31st Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival. August 2, 2016.

I recently went to a famous summer firework festival in Yokohama city. Here, I will share my experience.

The Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival is an annual festival where more than 20 thousand people from around Japan gather to Yokohama. From the ocean, a total of 15000 fireworks brighten up the summer night skies of the port.

Most people wear a yukata or jinbei when going to summer festivals. A yukata is a summer kimono, which is much lighter and has beautiful summer designs. Flowers such as hydrangeas and sunflowers, goldfish, and other traditional patterns, are the main types of designs that you would see on yukatas. The yukata I wore was designed by a modern artist. It is baby blue with flowers and butterflies of coral and cream. Now, yukata designs are becoming much more modern, and many teenagers choose yukatas with pink and red roses. The woman’s yukata is difficult to wear, so young girls get help from their mothers. The robe has no buttons or zippers, and is held together with string and an obi. The yukata and obi is separate, so you can mix and match and show your fashion sense by pairing different colors and patterns. When wearing a kimono, it is Japanese custom that women wear their hair up. So, friends help each other with their hair and makeup.

The train to Yokohama station was packed with people headed to the festival. Once we arrived, there were even more people. There are several spots where you can see the fireworks shoot up behind famous landmarks, so those spots were already taken by the time we came near the ocean. The fireworks were spectacular, and every time a big firework burst, the audience would clap and cheer. For the climax, hundreds of fireworks burst continuously until the sky was bright.