Fireworks light up the sky over Japan

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Fireworks light up the sky over Japan

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | .
Stripes Japan | .
published: July 09, 2015

Night skies in the Land of the Rising Sun – from Hokkaido to Tokyo to Okinawa – blaze with the brilliance of “hanabi,” or fireworks, nearly every weekend in July and August. In fact, a cursory glance shows more than 80 fireworks festivals nationwide.

Fireworks in Japan are often the crescendo of a city or town’s summer festival, but they are also often the focus of the festival itself. They range from viewing displays along a river, aboard a “yakatabune” (houseboat) or against the backdrop of the 2,080-foot Skytree in Tokyo, to taking them in as a follow-up to an Okinawa sunset at Emerald Beach where light refracted off the aquamarine water and white sands enhance the pyrotechnics.

Don’t miss the show as Japanese fireworks are renowned worldwide for their artistic qualities – perfect shapes, exquisite colorings and enormous sizes, as well as the poetic sense of ephemerality they produce. In many cases, a single firework changes colors two to three times after it is launched.

Not only the fireworks itself, but the event sites often offer various funs. There are plenty of food and entertainment booths where you can find just about anything.

Wearing a “yukata”, a casual summer kimono, may add to your overall enjoyment. A yukata ensemble can usually be purchased for less than $80. It’s a great photo op.

When you’re enjoying a hanabi festival, feel free to join the locals in shouting “Tamaya!” or “Kagiya!” These are the names of popular rival pyrotechnists from the Edo era, and are still used instead of “Bravo.”

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.comt

   Events on Japan   

KURIHAMA PERRY FESTIVAL FIREWORK DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): July 11, 7:30-8:10 p.m.; 3,500 fireworks at Kurihama Beach to commemorate Commodore Perry’s visit that opened Japan to the outside world; festival starts at 10 a.m., bazaar, band performances, parade scheduled; 15-minute walk from Keikyu Kurihama Station; 046-827-8000.

HANABI WORLD CUP IN HUIS TEN BOSCH: FIREWORKS DISPLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS -QUALIFYING (Nagasaki prefecture): July 11, 18 & 25, 8:40-9 p.m., Aug. 1, 8 p.m.;  fireworks display championships for qualification; Huis Ten Bosch; 2,000-yen for adults viewing plus entry fee after 5 p.m., 1,000 yen for mid-school students, 500 yen for ages 11 & younger; 0570-064-110; http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/.  

IWAKUNI PORT FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Yamaguchi prefecture): July 18, 8-9 p.m.; 2,000 fireworks display at Iwakuni Port; get off at Shinko bus stop after taking a bus from JR Iwakuni Station bound for Otake or 20-minute ride from Iwakuni I.C. on Sanyo Express; 0827-23-1055.

ADACHI FIREWORKS (Tokyo): July 18, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; 12,000 fireworks beside the Arakawa River; 15-minute walk from Kitasenju Station on Tobu-Line/JR/Metro/Tsukuba Express; 03-3880-5853. 

TOWADA LAKE FIREWORK DISPLAY (Aomori prefecture): July 18-19, 8-9 p.m.; 2,000 firework display in two nights at Yasumiya Pier, by Towada Lake; 0176- 75-2425.

YOKOHAMA SPARKLING TWILIGHT (Kanagawa prefecture): July 18-19, 7:30-8 p.m.; 3,000 fireworks at Yokohama Port near Yamashita Park; three-minute walk from Motomachi on Minato Mirai Line or 15-minute walk from JR Ishikawa Station; 045-681-2353.

AKAGI KRONENBERG FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Gunma prefecture): July 19,  20, Aug. 13 and 31, 8:30-8:50 p.m.,  2,000 fireworks collaborating with music; free admission after 5 p.m.; 30-minute drive from Isesaki I.C. on Kita Kanto Express/20-minute ride from Akagi Station on Tobu-Line; 1,200 yen for adults, 600 yen for children; 027-283-8452

KATSUSHIKA FIREWORK DISPLAY (Tokyo): July 21, 7:20-8:20 p.m.,13,000 fireworks display from 7:30 p.m. at Katsushika Shibamata Ball Park; 10-minute walk from Shibamata Station on Keisei-Line/15-minute walk from Shin Shibamata Station on Hokuso-Line/20-minute walk from JR Kanamachi Station; 2,000 yen for ticket; 03-3826-2571. 

