Every summer, places the length and breadth of Japan celebrate summer with festivals and fireworks displays (花火).
Since we moved out of Tokyo, we’ve been going to the Chigasaki South Beach Hanabi, and this year was as fantastic as before. Despite the thousands of people, there was a mix of people on dates, families, parties of friends, but as ever, behaviour was good, the venue (essentially the beach!) was well organised, and we sat back to watch a fantastic (almost) hour of big fireworks.
I put a few more pictures up on the Flickr! page. Since I’m no longer a Pro member, I guess those pictures will disappear at some point.
Sometimes you remember why you live where you live. For me, Saturday night was one of those nights. We went as a family to meet up with some friends who live just down the road in Chigasaki (apparently the soul of Southern All Stars) and headed down to South Beach and watch the free hanabi (fireworks).
It was such a fantastic evening. We turned up around 5.30pm and got ourselves a decent spot on the sand. Actually, we benefitted from the insight of a friend of a friend who surfed the beach who warned us how far the tide would come up the beach during the display and made sure we were a few more metres higher up. Needless to say at several times during the evening, people a few places in front of us had to jump up and grab their things as an errant wave lapped high – it really was that close to the water.
The whole thing was very relaxed, almost intimate, as everyone watched an excellent ninety minute display, drank beer and just generally relaxed on towels and mats. The fireworks just seemed so close as you can sort-of see in the picture I shakily took with my camera-phone. I was actually trying to video some of it at the time, so I might try to get something edited up on Vimeo.
Generally it was just a fantastic evening, good people, some witty banter from the MC whilst we were waiting for smoke to clear: “Ladies and gentlemen, whilst we wait, please look at and enjoy the beautiful full moon here in Chigasaki tonight.” I would definitely say it’s worth the trip out, but bear in mind the whole road system is pretty busy most of the summer there, and cars struggled to get anywhere for quite a time afterwards, especially with all the people walking back to the station.