Saturday, July 30, 2005

Fireworks - 隅田川花火大会

隅田川花火大会, i.e. Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is one of the biggest fireworks festival in Japan. In 2004 there were about 1'000'000 people watching it.

The first public fireworks festival was held in 1733. The previous year, Japan suffered a great famine, during which more than 900,000 people starved to death. Cholera victims were dying in the street. To "comfort the souls of the dead and drive away pestilence," Shogun Yoshimune organized a fireworks display by the pyrotechnic Tamaya family, who duly set off 20 rockets along Sumida River and caused a sensation.

The competitive element was introduced when a splinter group of the Tamaya family, the Kagiya clan, set up a rival company in 1810 and used the Ryogoku Fireworks Festival as an opportunity to vie for supremacy. To this day, some spectators continue the practice of crying "Tamaya" or "Kagiya" with each fireworks burst.

In 1978 the name changed to the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival and today ten companies-seven local, three from other parts of Japan-compete on national television for the best display.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Korean restaurant - 韓国料理の店

肉も美味しかったよ! ^_^

These were strong!

A strong earthquake registering a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 hit the Kanto area in eastern Japan on Saturday afternoon with an intensity of higher 5 recorded in part of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued following the 4:35 p.m. quake. The quake measured higher 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Tokyo's Adachi Ward and lower 5 in southern Saitama, southern and northwestern Chiba and eastern Kanagawa prefectures. An intensity of 4 was registered in Tokyo's other wards, southern Ibaraki Prefecture and other areas. Runways at Narita airport near Tokyo were briefly closed following the quake while bullet train service was suspended between Tokyo and Shizuoka. No damage to electric power facilities was reported, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. Amusement facilities at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, were automatically halted, its operator Oriental Land Co. said, adding no one was injured in the quake. The focus of the quake was 90 kilometers underground in northwestern Chiba, the agency said. ==Kyodo

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Yukata once again

During summer there are a lot of festivals, in Japan. For most of the people, festivals are just a nice excuse to wear yukata.

But of course a festival isn't a festival without eating some particular food!

Girls look like beautiful flowers in full bloom, with all their colors and all the different styles in wearing, modern, traditional, mixed, and so on. And even a gray city like Tokyo becomes a beautiful garden.