If you visit Japan during the summer season, you can see the dark nights all around the country will be lightened up with hanabi, or fireworks in English.
During this period too, you can see most of the girls go out wearing yukata, the summer's casual kimono.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, when in Japan, we do as what the Japanese do. Don the kimono, drink sake *cough*, join the numerous festivals. I've been meaning to do all that.. thanks to the influence of growing up watching animes and reading the mangas.
I've always loved girls wearing kimono or yukata. To me, when a girl wears a yukata, it enhances the beauty of her. She looks so ladylike and elegant, walking slowly in the geta, while holding an uchiwa. Everytime I see a girl in a yukata in the train or around the city, I couldn't take my eyes off them. They're simply gorgeous!
I didn't have the chance to wear it in my previous trips as I've never been to Japan during summer. So when I went to Asakusa last weekend, and found a yukata shop, I took the chance to try it for the first time.
The price for the yukata can range from 2000 yen to 30,000 yen, depending on the fabric and design. So I was thinking whether or not to get one, since I didn't know when would I be able to wear it again. In the end, I decided to walk away from the shop empty handed. At least, I've wore it and have a picture innit!
I missed some big hanabi festivals around Tokyo, as the celebrations had already started since July. So, my friends decided to bring me to Chiba to watch one. On our way there, I couldn't stop talking about how I loved the yukata and how I remembered watching one of the episodes of Honey and Clover anime, where Ayu and Hagu wore the yukata and went to watch the hanabi festival with their friends.
We then went to a nearby mall to buy the foods and drinks for the picnic and while we were looking at stuffs, they insisted that I bought a yukata and wore it to the festival. After considering that it would be a good souvenir for myself, I chosed a decent and basic one as the price was quite expensive. But they insisted I took a nicer looking (and more expensive!) complete yukata set, which came together with the obi and the traditional geta. And suddenly they told me, 'It's a present for you, from us!'. OMG! I almost cried when they handed me the yukata. I was so touched!! I was well taken care of by them all week in the office and they gave me a present too? Why were all these people being so nice to me? T_T
my very own yukata and obi \(^_^)/
the traditional geta
But the funny thing was when I was about to change to wear the yukata. They presented me the yukata but they didn't know anything about wearing one! It didn't help that I was the only girl in the group. Thank God I've learnt how to wear it before in Asakusa.
Putting on a yukata really looks like a simple task, like putting on a bathrobe. But actually, it's a little bit more difficult. After putting the yukata, there's also the obi, which can be likened to a really big belt that wraps around a girl's waist a number of times before being tied up. My friends were actually looking at a manual on how to tie the obi for me. LOL..
final look :D
So, what is there to do at a Hanabi Festival, really? Well, it's a whole lot of watching, drinking, eating and most importantly, just hanging out with friends and have fun. :D
with my colleagues and friends
new friends I met that night
Why bother watching fireworks display in a foreign country, you may ask? Tunggu je la New Year's eve or Merdeka's eve nanti sure ada fireworks display. But the kind of fireworks that they pull off in Japan is truly impressive. There are several different fireworks that you'll spot during the festival. The most common form is the big, round fireworks, commonly known as Warimono. Because of their round shape, they usually resemble flowers in the sky, which is where we get the name Hanabi ("Flower Fire").
Ahh sorry I couldn't capture better pictures to show the gleefulness of the event. But really, it's an event not to be missed!