Summer in Japan - the season to be out n about enjoying the fireworks that take place across the country during July and August. A firework event is called Hanabi Taikai .
Went to see the fireworks at Yokohama last weekend and was the first time that we went to one over here. We've generally avoided going due to the crowds - a few years back a few folks including small children were crushed to death due to the amount of people who tried to pack a bridge for good view.
Zipping back in time to late afternoon. While we have our Suica passes to travel on the trains, more of the private train companies are issuing day passes like this one which enable you to travel between stations as many times as you like. This one good between Musashikoyama and Yokohama for 840 yen.
The firework event we attended was the Kanagawa Shinbun Hanabi Taikai - been taking place every year since 1986.
The finale closes with two fireworks which reach a width of 480 meters wide @.@
The previous year was attended by an audience of about 270,000.
When there is a firework event, everybody knows about it through websites like Jalan.
Folks in Tokyo for example can check this page to see where the firework events are going to take place.
The next big one in Tokyo will take place in the Edo ward this Saturday. The event was attended by 139,000 people last year and 14000 fireworks were launched. A video of 2008's event can be seen below. If you want to go then the map is here - get off at Shinozaki station. Starts at 19:15 and ends at 20:30.
The police was leading everybody across the bridge. Humans have a tendency to bunch up in the center of a line where everybody else is (there is a study on this but I don't know what its called and know I have not explained it properly ^^;)
All you have to do is keep to the sides of the moving crowd and you will see gaps in the fence which the police set up for people to be able to break away - step out and save yourself 30 mins.
Head to the best possible spot available even though it may seem crowded from a distance - for Yokohama, the delicious spot was near the water. The ground is covered with blue or green sheets with kanji written on them. These are spaces which have been "reserved" by others - it means "I-got-here-first-so-don't-even-think-about-it." Even if there is nobody sitting around the sheets, most folks respect that the area has been taken by others - just like how folks over here leave their bags unattended at Mc Dees.
You need to take off your shoes and just walk on the edges of other peoples sheets to get here. Once here, you will see that other folks have not placed their sheets evenly in rows - meaning that there are gaps all over the place. The very cute girl you see in the bottom left of the photo was sitting with her friend in one of the empty unclaimed gaps.
The rest however headed back to the closest station which was Minato Mirai. Even when trying to get down to the platform, the police were saying that the entrance to Minato Mirai was in the direction of Yokohama ^^;
We just headed down to the platform but decided to stop off for some grub before going back home.