Hello y’all! I hadn’t actually planned this to become a competition but as an after-thought, here it is! We really do have a favorite festival each year! So here goes: this is the third and final installment in my rather lengthy 2011 Fireworks Festival Calendar and Review. Tsuruga has by far and wide been our favorite summer fireworks festival in Kansai for the past two years and we can honestly claim to have seen all of them.
Many of you are probably wondering exactly where Tsuruga is, and indeed before the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear power plant melt-down many people had really no reason to wonder about Tsuruga. Actually it is a prosperous, lively city of about 100,000 people in Fukui Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan Coast where Kansai meets the Echizen Coast. It’s only an hour’s drive north of the Lake Biwa coming from Shiga Prefecture. The area is well populated in summer thanks to a wide variety of summer sports facilities surrounding the area.
The display boast 10,000 rockets, a number equaled by Uji-gawa and Nagahama, surpassed only by PL and Yodogawa. The setting along the shores of warm Tsuruga Bay makes for an extra special, warm atmosphere, especially thanks to the several nuclear power stations clustered in the area. The waters around here are quite good for snorkeling as the slight warmth around the nuclear power stations encourages food production for fish, bigger fish!
The narrow bay surrounded by mountains on all sides provides many excellent vantage points for viewing the fireworks. Parking is certainly a major problem yet arriving by car is by far still the best method. If you can pool many people into a large SUV so much the better. If you can arrive super early and enjoy the day at the sea you’ll be in great shape, but don’t get any ideas about leaving quickly afterwards. Gridlock is the name of the day.
Anyway, this is your heads-up for next year all done. Thanks and look forward to next year’s festivals!
Martin Werner Zander, Partner in the Smith’s School of English Company