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fireworks extravagatastrophe

There's nothing I enjoy more on a sticky summer night than to take a stroll down to the bay from where I can watch taxpayers' money miraculously transform into a myriad of colours and smoke.

I did such a thing last night, heading off to nearby Kobe, not realising that the entire combined population of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe had had the same idea. There were about 20 gazillion people there, fighting for position on a patch of concrete the size of two tatami mats.

However, on the way to my destination I decided to stop for a quick coffee at an establishment which represents a stunning new concept in coffee cafe design.

Introducing Captain Terry Coffee Stadium....

Who's Terry?

The design is based on the new Wembley Stadium, where you can drink your coffee as if watching an event of some sort.....

However, as Captain Terry Coffee Stadium is a place of coffee, there are no sporting events. Instead, customers can be riveted by coffee-based activities, such as a big coffee machine kind of thing....

The stadium attendees can sip their coffee while watching the machine not do anything.....

The menu is primarily modern European with subtle Korean influences enhanced by an array of Indian spices with a solid footing in coffee....

The dog is the subtle Korean influence.

Following the coffee, I made my way to the fireworks display. I found a space and stood still, waiting for the display to start. Many others waited patiently, while sweating.

At 7.30pm I heard what at the time I thought was someone slamming a car door shut, but upon looking ahead of me, I noticed it was a firework exploding.

It was at this point that I realised I wasn't in the best location, as the display appeared to be taking place about 25 miles away. I didn't have my binoculars with me, so I had to enjoy a kind of bonsai fireworks show.

Here are some obligatory 'crap firework photos' from the event:




Top tips for attending a fireworks display in Japan:
1. Make sure your viewing point is in the same city as where the display is taking place.
2. Take coffee from Captain Terry Coffee Stadium.
3. Take an air-conditioner.
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On Sunday, 03 August, 2008, Blogger Dan said:

Japan should hold all of its fireworks exhibitions in spring or fall, because those are the only times of year human beings can exist outdoors in this country without sweating away all their dignity. I can't even walk to the store and back without needing to jump in the shower afterward, so there's no way in Hell (no pun intended) I can sit outside and watch fireworks in August.  

On Sunday, 03 August, 2008, Blogger Angelo said:

And a mat. A blue plastic one. You can't go anywhere outdoors without one!  

On Monday, 04 August, 2008, Anonymous Scotty.VOR said:

I'm amazed. Two photos of Japanese crowds and not a single blue polythene sheet in sight. More proof that the very fabric of reality is tearing itself apart.

Ugh...I swear this friggin word verification is getting longer..."jyjoozbz"?!  

On Monday, 04 August, 2008, Blogger Tornadoes28 said:

They could at least put a big screen tv on that wall in the coffee stadium and play j-League or K-1 Matches or something.  

On Tuesday, 05 August, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:


How dare you poke fun at the most Japanese of all Japanese institutions, the fireworks display or Hanabi?

Don't you know they serve the important purpose of making noise, a cultural element no self-respecting Asian nation can do without? And by mindlessly burning taxpayers' money they enrich corporations and enhance the economy's liquidity. Japan's "hybrid capitalism" has a lot to speak for.

And your contempt for Captain Jack's coffee emporium is utterly uncalled for. This quite excellent company combines the best in Japanese marketing acumen, management technique and use of English.

All these are signs that Japan will overtake the West anytime soon.

The former German economy minister Lambsdorff famously said that at the end of the century "we will all be Japanese" (but I forgot which century he meant).

Yours sincerely,

-- Reginald Dimplewit, MBE, Brigardier (ret.imbec.)  

On Wednesday, 06 August, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

lololol Dimplewit!  

On Friday, 08 August, 2008, Anonymous Gabrielle said:

Is the Captain meant to be Terry Venables?  

On Thursday, 04 September, 2008, Anonymous Jennifer said:

Thanks for the tip. I SO need to check out Captain Terry's. It sounds so very exciting!

I also attempted to watch the fireworks last month. I watched from a friend's balcony. In order to see everything, you had to risk your very life leaning over the railing. I was unable to take any pictures, as I was hanging on to the railing with both hands. It didn't help that I was also situated near the a/c unit outside which was blowing hot air at me. Combined with the heat/humidity, I believe I sweated off about 10 kgs. that evening.  

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