On the 29th I went to Oiden Matsuri in
City, also known as the third biggest
fireworks festival in Japan. Joy (one of my classmates from Japanese who
also lives in the dorm) and I were invited by Kocchan, who lives in Toyota. Joy also brought her friend Akina.
Kocchan invited us over to her house beforehand so Joy and I could get dressed up in yukata.* (I brought my own yukata, but Joy borrowed on from Kocchan.) None of us can actually dress ourselves,** so Kocchan's mom helped. (Thank you!)
(Picture totally stolen from Kocchan.)
Look at me, looking like a dork. Yukata aren't made for people with hips.
Aaaand then we went to the festival! Where we met up with two of Kocchan's other friends.
It was pretty crowded.
(Look at these super attractive people.)
(...I just realized that some of these captions will be hilarious if you are bilingual. Oh dear.)
So getting a place for the fireworks is Serious Business, which means you have to mark out your territory DAYS in advance with tarps and tape.
Also, we were on a hill. It made sitting interesting.
Yes, those are zebras. No, they aren't real.
Walking up a hill in a yukata is REALLY HARD.
It started getting more crowded the darker it got...
(The two girls behind me are Kocchan's friends.)
Japanese firework shows are pretty different from what we're used to in the States. For one thing, the whole show was almost two hours long. Also, the show was split into different acts, each one lasting no more than about 5 minutes. Some of the shows were designed by students at an art school, so they would consist of a single firework that fit a certain theme. For example, one of them was called "sunflower" and LOOKED LIKE A SUNFLOWER. It had little green offshoots (for the leaves) and then a big yellow burst at the top. So cool. I would say about 1/4 of the acts were set to music (and I mean REALLY set to music; so the fireworks would mirror the song lyrics), and those were definitely the coolest.
These letters are part of a wooden structure they set on fire during the course of the festival.
...and then my camera died. It was pretty unimpressive.
Anyway, it was pretty awesome! Afterwards Joy and I headed back to Kocchan's place, where we chilled for a little bit so the crowds could dissipate. We apparently didn't wait long enough, 'cause when Kocchan tried to drive us to the station, we got stuck in traffic. The cars weren't even moving. At all. It was the weirdest thing. So Joy and I hopped out of the car and walked the rest of the way to the station and took the train back home. Which was, uh, more exciting than entirely necessary, 'cause it was a really crowded train, and Joy and I got separated getting on and I couldn't get back over to her, and there was this drunk guy who was harassing this girl by trying to pull the straps of her tank tops off her shoulders with his fan, and she was laughing awkwardly and saying, "Stop! Stop!" and HE WASN'T STOPPING. GAAAAH. Also, he kept ogling me and trying to fan me and I was edging away as far as possible, and there was this other dude who was intentionally leaning on me and it was really bad and I was just about ready to punch ALL THE PEOPLE.
But, aside from the super awkward train ride, the festival was awesome, and I loved the fireworks, and it was awesome to get to hang out with Kocchan one last time before I left.
Next post will be a bunch of miscellaneous pictures from Kawahara Shrine and various stuff involving the Kawahara folks I've forgotten to talk about.
*Yukata are the summer version of kimono. I like them much better.
...what is up with this font?
...what is up with this font?
**This may sound really, really pathetic, but that means you have never worn a yukata before. Putting on a yukata is HARD.