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Big Bouquets Of Fire Flowers

Hanabi2

SUMMERTIME! In the land where fireworks are more like giant flaming bunches of posies than boisterous, wham-bam, shock & awe, that’s what hanabi really means in Japanese: fire flowers. A summertime treat accompanied by those other traditional favorites, squid-on-a-stick & beer, the first time I saw a Japanese fireworks display, I was struck dumb with amazement. Not only did they shoot off a mind-boggling grand finale-like muchness for over an hour, the colors and shapes were like nothing I’d ever seen before.

The colors went way beyond red, white, blue and green. More like crimson, teal, ultramarine, chartreuse and gold
The colors went way beyond red, white & blue. More like crimson, teal, ultramarine, chartreuse and gold
And the shapes! This one was a ringer for an imperial chrysanthemum
And the shapes! This one was a ringer for an imperial chrysanthemum
And this one (sorry for the shaky camera) is a cat with sparkly whiskers
And this one (sorry for the shaky camera) is unmistakably a cat with sparkly whiskers
The show these are from was a tiny one at a lake at the foot of Mt. Fuji. It didn't have the usual simultaneous monster display, so I've composited a few different shots here so you can see the range of colors!
The show these are from was a tiny one at a lake at the foot of Mt. Fuji, and while it was very pretty to see the reflection of each firecracker in the lake, they weren’t shooting off the usual simultaneous monster display. I’ve composited a few different shots here so you can see the range of colors!

And by the way, don’t miss all the amusing stuff that you’ll only see in

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

3 thoughts on “Big Bouquets Of Fire Flowers Leave a comment

  1. Beautiful! We’re still daylight so the fireworks haven’t started. Don’t know if we can see them from our home. Didn’t feel like walking the 7 miles round trip just for that. Lazy American? No, just too old for that kind of effort in the hot summer.

    • I think you made the right choice! And I’ve NEVER watched them in San Francisco, because the chance that the fog will roll in and all fireworks will be reduced to vague pink flashes in the clouds isn’t worth fighting the crowds to get a prime viewing spot. (><)

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