Thursday, July 23, 2015

Enjoying the Fireworks

Zilla is 7 years old
Mega is 4 years old 
Lesson: Preparation is key!

Tokyo summers are hot. There is no way around that. However every year millions of people try to to make the most of the summer by getting out to enjoy some of the fireworks shows. We are not fans of big crowds so we usually only go to a less well known show. One thing we've learned is that preparation is key to enjoying a show with kids. 

For a spring show everyone seems more concerned about staying warm than being stylish but for the summer shows it is common to dress up in yukata (cotton summer kimono) or jinbei (summer top/bottom). Mega and Zilla love to dress up for these events but we do ask for them to wear comfortable walking shoes instead of the traditional geta. Be sure to bring a fan for the hot nights and an extra coat or wrap on the cool nights. Something I try to remember, and often forget, is to get glow stick jewelry for the kids to wear. For them it is a toy, for us it is a way to easily spot them in the dark, in a crowd.
Trying to find a place to sit can be tricky, depending on the location of the fireworks. It is good to look at the map before going to figure out what spaces will have seating and how to get there. It traveling by train it can easily be a 30 minute walk from a station to a good seating area. On the way home going to the closest station also can mean being squeezed in on super crowded trains. 
Having a snack or special drink to give the kids an energy boost on the way home helps to temper the past bedtime whininess.

Here is a list of things to bring:
 - blanket or leisure sheet to sit on
 - drinks
 - snacks
 - glow sticks or glowing jewelry
 - small umbrella (even if no rain is predicted there can be unexpected showers)
 - deck of cards (something to do while waiting
 - wear comfortable walking shoes
 - bug repellent and after bite
 - map or guide to the fireworks area
 - camera
 - fan

Things to consider:
Stroller vs. carrier
How will the kids handle being up late?
How hot/cold will it be?
Will there be a place to sit?
How early do you need to go to get a place?
How will you manage the potential long lines for the bathrooms?

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