exchange / travel

hanabi taikai

The thought of summer conjures up different things for different people. As for me? The beach, barbecues, and sand between my toes are what comes to mind. But here in Japan, summer is synonymous with hanabi, or the fireworks. In fact, the biggest cliche ever is to go on a date to see the fireworks, and it’s the theme of many a shoujo anime or high school drama. There was no date to be found in my case, but of course that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun! I went with a group of friends and it was definitely a night I’ll never forget.


Yep, I finally fulfilled my dream of wearing a yukata! Not to be confused with the kimono, yukatas are made from cotton and intended to be worn in the summertime. Don’t be fooled, it still felt like a million degrees underneath all that fabric but it was worth it. I love how Japan is one of the few countries where traditional clothes are worn in a urban setting, even if it is only on special occasions.

Waiting on some piping hot takoyaki. The typical yatai, or outdoor food stalls that can be found at summer festivals are a food lover’s dream come true. Takoyaki, yakisoba, shaved ice, and candy apples… you name it, I’m pretty sure they had it!

I only managed to get a few good shots of the fireworks sans tripod, but take my word for it – they were just as amazing as they were hyped up to be. In fact, they were so huge I could feel the ground shaking beneath me as each cracker went off. They went on for a full hour and were really like nothing I’ve seen before, leaving no inch of sky untouched.

A little compilation of videos I took of the fireworks! Despite my aversion towards crowds and the fact that pretty much the whole city came out to see the show, it was such a good night. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick start my summer holidays than by the lake, taking in the night breeze with some of my favourite people by my side. Look forward to more of my summer festival adventures soon!