A few nights ago we went to the Fireworks festival at Toubudoubutsukouen in Saitama, a twenty minute ride from our home and about fifty minutes from Asakusa by the Tsukuba Express and Sky Tree lines.
Saitama isn’t nearly as crowded as Tokyo which means we has a front row seat to the action when we arrived at around 7:15. The show was scheduled to start at 7:30 so we had plenty of time to grab some food from the festival stalls that lined the road to the park.
It just so happened that both the Koshigaya Awaodori festival and the local Bon Odori festival were the same night so the town was in an especially festive mood. Everyone was dressed in yukatas and the streets were alive with dancing and music.
Inside the park we stood with a crowd of about fifty people in a semi circle at the park entrance. We watched the fireworks explode overhead to the sounds of contemporary Japanese bands. The show felt like it lasted a long time even though it was only scheduled for a hald an hour. There were 2000 fireworks and a good variety of colors and types.
When the festival ended we went straight home. Who knew wearing a yukata would be so exhausting! My yukata was made of linen. It was very hot and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back the whole night. But I didn’t mind too much. It was all part of the experience. I also wore traditional wooden sandals which were more comfortable than they seem. My girlfriend also wore a yukata and her mother braided her hair beautifully.
Before the fireworks festival we went to her parents house where they helped us put on our yukatas and her father gave us tickets for the show. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to go to this festival! I’m already looking forward to the next one!