It has been 2 months since my last post and I am very sorry for that. I did have my finals during the end of July and now is my SUMMER BREAK. Yeay HOLIDAY! I am currently back in Malaysia for a month (I almost missed my flight😰 that morning). It was actually a bit of a last minute decision. I did not plan to go back in Malaysia for this summer break actually but everyone is asking for me so I cant refuse. Haha. Plus it is super hot in Japan and I don’t want to stay sticky wet hot living there so I decided to go back home and here I am now 😉
Summer in Japan is filled with festivals. One of the early festival is the Tanabata festival which is held during early of July. People generally celebrate this day by writing wishes on small pieces of paper, and hanging them on a bamboo tree. I wrote mine too. Hihi.
Well, actually in this post I would like to talk a trip I had before going back to Malaysia.In summer, one of the famous festival in Japan would be the 花火大会(hanabitaikai = firework festival).The firework festival is held in most of the prefectures. Of course there is in Tokyo too.
However, I went to Nagaoka just to see the firework there. Why? Nagaoka actually has the best fireworks ever.The Nagaoka Fireworks are held on 2nd & 3rd of August along the banks of the Shinano River. Both nights feature almost two straight hours of fireworks including some of the largest shells in Japan such as the festival’s signature Phoenix Shell, which has come to be a symbol of recovery after the 2004 Niigata Earthquake. The show’s finale covers nearly two kilometers of the riverbank and is the widest span of fireworks in the world. It was a spectacular firework festival ever. Don’t want to miss that chance do ya?
To go to Nagaoka is either by Shinkansen/ bus/car. So we chose to go by car cause I went there with my senpai (they have license) in total of 8 people including me. The journey was about 4 hours I think. We travel at night around 9-10pm on 1st August and arrived at one of our friends house in Nagaoka around 12-1am I think (couldn’t remember clearly). Because our friends still had exams so we don’t want to disturb them that much so it would be much easier if we had our own car to travel easily.
The next morning, we didn’t want to rush out, so we went out for lunch at Nagaoka Institute of Technology itself. We heard that the カレーライス(curry rice) is nice there and we ordered a table full with curry rice only. To be honest, we don’t have that in Shibaura. Shibaura only have kebab truck on certain days and nan and also nugget cheese halal. Of course I would be so excited to eat curry rice at another place and the chicken was really nice. The only thing that isn’t enough was the amount of curry. For that amount rice, it will need more curry (makcik shokudo please hear me out on this).
After our stomach had filled with curry rice, its time to head out to 寺泊（Teradomari) beach. Its so hard to find beach in Tokyo, so why not spend it in Nagaoka 😁. I wouldn’t say the beach is that pretty but it was quite nice. There were not many people there but we met a Japanese who can speak Indonesian (Kak Dita jumpa jodoh😂). Not to forget the sky was superb that day. It was so blue and the cloud in the picture was so nice. At the opposite of the beach there are some souvenirs store and also some seafood snack and not to forget some summer food, ice cream!
The last port of the day of course would be the HANABI!!! We parked our car really far from our viewing place that has been reserved by our Nagaoka friends(Thank you).
To booked the best spot, you need to fight like a dUCk new LE launch style. And we did get the best spot. The fireworks burst in front of my eyes and I just can’t get enough of it. it was so big the video camera couldn’t fit in. I did record some videos but the best is to see by your own eyes. The best was the phoenix, the song and the fireworks was really OMG! I couldn’t describe it in words. I was really amazed. It was really spectacular. The firework performance started at 7.30 and ended for like 2 hours later. Some people just wait till the phoenix performance or any other of their fav firework performance and left but we stayed till the end of it. Well the ending wasn’t that much actually but sometimes the small fireworks did have cute shape like hello kitty or heart shape, Saturn and even smiley. Even for just a normal firework, it was really really huge.
p/s: I don’t have any good pictures of the hanabi cause I don’t own a real camera. just my phone. but you can just see it on youtube just type nagaoka hanabi phoenix if you want to watch the phoenix though.
After the firework, we didn’t head home directly, but instead we went to cocos just to play UNO and had their dessert and drink bar till the cafe closed at 2.30am. The strawberry au lait was yummy.
The second day, we decided to have a visit to meet the llamas 😁. So we went to meet alpaca. I don’t really know the differences between a llama and alpaca but I think alpaca is just another species of llama. Its free and you can feed em. There is also souvenir shop there which also sells big watermelon for 1000yen only. Btw, on our way to alpaca there was a really breathtaking view nearby. We stopped there just to take pictures before we reach to the alpaca farm. It kinda feel like cameron highland too except for the temperature (Cameron is much cooler I guess cause its the summer season in Japan).
this is the view that we saw before we reach the alpaca farm
Of course after feeding the alpaca, we need to feed ourselves. I’m hungry😖. So we went to this Japan cuisine restaurant and had our green soba 😋. By the time we arrived there, there were so many people queuing there. NO WAY WE’RE GONNA QUEU IN THAT HOT WEATHER🙅. And so we just took our number and went to a souvenir shop nearby to buy some nagaoka sweets.
The Japanese sweets that we bought
We had quite a late lunch that day and we were so tired so we get back to our friends house and didn’t even realize we fall asleep and refused to join our senpai to a cafe. It was so nice to sleep after a tiring day 😪.
By the time I got up I think our friends had got back home and was cooking for tonight barbecue. YUMMY. So we went to out hanabi spot at a park just nearby the house and had our barbecue there. Well, we could still see the firework but not as big as we did the day before. As we are quite far from the actual place, luckily we have live radio streaming to hear the song and whats actually going on at the firework place so we got to know when was the phoenix turn (everyone was waiting for it). Well the fun didn’t last that long when suddenly we received a very shocking news. I don’t feel like talking about it but RIP. so after the hanabi we just went home and rest cause we’re going back to TOKYO the next day.
Let skipped to LUNCH cause thats when our journey started. Well we had lunch at Shojoji, which sells Ten-Don.we had to queue for a while cause there were no table available for us. So here is the menu and some pictures of our lunch menu. Btw, the tempura is quite big and worth it. And we had fun playing games while eating 😜.
So before going back of course we don’t want to miss buying souvenirs!!! So we went to I think the Nagaoka JR station and there was a mall there which you can buy anything. I bought everything at the Yasuda Milk store. I’m not sure if its available in Kanto area or not but it does written (only in Niigata) so maybe not. And sadly, most of em got alcohol and also shortening which we are not sure can be eaten or not. So here some that I bought which I’m pretty sure its halal. btw, there is this delicious cheese cake which I really want but it could only stand for few days so I didn’t buy it cause I want to actually bring it back to Malaysia.
these are some of the Yasuda milk that I bought and there is the other one but I don’t have the picture of it
Finally we reached the rental car place at 8.30 and we’re late 30 mins so we had to pay and it was NOT CHEAP! So BE ON TIME! We were late because there was a bit of traffic and we almost got fined for not wearing seatbelt but we’re safe. Hihi. So here is my story of 3 days and 2 nights in Nagaoka for Hanabi! Hope you guys enjoyed even though there was nothing much. Wait for the next post!!