Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yukatas, Fireworks and Friends, oh my!

I finally made it to my first summer fireworks show in Japan!  

Actually, I did see some when I visited Japan at age 10 and I remember being so close that it seemed like the fireworks would drip onto my head.  We were all laying on the grass looking up and it seemed like there was no blank space in the sky.  It might have been also because I was 10 years old.

Anyway, we went to the Tamagawa fireworks which has been deemed one of the best shows in the Tokyo area.  There were thousands and thousands of people there and it was one of the hottest afternoons I've subjected myself to.  Thankfully, our friends brought so much food and drink so it was really fun and enjoyable.

To think, we were initially thinking of just going to "check it out."  Oh man, no way that would have happened.  You really have to commit if you're going to go see fireworks.  Tarp, food, drinks, queues for the bathroom and a snail crawl back to the train station after.

There was an even bigger show a few weeks ago but I heard that the effort in trying to get home was a complete nightmare.  Tamagawa only took us 2 hours to get home and in the most orderly mob-queue to the station ever.  The social compliance in Japan is amazing.

I also bought my first yukata in Japan.  Yukata is the summer version of a light, casual kimono that people often wear to festivals and such.  Ironically, I resisted bringing any from my home in California because I thought nobody would wear them.  "Look at that girl, she must be a tourist!"

The variety in yukatas is really cool to see, even between men and women and how their personal styles show through.   Aome of them are so, so gorgeous.  I really wanted to take photos of people in their yukatas but I just couldnt bring myself to. Maybe I buy a nicer one at some point but for this one, I actually really liked my outfit.  It was inexpensive and simple and it worked.  Blue with textured lines and white storks and a small, silver belt.  I sweated through all of them.

Tonight, my best friend is flying in!  I'm taking tomorrow, Monday, off to get her settled in for the next 3+ weeks so I'm excited. Hopefully I'll be able to take advantage of her visiting to go do more sightseeing.

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