Japan must surely love fireworks as much as any nation on Earth. You can find a big hanabi taikai pretty much every weekend during the summer here – in fact, there were two huge events in Metropolitan Tokyo tonight. The one I attended tonight is probably ranked no higher than 4th or 5th among the big Tokyo displays for sheer firepower, but it’s still quite a spectacle. It’s held at Meiji Jingu Stadium, home of the Tokyo Yokult Swallows baseball club, where it’s paired with a J-pop concert, but the neighborhoods from Harajuku to Sendagaya fill with hundreds of thousands of people.
This was quite different from the Arakawa Festival of a few weeks ago, where the riverside setting was almost pastoral – this was the heart of Tokyo proper, in the midst of the numerous bars and restaurants than throng the area. I got there about two hours early but the competition for space was already pretty intense. Then, to what seemed to be the surprise of the locals, the police closed Stadium Dori, pulled down the barricades and everyone shouted “Wai!” and headed for prime blanket space in the middle of the avenue. That seemed like the thing to do, so I joined right along.
Here, then, a sampling of video.