Well, I gotta say, we have never, ever seen a crowd like this. Well, we all have at Yodogawa, but for a much smaller, highly concentrated area, it was a throng. And totally worth it, as it is every year we are able to make it.
Uji is normally on a weeknight, always set for the 10th no matter what weekday the 10th happens to fall on, this year a Friday. Oh boy. Need I say more.
As I had warned previously, the concentration of people here can be daunting, even potentially dangerous. It is therefore very important to plan well ahead for this event, don’t arrive by car or bike, carry nothing but a water bottle and identify your exit point in advance. Luckily, the two stations are both near to the village center where the fireworks are held. This year my wife Yoko balked at the throng so we elected to watch it from the station, a choice that allowed us to be first out and avoid the madness. Can you imagine little old ladies no more than 4 1/2 feet tall squished inside crowds of thousands?
But what a beautiful place, the atmosphere, the picturesque view of ancient Japan, the river and, oh yeah, of course, the fireworks too. If you can stomach the crowd, you have to see this next year.
Martin Werner Zander, Smith’s Partner
Owner of Smith’s School in Kotoen