Fireworks (Without the Fireworks)
Fireworks are a big thing in Japan, and every summer cities large and small go all out blasting colourful balls of fire into the sky. And we're not talking piddly little fourth of July style fireworks here. These are serious, and fill the air with rumbling thunder for an hour or more.
In our city, the fireworks are set off in the park at the bottom of our hill. It is a pretty serious event. A walk around the park the previous day revealed that revelers were already out in full preparatory force, reserving their park benches, packing tape fashioned into kanji spelling out the future occupant's name. Prime real estate was quickly snatched up, tarps laid down for the following evening.
On the big day, Stella and I went out for a late afternoon stroll around the park. The air was buzzing with excitement. Families decked out in kimonos and young couples on dates inundated the park, and by the end of our tour around the running track, the crowds were so thick we could barely move.
The Sweet Miss and I did not stay for the actual fireworks display, because bedtime and all (ha! Sleeping Stella! That's a funny joke!) But we did enjoy the boom boom boom KABOOOM from the calm of our apartment.