Fourth of July

3 Jul

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).

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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.

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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”).

麒麟淡麗生

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.

12 Responses to “Fourth of July”

  1. Allen Christian November 6, 2009 at 2:31 am #

    I have a new invention for Kirin Beer beverage
    can lid, it does not agitate the carbonation and
    you will have a smooth controlled drink/pour.
    How do I contact Kirin Beer Co. innovations
    department?

    Like

  2. tokyo5 July 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    >Beer just tastes like medicine to me. I don’t think I want to acquire the taste. 🙂 I tried Sapporo and various local brews, with the same conclusion: yuck.

    Wow! That’s almost sacrilegious! 😉

    Like

  3. A (Mb's Husband) July 8, 2008 at 3:11 am #

    Beer just tastes like medicine to me. I don’t think I want to acquire the taste. 🙂 I tried Sapporo and various local brews, with the same conclusion: yuck.

    Like

  4. tokyo5 July 6, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    I only let you have a taste…you weren’t old enough to drink at that time.

    Like

  5. Mb July 5, 2008 at 2:22 am #

    I really like cocktails best, so that’s what I order/buy with the exception of a Corona at Mexican restaurants. “A” does not like beer at all!
    Anyhow, next time I’ll order en espanol. 🙂

    I tried Japanese sake when you lived here, at a Japanese restaurant. You bought it for me. I think it was difficult for me to drink at that age, but I pretended to love it since I thought it was the coolest thing in the whole world to be able to drink an alcoholic drink!

    Like

  6. tokyo5 July 5, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    MB…

    >Corona (with a lime, of course) is one of the only beers I like.

    You don’t like beer?
    Like I said in the post…the Japanese beer Kirin is best and I always have a case of Kirin in my ‘fridge at home!
    But in a restaurant, whatever they have on tap is OK. (It’s always a domestic (Japanese) beer).
    I just order: 「ジョッキ二つ下さい!」 (“Two mugs (of beer), please!” )

    >I get one when we go to Mexican restaurants

    Do you order: “¿Puedo tener una cerveza, por favor?” ( 🙂 )

    >My favorite drink is an Amaretto Sour on the rocks.

    I like cocktails too. But seldom drink them (as I mentioned…I’m a “beer drinker”).
    I think gin, whiskey, or tequila based cocktails are best (I don’t like the sweet ones much).

    How about Japanese sake? It can be drunk hot or cold. I like either way.

    >Tomorrow A and I are going to barbecue with our friends and watch the Dallas fireworks.

    How was the fireworks?
    What did you BBQ? Hamburgers?

    Like

  7. tokyo5 July 5, 2008 at 1:31 am #

    sfrunner…

    >I’m sure they’re both imported….They don’t quite taste the same like they tasted in Japan….Don’t care for Bud

    I checked the websites of those three brewers.
    For their beers in North America, they’re all brewed there. Not imported from Japan.
    That’s why they taste different, I guess.

    Asahi USA is brewed in Canada. Kirin USA is brewed by Budweiser beer! (Ironically, it’s the other way around here…Budweiser Japan is brewed by Kirin in Tokyo. Well, I guess it’s probably not “ironic”—those two brewers obviously have a partnership. What IS ironic is that those two would partner up…Kirin is way superior to Budweiser!)

    >The cans run around $2 USD and the Sapporo bottle is about the same.

    How much is domestic beer in America?

    Like

  8. sfrunner July 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    I haven’t had Kirin here, but I’ve had Sapporo and Asahi. Sapporo was in the bottle and Asahi was the can. I’m sure they’re both imported. The cans run around $2 USD and the Sapporo bottle is about the same. They don’t quite taste the same like they tasted in Japan. The best American beer I’ve had is Samuel Adams (out of Massachusetts). Don’t care for Bud, Bud Light, Miller or Miller Lite.

    Corona is good when I go to a Mexican restaurant.

    Like

  9. Mb July 4, 2008 at 3:18 am #

    Corona (with a lime, of course) is one of the only beers I like. I get one when we go to Mexican restaurants (there are tons of Mexican restaurants in Texas). I like mixed drinks the best. My favorite drink is an Amaretto Sour on the rocks.

    Tomorrow A and I are going to barbecue with our friends and watch the Dallas fireworks.

    Later!

    Like

  10. tokyo5 July 4, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    sfrunner…

    Really? You drink Japanese beer in America?
    Is it imported from Japan or brewed there under the Japanese brewer’s name?

    Is it expensive? How much for a 350ml (12oz) can?

    Like

  11. sfrunner July 3, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    tokyo5. my favorite beers are Kirin, Sapporo and Asahi (my first experience with the three was when I was in Japan in 2001). Here, Asahi tastes a little different, but it’s still good.

    You’re correct about the cans having the braille. Definitely, good question as to why.

    Like

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