Memories of Tokyo Fireworks


I know the temperatures are starting to fall in a lot of places but not here! The unusually hot weather that arrived at the beginning of the month seems to have decided to stay and if today’s hot, humid weather is any indication, we’re in for more. All this hot weather has me thinking back to the last festival we went to before leaving Japan: the Showa Kinen Park Fireworks Festival!

Summers in Japan are hot and humid so it can take a lot to make me want to go outside for any length of time. Fireworks festivals (花火大会, pronounced hanabi taikai) are one of my favorite summer events and definitely qualify to get me out of the house. So at the end of July just two days before we flew back to Hawaii, I just had to go to the fireworks display and festival at Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa, Tokyo. By the time we arrived just before sunset, the large open field was already packed with people enjoying drinks and food from the food stands.


We didn’t have long to wait and the display lasted an hour! I don’t think I’ve ever seen another display with such a large range of colors. The purple was one of my favorites and they had a few fun shapes, too. I was really more absorbed in enjoying the fireworks than capturing them in photos (plus I think photos rarely do them justice) but here are a few of my favorite shots.

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And I did get dressed up for the event! I decided to go all out and wear a yukata, a kind of casual summer version of a kimono. My husband took an artistic photo of me and the fireworks when I wasn’t looking so you can see the pattern I wore. It was light pink with a wine-colored flower pattern and matching obi sash.


It was definitely very hot and humid but with the beautiful fireworks display and the festive atmosphere, it was well worth it! As long as it stays hot here, I’m going to try to hold those memories in my mind. 🙂



  1. Yes a very beautiful yukata and the fireworks look amazing. An hour of that must have been wonderful. What a change from there to being a full-time student now for you.

      1. Yes, it was a packaged one with the obi already prepared. I thought briefly that I would buy a fancier yukata in a specialty store but I quickly rethought that idea when I saw the prices. So expensive! >_< They were absolutely gorgeous but I couldn't justify spending that much money on something I would not be able to wear very often. But luckily I found something cute in my size at a department store so it all worked out. ^_^

      2. That’s great! Yes. Kimono and yukata are pricey. Have you looked at second-hand sales? I picked up some gorgeous obi at a tiny shop in Kumamoto and saw some interesting sales when I lived in Akita. Yours doesn’t look like the regularly stiff cotton. Is it a different material? As for wearing it again, I imagine you’ll be able to find some use in Hawaii??

      3. You know, I did look at a few of second-hand stores but only once saw a yukata and it was still fabulously expensive. But I might have simply not been looking in the right places. The one I bought was a stiff cotton but it was so lightweight that I think it wasn’t quite as stiff as they normally are. And you’re right, there may very well be opportunities to wear it again while here in Hawaii! 🙂

      4. We do! They aren’t quite the same as being in Japan of course but there are a lot of events throughout the year and there is also quite a bit of Japanese culture that you can find in everyday life here. For example, it’s not at all strange to see maneki neko in stores here. I really need to write a post just about the everyday similarities. 😉

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