Jul 16, 2018
Today was the first day of Shiogama's Minato Port Festival activities and it was getting busy before stalls even opened. I know, because on a whim, my daughter and I headed over to the small park where many vendor stalls were located, only to be told that the sales would start promptly at 3PM and no earlier. We were only fifteen minutes early, but I know the lay of the land in Japan and that rules, even those that seem arbitrary, are to be followed under all but the most dire of circumstances, so I didn't fight this. Instead I walked around with my increasingly impatient daughter, who did what most nearly-five-year-olds would do in the same situation and started into a small tantrum about not being able to get things the moment she set eyes on them.
I didn't want to spend 700 yen on a plastic Hello Kitty mask anyway, but I did see one stall that looked like a fun option. Salty Shiogama ginger ale. It might be awful, but other salty Shiogama things are good, like moshio and the yuzu craft chuhai, so you never know...but it doesn't matter because I couldn't buy it. By the time the shops were opened, my daughter had punched me and screamed in my ear, and we had to go home before I lost my temper. She screamed the whole way home, but it had to be done.
Usually you can see some of the islands from here. Today? Nothing.
Later, I wondered if I should have found a way to stay out there. The festival is only once a year, and it is a lot of fun. Then I peeked outside. The fog was already rolling in. I laughed as I went back in.
All these poor visitors were coming for fireworks that were not going to be visible. I knew it, along with most other people who have lived here a while. At least half the time that this festival goes on, the fog obscures everything and there is nothing to see. Still, I popped out of my apartment when the fireworks began that evening only to see exactly what I had expected: fog.
So there goes one more year of invisible fireworks for Shiogama. If past experience is anything to go by, tomorrow will be bright and cloudless.
A working mom/writer/teacher, Jessica explores her surroundings in Miyagi-ken and Tohoku, enjoying the fun, quirky, and family friendly options the area has to offer.
i so wanted to go to one of the festivals near here, but i didnt want to have to deal with my kids asking for every other thing being sold. we might make it out to our in-town festival later this month but for a whole month we have to prep the kids so they know, no toys. sometimes it can be hard to enjoy a fun festival if you have kids and no desire to give in to their every whim.
That is so disappointing! Do you ever go anywhere else to see fireworks??
@edthethe Prepping the kids for a no-toy policy sounds like a wonderful solution! I sometimes give my kid unrealistic budget expectations when we're in proper shops, but all bets are off when we're at festivals. Still, next time I think we'll work that out your way. Sounds like a winner to me.
@ReishiiTravels Last year the fireworks were just fine for this festival but the year before it was just as bad as this time. Two weeks after this festival, Sendai has some good fireworks for Tanabata, so there will be other opportunities this summer for us. Thanks for asking!