A popular type of festival (matsuri, see previous post) in Japan during the summer are fireworks called hanabi (花火).
Friends and families gather around to eat and drink (like a picnic) to watch the fireworks (the show is usually between 7:15-8:30 in the evening). Because of its popularity, you (or someone in your party) need to arrive early and place your handy-dandy mat to save a good viewing spot. Just like other matsuri (festivals), many women (and some men) wear their yukatas to these events.
This year, we attended two of the larger hanabis around Tokyo.
The Sumida River Fireworks Display is held by the Sumida River near Taito-ku, with about 20,000 fireworks in late July. The picture below is the wide Sumida River, with the firework floating platforms in the background. There were many women wearing yukatas, as we walked along the bridge to get to the other side of the river.
People watch the fireworks from the streets and under the bridge – they do not seem to be the most comfortable places to us.
Did I mention that it was crowded?
The Edogawa-ku Fireworks Display is held by the Edo River in Edogawa-ku, with about 14,000 fireworks in early August. Along the way to the place, there were many food stalls like the one pictured below.
A wide shot with the Edo river in the background …
… and pictures of people enjoying themselves, many wearing yukatas – have you seen enough blue mats yet?
Finally, the big show started promptly after an afternoon of merriment.
Two YouTube videos for live action viewing.