People in Japan spend the summer break usually in rivers and beaches whilst enjoying barbecue party with friends and relatives. Some go to indoor pools to avoid the scorching heat of the sun. But what is most awaited summer fete is the Hanabi (花火, which literally means fire flowers) or the Fireworks Festival. Different cities and towns from all over Japan showcase a variety of fireworks display in marvelous themes that will surely amaze your eyes and excite your thoughts.
In Shizuoka, Fukuroi City Hanabi （袋井遠州の花火）is known to cater one of the best fireworks festivals in the whole prefecture attended by thousands of people every year. It is an annual event usually in the second week of August sponsored by companies and joined by professional fireworks masters for competition. The criteria for judging are theme, originality, technical aspects, artistry and safety. The official song to be played is entitled Kizuna Kara Yume Ni (絆から夢に) or From Bonds to Dreams. The lyrics sentimentally states that we can do things and succeed if we do it altogether. Watchers wear yukata to traditionally celebrate the festive. Food stalls stand in the designated areas sell takoyaki, yakisoba (fried noodles), yakiniku (grilled meat)- name it, they have it. The store owners are not only Japanese but is also open for other foreigners who want to sell their native food products as long as they have secured a permit from the Fukuroi Hanabi organizers. On August 11, the show will start at 7 in the evening and ends by 9 pm.
Photo by Tokyo Times and drzuco on FlickrA few tips to fully enjoy the event:
1. The grounds open at 10 am. You may not go there as early as that but make sure to reach the area and secure your own place before the show starts.
2. Check the weather.
3. Bring mats, chairs and water. (An umbrella might come in handy)
4. Anticipate the traffic. (Every single road heading to the area might become a huge parking lot!)
5. There are portable toilets provided but make sure to find the nearest one before settling in. (Surely you don’t want to get caught off-guard.)
Photo by doronko on FlickrWhat to expect at the two-hour show:
1. Japan Classic Melody – Star Mine
For the starter, soft melody plays in the background accompanying the firewroks as it exudes relaxing atmosphere. As the music calmly play, it seems to gradually prepare the audience to a more extravagant lights magnificence.
2. Nationwide Fireworks Masters Selected Games: Part 2 of the 8th Ball and Star Mine
3. Oodama 100 continuous firing in pair
Using some technology, 100 fireworks shots will be released in Nakasu river alternately with Kitagawa river.
4. Niagara Air and Fuji Falls
The appearance of Mt. Fuji in mid-air that will change from white to red is something to look forward to. This theme is a recognition of Mt. Fuji as a world cultural heritage.
5. Japan’s No. 1 Jumbo-wide Star Mine
It is going to be launched over 300 meters on top of the Harano river.
It is a good way to de-stress, relax and bond with the family. For more information regarding the event: you may visit fukuroi-hanabi.jp (Japanese only) or call 0538-42-6151.