The firework festival is an activity that you should not miss when you visit Japan in summer time. If you want to be localized, you can prepare your own Yukata (bathrobe), and be a one-day actress of the Japanese drama.
You have to be very patient if you want to join the firework festival. This is because the firework is held at night but you need to be the venue very early to get the best spot. You can imagine how boring it would be for just waiting the firework to get started. Therefore, most of the Japanese will go firework with friends. They will prepare the picnic cloth and food to do picnic there while waiting for the firework.
Firework festival is a must go activity for Japanese in summer. You need to bare this in mind that lot of people will be there. It will be extremely crowded. Everybody needs to be very patient and keeps in order. If you are exhausted and want to leave, I would suggest to select and exit that a bit far away from the venue that avoid the crowd.
As you all know Japan has many charts, firework has no exception. Here are the top 10 national firework festivals based on the number of visitors of 2015.
1. [Kanagawa Prefecture] Kanagawa Shinbun (News) Fireworks
The Kanagawa shinbun firework is held in Yokohama city of Kanagawa prefecture. The firework last around an hour, over 10, 000 rockets sent up into the sky of the Minato Mirai (Future Harbor). The reflection of the fireworks on the sea, the red brick warehouses, and other Yokohama’s unique buildings, along with the Yokohama Ferris wheel embrace each other that create exotic scenery.
Main venue: Yokohama Minato Mirai
August, 19:00 ~ 20:30pm
Transportation: 20 mins on foot from Yokohama Station East Exit
15 mins on foot from Sakuragi-cho Station
Festival Scale: around 15,000 rockets
Official Website: http://www.kaikosai.com/
2. [Hyogo Prefecture] Minato Kobe Fireworks Festival (みなとこうべ海上花火大会)
The firework over the sea uses the famous night view of the Kobe city of the Hyogo prefecture as the stage to start its show. With the Kobe port and the Kobe tower as the backdrop, approximately 10,000 rockets, plus the lights on the two sides of the port that’s dazzling and attractive.
Main venue: Kobe Port (Over the sea of the first jetty of the Newport)
August 10:30 ~ 20:30pm
Transportation:20 mins on foot from Kobe Sannomiya Station
Festival Scale: around 10,000 rockets
Official Website: http://kobehanabi.jp/
3. [Niigata Prefecture] Nagaoka Festival Fireworks (長岡まつり大花火大会）
Nagaoka firework festival is one of the three largest firework festivals in Japan. The Nagaoka firework festival is a ceremony to memorize people who died in the air attack during the Showa Era. The venue uses Shinano riverbanks as the backdrop, the big umbrella shaped firework sand with the 1.7km diameter prayer fireworks are blooming in the summer’s sky to memorize the death and wish for the peace of the world.
Main venue: Nagaoka City (Along the Shinano riverbanks, downstream from Choseibashi bridge)
Date: 2 ~3rd
August 19:20 ~ 21:15pm
Transportation: 20 mins on foot from Nagaoka Station
Festival scale: around 20,000 rockets
Official website: http://nagaokamatsuri.com/
4. [Kanagawa Prefecture] Atsugi Ayu Festival Fireworks (あつぎ鮎まつり大花火大会)
The Atsugi Ayu firework festival is held in Atsugi city of the Kanagawa prefecture. It is the largest firework festival amongst the sub-classes of the prefectures. Not too many tourists notice about this firework festival, which is less commercial but more humanity. The viewing location is very close to the rocket emission location, so you can feel the power of the fireworks, which are blooming over your head.
Main venue: The riverside of Sagami river, Atsugi (the junction points of the three rivers)
August 19:00 ~ 20:30pm
Transportation: 15 mins on foot from Odakyu Hon-Atsugi-eki Station
Festival Scale: around 10,000 rockets
Official Website: http://www.atsugi-kankou.jp/view/event/ayumatsuri.html
5. [Aichi Prefecture] Okazaki Castle Ieyasu Official Summer Festival Fireworks
Okazaki is the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Japanese are so proud of its firework festival. With Okazaki city as the backdrop, different high-end rockets likes, goldfish firework, train, silver dragon so and so emitted at the same time. The fireworks are spectacular and full of power and sensation.
