In the states, we associate fireworks (Hanabi) with the 4th of July.
In Japan, we associate fireworks with two things : summer + yukatas! 

A yukata is a casual summer kimono that is seen all over Japan in the summer. The girls yukatas are all BEAUTIFUL. Actually, the point is that each part of your outfit, the yukata (main cloth part), the obi (the waist tie), and the geta (wooden shoes), are all supposed to stand out on their own which creates very bright and colorful miss-matched patterns. aka AMAZING. 

So August 6th was our local Firework show at Tengauma river. Thousands and thousands of people come out to watch this 1.5 hour show (YES AN HOUR AND A HALF OF FIREWORKS) and Steph and were lucky that our two good friends saved a spot for us the day before! 

So, I don't have a yukata yet but my good friend Haruka is pregnant so she said "Amie, I can't wear mine so you can borrow it!" I then borrowed Steph's red Obi for a pop of color and we had a fun time trying to put the darn thing on!! haha it is not as easy as it may seem. 

Steph in her pretty yukata and yellow obi. 

The fireworks started around 7pm so we headed to the park around 5:30 and I was already VERY SWEATY. 

Feeling very 日本人 (nihonjin - Japanese) 

A sea of blue tarps reserving spots. We had THE PERFECT view of the show right on the water. Front row and center.

It wouldn't be a Japanese event without plenty of good food...I even found spam and it took me right back to my childhood! We grabbed some food and sat down on our tarp with a bunch of other snacks and drinks to enjoy the show. 

So. many. people. I even saw two of my students on a date which made me laugh that they somehow found Steph and I in this sea of people! how?! No idea. 

The show started at 7:10 and it was incredible. Forsure the best firework show I have ever seen. It felt like we were right under them! The atmosphere was epic too...just a hot Japanese summer, cicadas ringing in the trees, kids running around, ladies in beautiful yukatas, and the booming sound of the fireworks. I am approaching my one year JAPANIVERSARY (a year since I moved to Japan) so it made it more epic knowing that this place has been my home for the past year and will always hold a very special place in my heart.