On July 27th this year, there was a big fireworks display in Tokyo on the Sumida River near Asakusa. As it was our first summer in Japan, my husband and I decided to go to this fireworks display we had heard so much about. As it was an interesting and even humorous experience, I would like to share our experience with my fellow ALIEN TIMES readers.
First, we looked at a map to find a good vantage point, as the information indicated they would be launched from 2 separate points. The Asakusa Bridge looked like a good place, but it was already very crowded. Thus, we chose another bridge a little farther away where we thought we could enjoy both fireworks displays. When we got there, it seemed like a good choice as there were already many cameramen and video professionals staking out their places to get a good view. As we were wondering were we could stand, a policeman told us that we couldn't stand on the bridge as it had to be kept open to allow people to walk across. Further, he explained to us that "it was prohibited" to stand on the bridges as well as the banks of the river. The professional camera people, however, were allowed to stay. For us to see the fireworks, we had to walk along the path the organizers had prepared.
We found a new place, but as the fireworks began, we realized we could only see about one-third of bursts. So we tried moving again. Many people were walking or sitting in the path trying to watch the fireworks between the tall buildings that blocked much of the view. Then, I noticed two young Japanese men climbing over the barrier to an emergency stairway of a building. My husband decided to follow them, and when he reached the top of the building, he found about 100 people were already up there watching the proceedings. So he stayed and had a really good view. I, however, wasn't that brave and went on my way to find another vantage point. I found a construction site on the banks of Sumida River, where it was also "forbidden to enter", but as many people were already there, I joined them and really enjoyed the remainder of the spectacle.
So, if you want to see the Tokyo fireworks next summer, and if you don't have friends who live in the Asakusa near the Sumida River, let me give you some advice. Go early and find a nice roof-top garden or pub with a nice view of the river and avoid the Asakusa Bridge.
(Editor's Note: For information on the upcoming Tsuchiura Fireworks display, where it is easy to find a viewpoint without feeling like a criminal, see article Giant Fireworks Display to Light up the Tsuchiura Sky?.)
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