Search This Blog

Sunday, July 29

July 4th comes on July 27th here in Zushi, Japan

Friday night, we headed out to catch the Zushi fireworks display. Japan is known for its fireworks, of which at least one display occurs in the nearby towns and on the beaches every summer. My neighbor had stopped by earlier in the day with the Japanese flier of the night’s event. It was a truly kind gesture but I honestly couldn’t even read the date on the page. Nonetheless, I smiled and bowed graciously and accepted it. It will be a nice souvenir in my Japanese collection.

Kimono Hubby ended up working a little late but there was still hopefully time to drive ourselves down to the beach. The walk would be out of the question as we would miss half of the fireworks in the stroll there. The drive should have been out of the question knowing that parking would be a huge issue (as in there is no parking at the beach) and traffic would likely be horrendous on the tiny stretch of street that ends at the beach. Still, it seemed possible we might find something we would call a spot in some quiet neighborhood in which the police wouldn’t tow us away.

The traffic was terrible and the parking situation worse. We wandered through a tiny quarter that overlooks the beach stretch. There was no where to pull off the road so we stopped the car for a bit and watched the fireworks over the houses in front of us, hoping that we would be able to stay there until a car came. After enough pedestrians passed us staring mystified into our Capa with the funny Americans staring into the sky in it, we decided to find another spot of viewing pleasure. Back down the hill, we saw that people had forced themselves into nonexistent parking spots in the Red Lobster parking lot. (Yes, there is a Red Lobster and no it is nothing like back home.) There was one tiny spot left on the end, just small enough that most couldn’t fit but just perfect for my bad little machine. Traffic was going nowhere fast in either direction so I maneuvered across and into the parking lot. There we were blessed with the perfect view right over the bridge that crosses the stretch of the beach where they were setting the display off. And we had only missed about the first fifteen minutes thus far.

Feeling quite smug, we settled back into our seats and enjoyed the view for a good portion of the show. After some time, a man from the restaurant came up to the car. I shivered in fearful anticipation of them telling us we had to move or be ticketed. After much confusion (he spoke not a word of English), I realized he was only offering drinks. What a smart idea to wrack up some cash on the parking lot poachers! I declined only to be chastised by KH. Apparently the belief is that we were to purchase something in order to continue our viewing enjoyment. But when no one reapproached the car, we felt it safe enough.

After a half an hour, we were sure that the display was soon to be over and deemed it time to wiggle out of our tiny corner and finagle our way back home before the traffic resumed gridlock. As we drove away, we heard the massive crashing of the finale begin. The drive home took five minutes until we reached our narrow neighborhood. All the while, the snaps, booms and crackles continued to be thrust loudly into the humid night air. As we turned down our street, much to our amazement, we realized that much of the neighborhood was sitting out on the street edges watching the scene in front of them. That perfect viewing position we had sought in our travails that night now lay directly in front of us. By sitting in the street in front our own front door, we could have seen everything in a beautifully unobstructed view. Without the traffic. Without the parking concerns. Without the crowd.

Now, why didn’t my neighbor tell me that instead of sending us struggling to the beach? I would say that they are trying to lose the Americans but I know that these neighbors actually like us. Perhaps it was simply lost in translation.

Anyway… next time, I’m parking myself in a chair instead of a compact Capa with my own already-paid-for can of chu-hi out front. And I’m doing it in my pj’s. Gotta’ keep bringing that bit of class I know we do to this quiet neighborhood.

The fireworks are at the Kamakura beach next weekend and I think I am going to have to miss them. Unless I can figure out how to get on our roof to watch. Because I’m not trying that driving stuff again just for oversized sparklers in the sky. Although I must admit that it was a more impressive display than I remember ever occurring on steamy July 4th nights in Washington, DC.

1 comment:

Mike S said...

Always went to both the Zushi City and Atsugi City fireworks, as they were the best around. Where we live now they set them off at the town-owned ski slope directly across the river from us on the hill opposite our hill. Great view:)