Jul 15, 2018

Guess how long our local fireworks show was...

I’m sure a lot of you had fireworks on display in your local cities and towns this weekend for summer festivals, and although I knew our little town would have some, too, I had written them off for a few reasons. First, I have small children, one of whom likes to sleep before most fireworks shows are finished. Second, I have a dog that, like most other pets, believes that fireworks are actually signals for the end of days.  

Well, we lucked out in a way because the fireworks were tonight, and we could actually see them from our home. We heard the *BOOM* and immediately looked out the second story window in the direction of the sound. Sure enough, this is what we saw:

Guess how long our local fireworks show was... photo

Certainly, the next door neighbor’s house obstructed some of the view, but we were able to see most of it. I beckoned my daughter over to sit with me to watch, and she was excited...for a bit…

You see, I’m an American, and we’re impatient with our fireworks. I think the longest fireworks show I’d ever seen was 30 minutes, and there was generally no more than a few second gap between fireworks, if that. 

In my town’s fireworks show, however, pacing was a problem. Many fireworks would blow at least a full 10 seconds after the previous one, with some coming up to 20 to 30 seconds later. But here’s the other thing: the show lasted an hour and twenty minutes!

An hour and twenty minutes? That’s the same length as Pixar’s Toy Story, meaning that feasibly, in the same time it took to shoot over a few dozen fireworks, I could have viewed the full character arc of Woody the cowboy reconciling his selfish need to be Andy’s favorite with the importance of friendship and the true purpose of toys to make his/her child happy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that my town had a fireworks show, but I think it could have learned the lesson that less is more, or at least that blowing up lots of fireworks in 20 minutes is way cooler than a Kurosawa-paced display of each firework in its individual glory over the course of 80 minutes.

Thank goodness we were at home: my daughter got tired and went to sleep (booms still coming at 20 second intervals). My dog, however, may still be a bit shell-shocked (nothing that a few treats can’t fix).

Is my town the only one with dragged out fireworks? Can anyone top an 80 minute fireworks show?



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).


  • edthethe

    on Jul 15

    my towns 60-year anniversary celebration was a firework display and it was 2 hours. The pacing was better than many I have seen in Japan. and there was a kid's friendly activity before with sparklers for families.

  • genkidesuka

    on Jul 16

    @edthethe wow, 2 hours??? That’s gotta be some kind of record!