Summer in Japan
Tokyo summer is hot and often humid but it's an amazing season and it's usually short (too short), with the peak of summer starting from the second half of July until usually the first typhoon of August. During the summer there are two things really important: summer festivals (夏祭り-natsu matsuri) and fireworks (花火大会-hanabi taikai). Recently we haven't beeb to often to summer festivals, they're often too early during weekdays (they usually start at dusk and last only one or two hours), too crowded on weekends. For fireworks, well, it's a bit the same actually. There are a lot of huge fireworks all around Japan, and we've seen plenty. In Tokyo: Arakawa hanabi, Sumidagawa hanabi, Edogawa hanabi, Tokyowan hanabi... are probably the most famous. We are lucky enough to live by the Sumida river and have an ideal view on Sumidagawa hanabi taikai so usually we would watch it from home. But this year we had the chance to watch also seaside hanabi taikai: the one from Ichinomiya, and the small one from our village Ohara. Big hanabi drain a real lot of crowd and require a real organization if you want to attend and see them properly, you need to secure a place to park your car/bike/bicycle, to secure a spot with a good view, and a return route. Taking the train is usually not an option, most stations around are either closed or just so crowded that it's almost insane. How many times did we get caught in traffic, in crowd flows of drunken people, for me it spoils the whole event... Smaller hanabi taikai in the countryside are shorter, less impressive, more confidential but much easier for logistics and with a local family atmosphere that beat largely the the huge ones. Now, I definitely like that one better. The one in Ohara for example lasted only 30min, but we could easily access to the beach and find a nice and quiet spot to enjoy it. There are many all around Japan, I can only but recommend you to try!
And if you don't have the chance to see a big one at least you can buy fireworks in any konbini and have your own little firework at home or on the beach) and that is a lot of fun!!!