• 30 . 07 . 05
  • After Mum departs, I head out to watch more fireworks.

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Bright Lights And Big Bangs

Well, having seen Mum and Jan off at the train station this morning, I’m now back to normality. Having had them both here was really great, but quite stressful. Not for arguments or anything, but just having to be responsible (maybe for the first time in my life!) for other people, especially as there was only a limited time for them to see Japan. It’s nice to be back in a position where if I screw something up, it’ll only affect me!

Today was also the first of the two annual Gifu fireworks displays that are held on the banks of the Nagara River. I mentioned to Mum that it was a shame she wasn’t leaving a day later, but she told me not to worry. Apparently, in Vancouver, where she will be headed soon, they’re holding the World Fireworks Championships! Hotly tipped favourites are the Swedish, who apparently win it every year. I didn’t even know the competition existed…

By every measure imaginable, the display was awesome, clearly beating anything I’ve ever seen in England and perhaps even better than last year’s. The sheer amount of colour in the sky and reverberations off the mountains behind my apartment made it a tremendous spectacle. After watching for a while from my balcony, a few of us headed out in traditional Japanese yukatta and jimbe (that’s the Japanese clothes that look like pajamas) to walk along the bank of the river and see the show up close. The streets were thronged with families, the majority of whom were dressed up in their traditional clothes too, and the colours on the ground were almost as bright as those in the sky. What’s nice is that everybody was laughing and very friendly, not a bit of violence, with everybody sitting or standing in groups cheering and applauding the show.

Next week the second of the two displays will be on and we’ll do it all again!

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