I have been asked a number of times if Japan “celebrates the Fourth Of July (American Independence Day)”.
I’m surprised anyone would even wonder that.
Of course, Japan (or any country other than America) doesn’t celebrate America’s Independence Day.
Normally, one country’s national holidays aren’t celebrated in other countries.
Japan does have excellent 花火大会 (fireworks shows) in the summer…mostly late July – early August.
We go to the riverbank near our house to watch the fireworks every year. And sometimes we go to other shows during the summer, as well.
花火大会 (Fireworks shows) in Japan are alot of fun. People wear summer kimono and set up a picnic near the river and eat things like おにぎり (rice balls), いか (squid), sandwiches, スイカ (watermelon), and beer.
The fireworks are always really great! (“Fireworks” is written as 花火 in Japanese…and a literal translation would be “fire flower”).
But there are no fireworks on July 4th in Japan (except on the U.S. military bases).
Did you know that this summer’s 主要国首脳会議 (Group of Eight (G-8)) Summit is being held in 洞爺湖 (Tōyako) in 北海道 (Hokkaidō) Japan next week?
The G-8 stands for the eight “industrialized” countries (America, Canada, the U.K., Japan, Russia, Italy, Germany, and France).
This year, Japan’s Prime Minister is the President of the G-8.
They’re meeting to discuss climate change, the environment, nuclear energy, etc.
Because of the potential of a terrorist attack of some sort anytime there’s a G-8 meeting, the Japanese police are on “high alert”. They’re being posted all over train stations in the Hokkaido area…as well as the Tokyo area.
At the top of this post, I mentioned beer being popular at summer fireworks shows (actually it’s popular at all of Japan’s festivals ).
I love beer. I drink it everyday…not too much, though—just a can or two with dinner.
I’ll drink any brand…but my favorite is the domestic (in Japan) brand 麒麟 (Kirin). Especially 淡麗生 (“Tanrei Nama”).
BTW, many 外国人 (foreigners) who know a little 日本語 (Japanese language) think that this beer’s name means “Giraffe”. This is because giraffe in Japanese is キリン (kirin), but “Kirin Beer” is 麒麟…this “kirin” is a mythological creature similar to a dragon (hence the picture on the can).
Besides Kirin, the other major Japanese brewers are Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory and Orion (from 沖縄 (Okinawa)).
After Kirin, I like Orion best.
My favorite imported beer is Corona from Mexico.
I guess I should clarify…I like Lager beer. I don’t particularly care for dark beers like Guinness.
I was quite shocked the first time I tried a Guinness “Beer“. It’s dark and flat! And the can had a ball inside and it said to shake the can! Not at all what I consider a beer.
All Japanese beer cans have braille on the top that tells blind people that it’s an alcoholic drink. I noticed that other countries’ beer cans don’t have this.
I wonder why not.