Weill in Japan Jason Weill Web Productions
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Sumida River Fireworks Festival

The first festival I attended was at the Sumida River, with my friend, classmate, and fellow CMU visitor Alan. It attracted well over 100,000 visitors, and we were very poorly prepared as we got on impossibly crowded subways to see the festivities. While it was tough to find a place to sit as we scarfed down our horrendously overpriced food and beer, it was a fun experience.

Alan at the river before sundown. Alan stops on the bridge as we watch the fireworks. Crowds started gathering very early for this, the first highly-anticipated festival of the summer. As we leave, the crowd on the subway tries to catch a glimpse of any remaining fireworks. This scene is every bit as uncomfortable as it looks.  I didn't exactly tower above the crowd, either; this picture was taken as I held my camera overhead. "The season has everyday come to silence. A sky blue for life."  The monkey holding the balloons only makes this shirt better. The fireworks at the Sumida River festival. The fireworks at the Sumida River festival. The friendly police mascot "Pipo-kun" adorns a police vehicle.  Many officers were on hand for crowd control, escorting groups of people across bridges to see the fireworks. A view of the Sumida River shortly before sunset.  That strange-looking yellow structure is supposed to be a flame, and it sits on top of a building owned by the Asahi Brewing Company. Many female festival goers, and some male revelers, wear the traditional summer kimono called yukata.