Travel Thru The Lens: Sake, Fireworks and a Sitting Buddha

Really sorry to get back to the third part of my Japan travels only just. Was really busy and just completed my journey to Australia amongst other things. It was only after last night’s fireworks shoot that I decided to complete the ‘trilogy’.

After leaving Yamagata,  we have a special program over at the city of Omagari the place where the 16th International Symposium on Fireworks was held. After staying overnight at Yamagata city, we took a train at Omagari and join their special tour of the factory and some sights around Omagari.

We reached Omagari Station, promptly checked into the hotel and look for our tour bus.
Our tag. Visit the Firing Site, Sake Brewery, Fireworks Factory and then the grand finale Display.
We arrived at the firing site. The whole site is next to a river (a very huge long kang if you will) so that if there’s any problem, water is just round the corner. Konso san giving us a tour although no where near to the firing points.
The tubes standing upright holds the huge 23 inch firework ball into the air.
Visit the local Sake Brewery. Proudly announcing 5-time champion of the sake appreciation national championship.
The room where the yeast and koji spores are kept. They are the main ingredients when fermenting rice for sake production.
Fermentation chambers.
Akita rice and with the sweet spring water it creates one of the best sake in Japan.
One of the nicest souvenirs I own. A bottle of Ume wine in a globe bottle wrapped like a firework pellet. This is sold during Omagari fireworks display during summer.
Here’s the brochure about the company “Hanabi Creative Enterprise”
That’s how the factory is designed. Open space and separation wall in case the worst happens.
This is how they pack the fireworks, the core explodes and slowly lit up from the inside to the outside creating the flower pattern.
Look at the size!!
After the tour, we settled down to capture the Finale show. Clear sky, gentle breeze.
The Japanese pasar malam food…superb!
Here’s my bento!
Set up the cameras. Look at all the Japanese hanabi enthusiats behind us?!

As you can see the fireworks are definitely breathtaking. There are fireworks from other countries as well so we got our monies’ worth!

The trip back to the hotel however was pretty exciting. As the show ends, a thick mist blanketed the whole area! We basically walked back to the hotel something out of a horror movie LOL!

The next day, we supposed to get back to Tokyo but decided to go back to Kakunodate. If you did read my blog, I have visited this area before and since it is Sakura season, decided to visit it once again on the way back home.

The whole area is so festive! As compared to my last visit, the place was abuzz with local tourists. The Sakura at the river side and the Samurai district just makes it worth the while coming into Kakunodate. Their food stalls are really to die for as well. Check out the Ekonomiyaki! For just over 6 dollars it is so full of noodles and vegetables it is good enough for both of us! We left the place pretty satisfied!

Last few days in Tokyo we decided to do a bit of exploring.  Thanks to Kyoko Osato san we got to visit another iconic symbol of Japan – Kamakura Daibutsu.

The Enoden train. Take it from Fujisawa Station and visit the coastal area. The is also the same train to reach the Daibutsu.

The area is full of temples and it is actually very interesting to walk around and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo city.

If you are in Tokyo there are definitely a lot of things to see. However there’s this well kept secret (after this is no more secret) that you can save some money going to Tokyo tower and have a very cheap meal too! Where’s this place? The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

Going to the building is not difficult at all. It has its own observation deck and is free. However I would suggest to skip that and register yourself to enter the office tower for their best attraction – their staff canteen. I kid you not…if you know how much Saboten katsu don costs here you will kick yourself eating at their full fledged restaurant!

LOOK! Saboten Katsu Don at 690 JPY!! OMG!!
Look at this view! And the best part is….FREE!!

After the lunch, we took the afternoon train back to the airport and what a way to say goodbye to Japan!

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