Bentenjima Hanabi

This weekend, Dustin and Theo biked the Shimanami Kaido. This was the first time that Theo has been on this cycling route and the fifth or sixth time for Dustin. I will try to convince Dustin to write a post about their adventures in the next week. The two younger kids and I decided to stay home, firstly because I was working in the morning and early afternoon, and secondly because that evening was the annual Bentenjima fireworks festival. Our friends, the Oshimas, watched Rosie and William while I was at work and as soon as I returned home, I threw on some yukata and headed out the door.

The fireworks are held each year in Tomonoura and as always, it was incredibly lively and crowded. William was exited enough to add a new word to his repertoire: hanabi, or fireworks. We arrived early enough to get a parking spot, wander around the street stalls, and find a good spot to view the fireworks.

William demanded a photo in front of this firetruck 
Overpriced, unhealthy, but oh, so delicious!
This was my first time to see a chocolate and sprinkle covered banana stand
I thought these Anpanman candy covered apples were great. The lady in the background was busy
making a Hello Kitty candy apple. 
Happy as Larry he was
and totally oblivious to the samurai father and son sneaking up on him

There are a lot of different stalls that allow children to "fish" for toys. At this stall, you pay to get one metal hook attached to a short piece of twisted tissue paper. The object is to hook as many of these balloons without getting the piece of paper wet and losing your hook. Once the paper breaks, you must stop fishing, but until then you can keep whatever you hook. William got one balloon before he got impatient and ripped his hook off the paper for no reason. Maybe he is a bit too young for this game? 

A similar game involves a little plastic hoop with rice paper stretched in between and a collecting bowl. You then try and scoop as many balls, toys, or whatever out of the water and into your bowl before your paper net breaks. There is an art to it: you need to work fast because the paper breaks down quickly once it is wet, but you can't get too greedy and scoop too much. Whatever you collect in your bowl before your net breaks you can keep. 

This stand lets you scoop up goldfish with a paper net which I think is pretty sad.

I thought this mom and her tiny little girl in yukata were so incredibly cute.
William, Rosie, and me

All thoughts of fireworks were temporarily forgotten when William found a new little friend on the sidewalk. It was a funamushi, or sea slater, which was very friendly and docile. It is an oniscid isopod, very closely related to pill bugs, which are actually crustaceans and not insects like most people think. One of William's favourite pastimes is playing with pill bugs in our yard so it was not at all surprising that he found the sea slater so appealing. He discovered the "fun" in "funamushi" by letting it scamper all over his hands and arms, carrying it around, and creeping out anyone who came close enough to see.

I think someone drew on its back because they don't naturally have white markings

Rosie occupied herself by picking up rocks and trying to eat them, one of her all time favourite hobbies.

 And puttering around the street stalls taking in all the new sights.

This was her first real fireworks show and I was curious to see how she would react to all the noise and lights. Thankfully, she shrieked in joy and clapped her hands as each firework boomed in the sky. The boys were always pretty mellow about fireworks when they were babies, so her overboard enthusiasm surprised me.

Looks like we'll have to go to more fireworks shows this summer! 

1 comment:

Carol said...

What fun! It sounds like the kids had a great time, and when they are happy and occupied, Mother is happier! William is such a doll. He seems to be coming into his own more. Happy as Larry!