Japan is known for its great fireworks displays and the summertime is host to some of the best all year. Check out our article on the best fireworks festivals in Japan.
Every year in Japan there are many great fireworks festivals during the summertime. It is one of the best times of the year to visit, as festivals with extravagant fireworks displays are happening every month. Some displays go on for more than 20 minutes continuously with picturesque finales!
Every city and prefecture hold a number of displays and festivals, so it can be hard to choose the best ones to see. The best hanabi, or fireworks viewings, can often be found in the less popular places in the country. We will look at some of the best hanabi that visitors to Japan can attend during the summer months, as well as other things you can see while you are in the area.
1. Shiga Prefecture Biwako Fireworks Festival
Biwako is the largest lake in Japan and you can see the fireworks reflect beautifully over the water. Shiga Prefecture isn’t known for being a large tourist destination, but the festival showcases over 10,000 fireworks being launched. It is a beautiful display and is said to look like flowers blooming over the lake. It is a short distance from Kyoto and is easy to reach. They have food stands, festival games, and special performances for the family to enjoy. This is one of the best hanabi that you can experience in Japan.
2. Hokkaido Prefecture Kachimai Fireworks
This festival is known for its grand and high-value presentation. It is a mix of colors, music, and explosions that would be hard to miss. It is an extremely popular festival and many viewers come to see the spectacle each year. Fans of the extravagant will be pleased with the over-the-top presentation that they prepare.
3. Aichi Prefecture Toyota Oiden Festival
This festival is the one that most people see in travel brochures. The fireworks display is planned by some of the top technicians and is a grand sight to see. There is plenty of room around the launching area for people to sit and watch. Visitors can also enjoy the usual festival stalls and stands.
You can see traditional Japanese performances and music as well. Locals dress in traditional festival attire and special costumes to perform dances and presentations.
4. Yamagata Prefecture Akagawa Fireworks Festival
This hanabi is a competition to see who can create the best fireworks display. There are over 12,000 fireworks launched during the festival and it is one of the top displays on many peoples’ lists. The reason for this is that the level of competition attracts the best fireworks technicians from across the country.
You can view the displays from the Akagawa riverbanks, which have enough room to fit everyone who wants to see. There is nothing on the riversides that can obscure your view, and you can enjoy all the typical Japanese festival foods and activities while you watch the show.
5. Nagano Prefecture Lake Suwa Festival
This festival has the highest number of fireworks of any festival with over 40,000 being launched! It is a large festival and even runs when there is rain. It is one of the most famous festivals in Japan and can draw crowds of up to 500,000.
Since it is held on Lake Suwa, it is easy to watch the show from any spot on the lake. Because it is so popular, it is a good idea to go early and reserve your spot. The festival will have stalls and stands selling food and drink, but it may be best to have a picnic area set up for you and your fellow hanabi viewers.
6. Shizuoka Prefecture Atami Maritime Fireworks
This festival is known for the thundering echo of the explosions off of the nearby mountains. The festival got its popularity for its finale, which showcases a large explosion of Niagara-style shells. The night sky is lit with the various colors of the hanabi celebration.
7. Niigata Prefecture Nagaoka Fireworks Festival
This hanabi is set on the Shinano river on the dry part of the riverbed. It is a spectacular display that sees over 20,000 fireworks launched and can last for over two hours. The unique part of this display is that the fireworks are timed to be in sync with the music. It even has a laser show to complement the festival atmosphere. The fireworks attract a large crowd of visitors when the festival begins.
8. Mie Prefecture Kumano Fireworks Festival
This festival happens near the sea and showcases some of the largest artillery shell explosions. They launch the fireworks from boats on the sea, which offers visitors a great view of the nearby cliffs. It is one of the most unique settings for a hanabi and is a sight that you can’t see anywhere else. The number of fireworks is not as high as the other big festivals, coming in at 10,000, but the unique style of explosions and natural views are something you will remember for a long time.
9. Tokyo Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival
This is one of the biggest hanabi events in Tokyo and always draws a large crowd, as much 950,000 people. You can see it from many places in Tokyo and there is a certain spot that allows people to see it as a backdrop for Tokyo Sky Tree. If you are in Tokyo during the festival, it is one of the best free events you could participate in.
These are only a few of the many fireworks festivals you can enjoy in Japan. Look into the area you will be staying for more information. It is a great way to experience Japanese culture and make some nice memories to take with you back home.