Uchihara Mall and Japanese Fireworks Festival

Today was a fun filled day with lots of activities! I made some new friends, and we went to two new cities in Japan! First, we took the train to Uchihara and went to Aeon Mall. We went shopping there, and ate some dinner.

The difference between malls in Japan and the ones I have been to in Canada is that the floors are carpeted in Japan. The bottom floor also usually has a supermarket that people shop in for groceries. This is not normally the case in Canada. The escalators are also a lot smaller and people stand on the left (walk up the right side). When we went to the food court to purchase food, we were able to leave our purchases in our seats while we looked for the food we wanted. I had never done this in Canada before because usually people can’t be trusted not to take your things.

I think that is a difference between collectivist and individualist societies. Collectivist societies, such as Japan, look out for the good of the group, so people would not need to fear their items being stolen.

The photos above are photos I took from the balcony of the mall, and the clock inside the mall. The dish is Udon Noodles with Shrimp Tempura on top. (Yum!)

After we finished shopping, we went to a city called Tsuchiura. It was extremely crowded because it was hosting one of the three top firework festivals in Japan! There were thousands of people when we got off the train, and there were fears of us getting lost! Police officers were guiding the crowd with megaphones and light sticks. Although, this was a chaotic scene, everyone seemed to stay very calm. We walked for about a half hour and decided to sit in between two bridges along a river. It was really beautiful because we could see the reflection of the fireworks in the water! The fireworks lasted about an hour and a half, so we weren’t able to watch them all. We had to catch a train in order to get home on time. The river was surrounded by thousands of people sitting on blankets, and the weather was perfect for fireworks. At one point, the fireworks spelled out the name of “Tsuchiura” which was pretty neat! I was totally exhausted after getting home, but it was totally worth it!!

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