Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Iitabashi matsuri

They really don't mess around here when it comes to fireworks (or "flower fires", hanabi, as they are called). When we went to the firework festival at Iitabashi there were no fewer than 11,000 individual fireworks. Some people paid for fancy seats, but the rest of us schlubs packed into all the open space on the two banks of the river, for as far as we could see.
The show lasted about an hour and a half and was nonstop. The main difference I saw in the form of fireworks is that they have some that grow slowly like a stem, shooting off to the sides at angles like leaves until finally bursting into a big colorful ball. They also had several Saturns and a segment of colorful rings that I believe was to advertise their bid for the Olympics in 2016.

Here Ryan captured the grand finale - Just fireworks, but we were impressed. Unfortunately the camera does not capture the walloping sound of the large ones:

A great many of the folks (guys and gals) at the festival wore the traditional yukata. Here are a couple of gals waiting for the subway with us.

After the show we grabbed some "Japanese Pizza" or okonomiyaki. Typically you make it for yourself on a big griddle in the middle of the table. I think we may have appeared particularly helpless after the epic firework episode because the waiter/cook took one look at us and offered to make it for us in the back. He removed all sharp and hot objects from our table and went off to work. His creation actually looked and tasted pretty damn good, so perhaps it was for the best.

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