Sunday, August 6, 2017

Kobe Fireworks 2017

神戸花火大会2017Kobe Fireworks 2017

A photo journal

The first weekend of August features a summer festival at Ikuta Shrine (near Sannomiya station).

The city also hosts a fireworks show in the docks area near Meriken Park. It is important to note that Kobe is quite the busy port, ranking as the fourth busiest container port in Japan (behind Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya).
 The fireworks attract huge crowds, even though the fireworks were held the same day as Osaka's huge Yodogawa fireworks show.

Huge crowds, jammed public transit and people waiting for hours to secure a good viewing spot are all normal in Japan. A good point about the fireworks fanfare is the pageantry that you can see before the sun sets.

The first part of this photo journal shows all the people dressed up in their summer yukata around Meriken Park (near Kobe Station).

A group of girls eating on the steps.
Note that the obi (belts) on most modern yukata have decorative, pre-tied, clip-on bows. Rather than the difficult to tie traditional obi. 
In the background you can see the Ferris wheel at the Anpanman Museum.
At night, the Ferris wheel has an elaborate LED lighting system that displays messages and images.
Smiling girls enjoying summer in the yukatas. The Smiling guy in the background looks a bit suspicious, however.
Karaage (fried chicken) and yakisoba (fired noodles) are popular festival foods.
Children's yukata can vary a great deal. The short skirt style has been popular.
There are always many ships in the harbor, providing a popular backdrop for photos.
Kobe Gakuin University is a popular viewing spot that offers distance and a beautiful backdrop for the fireworks. Kevin O'Shea talked about this location on his Just Japan Podcast (Episode 165: Sayonara Party!)
Early in the fireworks session the lights for the Maritime Museum and Kobe Port Tower were still on.

As the sun sets, photographers lose the silhouette of the mountains.
This burst was centered nicely over Kobe Port Tower.
Numerous barges firing off fireworks, blocking out the city skyline.
One audience members stands precariously on a railing, creating a dramatic human silhouette.
Experimenting with time exposures to trace the course of sparks.
The brakes were applied to the wind turbines so they would not disturb the audience.
Kobe Gakuin Univeristy has an ocean front promenade that was filled with thousands of people.
The light and smoke of the fireworks dramatically engulf the ships in the harbor.
A variety of fireworks simultaneously filling the air.
Experimenting with ISO settings for smoother images. I like the vivid smooth colors here.
Here you can see the landmarks of The Ferris wheel, Kobe Port Tower and the Maritime Museum.


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