Hanabi, Matsuri and the Movies

Okay, most things about Japan are wonderful and exciting right now, but some of the best things now during summer has to be all the hanabis and matsuris! I’ve been to several already and just have to share!

My first hanabi (fireworks) was in Ryogoku, close to Asakusa. I arrived in the evening after having had a very nice day in Yokohama (wow, that place is beautiful!), and met some friends at the station. We went up to some building not that close to the riverside, so we watched the fireworks from a distance between the high buildings – but oh, it was so beautiful! And I guess it must have been a 2-hour show or something like that. I had a very nice evening with very nice company!

My second hanabi was last Saturday, in Matsudo. It was a smaller one, but just as amazing! Me and two friends were invited to one of our senseis. We cooked Japanese food (okonomiyaki! chicken skewers!) and I tasted Japanese beer for the first time – it was good! Then we went out to the riverside where sensei had prepared a spot for us, and there we watched the fantastic fireworks, chatted and just had a very good time. An amazing evening!

Last Sunday some people grabbed me and we went to a matsuri (festival) in the middle of nowhere. It took place in some sort of outdoor museum, so we started out walking around looking at and inside different kinds of Japanese houses. It was very interesting and fascinating for us Swedish people! I also got to see the most amazing garden I’ve seen in a long time – it was actually rather small, but so filled with winding paths, bushes and small hidden places. I walked around there and was so filled with inspiration that I just have to sit down and write, very soon! We also listened to a guy who sat there and created music live. He recorded loops with different instruments and then built the music gradually by adding more and more loops. I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was very impressive!

By this time it had become dark enought for us to walk to the main area of the festival, and colored lanterns were hanging along the road. When we got there, there were people playing traditional Japanese music and people dancing traditional Japanese dances – a lot of people! It was so much fun watching! There were also tables everywhere where they sold food – so I have now tried takoyaki – kind of grilled octopus in some sort of dough balls and a sauce. It might not sound very good, but it was delicious! I also got to see something that I have only seen in cartoons before – a fish pond, with real tiny goldfish that you could take with you back home!

Last Monday evening I went to the movies for the first time here! Me and a friend went to see the new Batman movie at a cinema in Roppongi. The room was gigantic! There must have been like 600 seats, I’ve never seen such a big cinema room before! There were some smaller ones as well, with only 300 seats…

And the movie was really good, if you’re wondering about that. I want Batman’s bike…


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