Money: ¥9.052

From now on it is August. The day I have to leave is coming closer. Tonight there is the Perfect Liberty Fireworks Festival, one of the largest ones in Japan. We want to see it as close as possible, so we had to wake up early. Being as close as possible does not only mean waking up early though. It also means you have to be part of a tour as well. Unbelievably, this Yomiuri tour costs 10980 yen per person. As a part of the family, I felt obliged to pay my own part. I hope my own mom understands this.

So after eating some breakfast with rice and tonkatsu, grandmother came to pick us up. Yeah, you heard me right, she is still healthy, has a driver’s license…Something quite unimaginable in the Netherlands. I even heard a story about a great grandmother still jogging every day. Well, as expected from the country with the highest life expectancy. We went to a place where a bus was ready to pick us up. As there was a convenience store nearby, I bought some cheap food in case I am hungry.

Though the bus seemed to have similar ideas. After 15 minutes we stopped at another store for a small break. I heard we had to wait five hours at the designated spot, so I fell in despair because I only brought one volume of my bought manga and nothing more. We did get a lot of items because we are with this tour: An ice box, containing small blocks of ice with a lemon flavour. Ryoukucha, Japanese tea which tastes awful. A bento for the day, a newspaper with traveling advertisements in it, and even a lottery ticket.

The five hours of boredom started. The first thing that was consumed was the ice box. The taste was very strong, thus very delicious. I started reading my manga but I was finished with that within an hour. Four hours remaining. In the meantime there was some show going on but I could not see it that well. Somehow a disadvantage of being early. Was not too interesting in my eyes though, but they used nice music. Okay, the dancers were also really cool.

Ate the bento bit there bit as there were twelve different kinds of dishes. Another hour passed…Slept for another hour…Eyes hurt because I have contact lenses in, but I can endure that. I almost forgot about the lottery. There was a list of items you could win as they called random numbers. My winning number was 569…But there were only 25 prizes among the 2500 contestants. In total we got 4% chance to win a prize. Maybe we got lucky, but my host mother did win a prize! Two big grapes, but they will be delivered when I am already back in the Netherlands, so sadly I cannot see them for myself. If only I could send them to my own home.

Finally it was time for the fireworks. Ensuring I recorded everything I started recording 15 minutes before it actually started. So you can see all of it when I edited my videos. I learnt one thing: Don’t turn the video cameras like photo cameras, because you cannot flip videos like you can flip images. Anyway, it was beautiful. The place of fireworks was not even close to the gathering place, so that felt kind of useless. The fireworks were indeed grand, but apparently it used to be even bigger before. It is really touching nonetheless, even though fireworks is the number one reason for air pollution. Do not take me wrong though, it is really something that you have to see with your own eyes.

When we got home, it was long time to sleep.

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