Day 18/35 – Sunday July 20th
Rest day. Heavy rain was expected today, but it turned out to be absolutely perfect weather. The optional tour was to Sakushima in Mikawa Bay, and to Gamagori went well. Sakushima island is a gem, with awesome seafood. Fresh clams, local eel, excellent shrimp and produce. The population of the island is only 262 people (according to wikipedia 2014). There are possibly more tourists than residents on weekends.
We walked to an ancient kofun (burial mound), enjoyed some interesting art installations, and after managing to get ourselves slightly lost, or more precisely “temporarily geographically embarrassed” according to Declan, enjoyed a walk along the seashore and beach until we weren’t lost anymore.
From Sakushima we then headed to the bay side city of Gamagori to see the Fireworks. The 90 minute display was amazing. The reflections in the calm waters of the bay were as beautiful as the intricate patterns above.
It was Gamagori’s 60th Fireworks festival, and it appears that the budget was higher than usual. The heart shaped fireworks were great, brilliant designs and incredible engineering. The fireworks industry in Aichi is based on a large number of small businesses, but it designs and produces more than 80% of Japan’s fireworks. These are the most complex and intricate fireworks in the world. Looking forward now to this year’s Okazaki Fireworks, which are many many times larger in scale.