- - - 7/27/2004 - - -

Chofu Hanabi

Filed under: — Andy @ 9:00 am

In Japanese the word hanabi is made from two kanji, the one for flower followed by the one for fire, thus hanabi is the Japanese word for fireworks. Unlike the United States, the Japanese really know how to put on a good fireworks show! The show ran for an entire hour with an uncountable variety of fireworks. Some were amazingly huge and some in the shapes of famous Japanese characters like Doraemon. The amount of people that gathered was also amazing as it is practically impossible to get on a train for hours after the show.
I went to the hanabi with some friends of mine and we really had a good time. After taking a bus and a train to Chofu station we slowly made our way through the mass of people in the station and towards the fireworks. It took us much longer than we expected as the fireworks started before we even were in sight. For the next 30 minutes we walked closer and closer through gigantic crowds of people while enjoying the show above. We finally found a good spot soon afterwards where we enjoyed the rest of the show. When the show was over we got on the bus at the stop directly in front of us. For the next 1.5 hours we sat on the bus to the station and talked as it sat mostly stationary while the street filled with people. At the station we had no plans on getting into a crowd of people and getting packed into a train so we decided to have some dinner at an izakaya (traditional Japanese bar/restaurant). As we sat and ate there were two guys at the table next to us who really seemed to want to practice their English with me. The 5 of us (my 2 friends, the 2 guys at the next table, and I) talked, ate, and drank there until the place closed around 3am. At that time all the buses and trains had stopped running. Being wide awake my friends and I decided to walk back home, so we said goodbye to our new Japanese friends and started walking. After playing shiritori as we walked, at 5am we watched the sun rise and went home. The perfect end to an amazing evening. I finally got to sleep at 6am… only to get up 4 hours later to go to the immigration office in downtown Tokyo.

The amazing fireworks. Make sure to watch this!…Download (9MB)

My friends enjoying…

The beautiful sunrise…


  1. was doraemon in the video? How does fireworks make a picture?
    The video was neat. It looked like the fireworks fell in slow motion.

    Comment by けん — 7/27/2004 @ 2:21 pm
  2. Oh yeah? Well, we had sparkers on a stick. STIIIIIICKKKKK!!!

    Comment by Lawrence — 7/27/2004 @ 9:32 pm
  3. Man, the only fireworks I saw on 4th of July was on a Java Applet on doorhost.net.

    Awesome sunrises though, my HD will fill up so quickly with all the pictures I’ll be taking.

    Sorry for not being able to catch you online, my schedule has been ridiculous, 10 hour days minimum, last Tuesday was 16 hours of driving and work straight, got back at 2am or some mess.

    A spot of good news is that I’ve mastered hiragana, including the rya, ryu, ryo, kya, kyu, kyo extended portion. I’m starting katakana, a few of the characters are very similar, and less complex, so I should picked it up much more quickly. It is great finally being able to read (if not understand).

    Anyhow, I better get back to whatever it is they pay me for here at work, ja mata.

    Comment by Jeffsan — 7/29/2004 @ 10:46 am

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