Summer in Japan naturally means... FIREWORKS. These firework displays are highly anticipated and highly attended. Supposedly there are grand firework shows every weekend throughout July and August. We, along with five of Tim's co-workers, decided to try our luck with the Setagaya 37th anniversary show in Tamagawafutagobashi Park, along the Tama River.
It turned out that 390,000 other Tokyoites had the same idea. :-0
We lined up at the subway stations, crammed onto the trains, and poured into the streets of Tamagawa together. Being that the Japanese are so polite, there was no pushing or shoving during this massive pilgrimage. People shuffled along in an orderly manner, packed in tight without touching their neighbors. Masses of police officers shut down several streets and altered traffic so that the hoards of pedestrians could get to the viewing grounds as quickly as possible. Still, it took about an hour to march 0.9 miles.
Here's a glimpse of a fraction of the crowd.
Some people paid to watch from a special viewing area but I'm glad we didn't because it seemed like everyone's view was equally spectacular. Technically we were not supposed to sit on the ground but after awhile the attendants went away and we all laid out our towels and relaxed in the grass.
And then... WOW.
There were two other firework displays happening on the same river at the same time, so there were portions of the night where we saw double the fireworks or turned around to admire another show when ours was paused.
Tim was cracking up at the genuine oooooh's and ahhhhhhh's of the audience. Listen closely.
For an entire hour we were mesmerized by the lights and music. Japan sure knows how to do fireworks right.