Friday, July 28, 2006

Great food and Fireworks

Tonight Erika and I were invited to attend a different Natsu Matsuri (summer festival) with Honami's family. The festival was in a different part of Saga, in more of the mountainous region. Along with the festival, Honami's family was also going to a special company dinner for Honami's father. He is part of a carpentry business. It was very nice for them to invite Erika and me along since the restaurant was very nice. The restaurant was in a large building up in the mountains. As a matter of fact it looked over the Kasegawa river that I visited a few weeks ago. There were pricey cocktail lounges in the building that had perfect views over the river and mountainsides! At the restaurant we walked to our own special reserved room for the party. The restaurant was in a traditional style, with sliding doors, tatami mats, and ground level seating. We met a few of the other families attending and got ourselves situated. For dinner we had very nicely plated sashimi (raw fish slices) and tempura (Japanese style deep fried seafood and vegetables). Along with this, there was a buffet with many Japanese salads, side dishes, and soups. It was very nice! After dinner we walked out of the restaurant to another part of the building. We went to an outdoor terrace that many people were settling down at for the night’s fireworks show. That was a surprise for me. The building itself wasn’t that tall, but because it was tiered on the side of a mountain, it seemed very grand. We had a great view of the river, bridge, and roads where the fireworks were going to take place - prime seating! The fireworks show was great. Like the Umi no Hi show, this one was also one hour long! The Japanese like to slowly enjoy their fireworks. Although seeing the fireworks over an ocean was neat, I think the mountain and river view was even better! It was also great to be looking down at the bustling festival streets. The fireworks show consisted of airborne fireworks, water plunged fireworks, and even large strands of sparklers over the river. It was so cool to see the Bridge ignite into a sparkling outline, and also large strands of sparklers to go off over the river, which looked in the reflections like a waterfall of fire. It was an excellent evening. After the show we strolled the streets of the bustling festival. It was great to take in all the excitement from the atmosphere. The pictures are of Erika, Honami, and me at the restaurant, Honami and me overlooking the terrace, and finally the fireworks display!

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