Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fireworks in the Japanese countryside

After a very long drive from Amagasaki we finally arrived in Yagi, some small town somewhere in the Japanese countryside. I’m not a big fan of the country but when they’re hosting an hour-long fireworks spectacle I’m more than happy to travel all the way out to the sticks all the while dragging my family along. Yasu drove us all the way out here and after a difficult search for parking we walked through the small country roads in search of restrooms. We finally found some, with the required long line in front of it and after waiting about 30 minutes my mom and I discovered that they only had those Japanese style toilets (basically just a hole in the floor like in France) which we can’t use. So we had to watch the fireworks with full bladders. After working our way through thousands of people and mosquitoes we found an empty spot on the floor right in front of the stage where we sat down. Time for the fireworks to start:
The beautiful fireworks kept shooting into the air for about an hour, and it was really worth the long drive out, especially the explosive ending. The only thing missing was some dramatic music to which the fire flowers can explode in rhythm to (like they have on TV), which makes it all even more impressive. It’s great to be able to look at such beauty for such a long time, but sitting on the hard floor for such a long time just isn’t so great. Yasu had no problem of course, he’s Japanese and therefore trained to sit on the floor, but us older Dutchies parked our bums on the edge of the (now empty of sponsors but almost full with other spectators) stage halfway through the show. Young Gy and Japanese Yasu still sat on the ground but this time on a soft river bank.
All good things come to an end and sadly so did the fireworks, somehow even a whole hour still didn’t seem to be enough. So we and all the rest of crowd all did some chilling in between the festival food stalls, where they had some really interesting ways of cooking food. Somehow I only ended up with one picture of a standing fish-on-sticks barbecue. We bought edible things from several different vendors and collected a delicious and varied dinner that way, and again I didn’t take any pictures… I guess after taking fireworks pictures for an hour exhausted me? But I did take a picture of Gy and Gui with a few yukata-clad girls and a heap of trash next to the trash can.
The trash (or actually the lack thereof) in Japan is what has surprised the Dutchies the most it seems. They’re constantly telling me how clean the streets and trains are, no trash, dirt and graffiti anywhere. I never really realized it that much until they kept pulling my attention towards it, and they’re right. The weirdest thing is that the general lack of trash cans on the street doesn’t even seem to entice the Japanese to throw all kinds of crap on the ground. Even when thousands of people are gathered for a fireworks spectacle they all still clean up after themselves and organize all the garbage in one big heap next to the overloaded trashcan.

2 comments:

Minke said...

WOW! Heel erg mooi!!!

Yasu said...

It was really fun!!