also a tradition and Summer fireworks festivals are numerous and spectacular. There are at least 10 in the Tokyo / Yokohama area between July and September. They’re safe (except for chikan) and fairly organized (considering the ratio of police to people attending- sometimes as many as 500,000)

ladies-in-yukatasYou remember when you first came to Japan and were mildly disappointed because rarely if ever did you see anyone wearing Kimono…then came summer and you saw all the girls with their beautiful flowery yukata on, shuffling about in their slippers; and the guys looking extremely cool in theirs, clacking around in wooden slippers or sandals headed for hanabi. And you told yourself, ‘now this is the Japan of my fascination!’ And you thought: I don’t care what they think: one day I’m gonna wear one of them yukata to Hanabi. Hell, if they can wear European suits or even dreadlocks why can’t I go native once in a while?

Well, six years later…

yukata 2

yukata 1

Hanabi and yukata…go together like baseball and Hot Dogs.


PS: And is it my imagination or do the fireworks actually get better every year in Japan?





Even fish


Sugoi ne…

pps: don’t forget to leave a rating

9 Responses to “Hanabi: It’s the little things…#6”

  1. 1 sayjapanese
    August 14, 2009 at 12:08 am

    I wanna wear a yakuta……….looking good by the way. I can’t wait to get there 😉

  2. August 14, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Thanks a lot sayJ…better hurry! Hanabi season ends in a couple of weeks and you’ll have to wait til next summer

  3. 3 sayjapanese
    August 14, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Nope, I won’t make it……..I’m planning my trip for sept 2010 but that’s only for 6 months as a volunteer. If all goes well I’ll go back as a teacher for a much, much longer stay 🙂

  4. 4 Geekly
    August 14, 2009 at 1:45 am

    That is a sweet yukata! I’ve enjoyed reading the blog. Continue to hang in there and keep posting your insights.

  5. August 14, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Hanabi, how much I miss it! The yukata looks really good on you, too. It’s been great to read your thoughts on Japan. Korekara mo ganbatte kudasai 🙂

  6. 6 hobofat
    August 14, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I don’t know what it’s like in Yokohama, but in rural-ish Nagano prefecture in the small town of Iida (200,000 population), every firework was preceded by a list of “thank-yous” to the sponsor of that particular firework. Instead of a grand finale where a whole crap load of fireworks are shot off at once, only one at a time was launched, but each one got progressively bigger until the “level 10” firework rattled windows for miles around. A different approach than what I’m used to in the U.S., but cool nonetheless!

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