花火

Picture cityscape.jpgPicture hanabi.JPGPicture hanabi2.JPGPicture konde.JPGPicture minnasan.JPGPicture odaiba.JPGPicture odaibakoen.JPGPicture odaibakoen2.JPGPicture sunset.JPG

If you have any interest in recent Japanese movies in general and Takeshi Kitano’s in particular, then you might already know that Japanese for fireworks is Hana-bi (花火)…

You also probably know that it is made of the kanjis for flower (hana: 花) and fire (bi: 火), hence: fire flower… fireworks… And if you didn’t, now you do.

Anyway, just to say that’s what I did yesterday: I met up with a few friends in Odaiba for one of the most important matsuri (japanese traditional festival) of the summer.
We spent the afternoon on “Tokyo Beach” (not much of a beach really, but a good spot to chat and sip beer on the sand while waiting for sundown) while thousands of young Japanese, of which a fair share was wearing traditional yukatta (light summer kimono), converged to the place to watch the fireworks (eventually it got quite crowded: apparently something like a million people came for what was the 400th celebration of the Edo period, if I understood correctly)…
Then we had an hour long display of hanabi with some quite impressive patterns (hearts, cats and other animal faces everywhere in the sky)…

Funny Sidenote
While hanging around on the way back, I also saw one seriously massive spider: bigger than most African spiders I’ve ever seen…
Dunno why, I was somewhat under the impression that arachnids of such a nasty size were the appanage of remote African grounds… apparently not…
Although its body was about the size of my thumb, I don’t think it was any dangerous: quite impressive nonetheless. Unfortunately, the strong lighting in the back and lack of focuse control on my little camera made it hard to get a decent shot, but here is what I was able to film anyway:

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