Main venue: Riverside of Otogawa and riverside of Yahagi
August 18:50 ~ 21:00pm (scheduled)
Transportation: 10 mins on foot from Meitetsu Higashi Okazaki Station, or Okazakikouenn-mae Station
10 mins on foot from Aichi Loop Railway Naka-okazaki Station
Festival Scale: not open to public
Official Website: http://okazaki-kanko.jp/event/1693.html
6.[Gifu Prefecture] The Chunichi Newspaper Nagara River All-Japan fireworks Festival (全国選抜長良川中日花火大会)
The strictly selected pyrotechnicians from all over Japan are gathered at Nagara River to complete each other with their traditional techniques. Therefore, it’s the best firework festival from both the quality of the fireworks and from the quantity of the firework. On the festival day, you can do the voting online via the Chunichi Web.
Main venue: Riverside of Nagara (Between the Ngara Bridge and Kinka Bridge)
July 12:00 ~ 20:45pm (Night session starts at 19:20pm)
Transportation: Gifu Station starts from 16:00 will have special bus arrangement that take visitors to the firework venue (one-way ticket: Adult 210 Yen, Children 110 Yen)
Festival Scale: around 30,000 rockets
Official Website: http://www.yukoyuko.net/guide/event/P22/S220006/EV10199844/?id=WG02103
7. [Tokyo] Adachi Fireworks
Adachi fireworks has nearly 100 years history, there is a saying (Summer’s firework begins with Adachi… ) . There is a new planning that visitors will join the fireworks. The organization will help to transform the children’s firework drawings into real fireworks to make children’s dream come true.
Main venue: Arakawa River (Between Tokyo Metro Chiyoda railway line and Nishiarai Bridge)
July 19:30 ~ 20:30pm
Transportation: 15 mins on foot from Kita-Senju Station/Kosuge Station/Gotanno Station/Umejima Station
Festival Scale: around 12,000 rockets
Official Website: http://hanabi.adachikanko.net/38hanabi/
8. [Akita Prefecture] National Fireworks Contest “Omagari Fireworks”
A firework contest in which pyro-technicians from all over Japan will comete against each other with their skills. Since 1910 (Meiji Year 43), this firework contest is held in Daisen city of Akita prefecture. It’s a firework completion that the firework will be judged by their design, color and creativity so and so. The champion will receive the Prime Minister Prize.
Main venue: Alongside the Omono River (downstream of the Omagari Bridge)
August 17:30 ~ 18:15pm (Daytime fireworks), 18:50 ~ 21:30pm (Nighttime Fireworks)
Transportation: 30 mins on foot from Omagari Station
Festival Scale: around 18,000 rockets
Official Website: http://www.Oomagari-hanabi.com/
9.[Tokyo] Sumida River Fireworks Festival
The history of the Sumida river firework festival can be chased back to year 1733 the Mid-Edo Era of Japan. The weekend of end July each year, the Sumida river firework festival is held at both sides of the Sumida River – Asakusa and areas around Mukojima. Sumida river fireworks festival is famous of its colorful fireworks and embrace the lighting of the TOKYO SKYTREE.
The most recommended way to see the Sumida river fireworks is taking the Yakatabune (Houseboat), you can see the whole firework scenery without being blocked by other buildings.
Main venue: Between Sumida River’s Sakura Bridge and Kototoi Bridge, between Komagata Bridge and Umaya Bridge
July 19:00 ~ 20:30pm
Transportation: 15 mins on foot from Asakusa Station
5 mins on foot from Kuramae Station
Festival Scale: around 22,500 rockets (scheduled)
Official Website: http://sumidagawa-hanabi.com/
10. [Hiroshima Prefecture] Fukuyama Summer Festival Ashida River Fireworks
Fukuyama festival is a UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage. The Fukuyama festival lasts for three days. The firework on the last day is the finale of the festival.
Main venue: Upstream of the Ashida River
August 19:30 ~ 20:45pm
Transportation: 15 mins by taking the temporary bus from JR Fukuyama Station to the firework venue.
Festival Scale: around 10,000 rockets
Official Website: http://fukuyama-matsuri.jp/natsu/
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