HAYAMA BEACH FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): July 21, 7:30-8:15 p.m.; 1,600 fireworks; Morido Kaigan Beach and Isshiki Kaigan Beach Breakwater, one-minute walk from Morido Kaigan bus stop after taking a bus from Zushi Station on JR and Keihin Kyuko Lines; 046-876-1111. 

KAMAKURA FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): July 23, 7:20-8:10 p.m.; 2,500 fireworks; Yuigahama Beach and Zaimokuza Beach, five-minute walk from Yuigahama and Wadazuka Station, Enoshima Dentetsu (Enoden), 15-minute walk from Kamakura station, JR Yokosuka Line; 0467-23-3050. 

SUMIDA RIVER FIREWORK DISPLAY (Tokyo): July 25, 7:05-8:30 p.m.; One of the most famous fireworks displays in Japan, which drew about 950,000 people last year; 20,000 fireworks will be displayed at the two locations along Sumida River, eastern Tokyo; Asakusa Station, Ginza and Asakusa Lines; 03-5246-1445; http://sumidagawa-hanabi.com/index_eg.html

SHOWA KINEN PARK FIREWORK DISPLAY (Western Tokyo): July 25, 7:20-8:30 p.m.; about 5,000 fireworks in the “Open Field” at Showa Kinen Park; a 15-minute walk from JR Tachikawa Station; 410 yen adults, 80 yen children; 042-527-2700.   

URAYASU CITY FIREWORK DISPLAY (Chiba prefecture): July 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; about 6,500 fireworks at Urawa City Sogo Undo Koen; take a bus from JR Urawa Station; 25-minute walk from JR Shin Urawa Station; 047-351-1111.   

ASAHI CITY FIREWORK DISPLAY (Chiba prefecture): July 25, 7-8 p.m.; about 10,000 fireworks at Iioka Beach; take a bus from JR Asahi Station and get off at Shokusai-no Yado Iioka, then walk five-minute to the Iioka Beach; 0479-62-5338.

MOKA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Tochigi prefecture): July 25, 7:20-9 p.m., 20,000 fireworks beside the Kinugawa River near Isagaharabashi (bridge);  20-minute ride from JR Jiji-idai Station or 20-minute ride from Moka I.C. on Kita Kanto Express, also parking lots for 3,500 vehicles available nearby; 0285-74-4666. 

NAGASAKI PORT FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Nagasaki prefecture): July 25-26, 8:15-8:40 p.m.; 5,000 fireworks display at Nagasaki Mizubeno-mori Koen and Nagasaki Port; 15-minute walk from JR Nagasaki Station; 095-822-0111.

IRUMA BASE FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Saitama prefecture): July 28, 8:30-9 p.m., 900 fireworks at JASDF Iruma Base; five-minute walk from Inariyama Koen Station on  Seibu Ikebukuro Line; 042-953-6131.

LAKE ASHINO FIREWORK DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): July 29, 7-8 p.m.; about 10,000 fireworks at Iioka Beach; take a bus from JR Asahi Station and get off at Shokusai-no Yado Iioka, then walk five-minute to the Iioka Beach; 0479-62-5338.

HIRADO I PORT FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Nagasaki prefecture): Aug. 1, 8:30-9:30 p.m.; 2,500 fireworks display at Hirado Port Koryu Hiroba; 15-minute bus ride from Hirado-guchi Station on Matsuura Railways and get off at Hirado Sanbashi (pier) Bus Stop; 0950-22-4111.  

HACHIOJI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (western Tokyo): Aug. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.; 3,300 fireworks; Hachioji Shimin Kyujo (ball park); 15-minute walk from Nishi Hachioji Station on JR Chuo Line; 042-643-3115. 

LAKE SAGAMI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:30-9 p.m.; about 5,000 fireworks will be displayed along lakeside of Sagami; 2,000 yen for adults (designated seats), 4,000 yen for four-person (designated seats); 10-minute walk from Sagamiko Station on JR Chuo-Line; 042-684-2633. 

ODAWARA SAKAWAGAWA RIVER FIREWORKS (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:10-8 p.m., about 6,000 fireworks will be displayed beside the Sakawagawa River; 15-minute walk from JR Kamonomiya Station on Tokaido-Line; 0465-33-1521. 

ATSUGI AYU (SWEETFISH) FESTIVAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.; 10,000 fireworks during the Atsugi Ayu (sweetfish) Festival by Sagami River. Festival is Aug. 1-2; 15-minute walk from Hon-Atsugi Station, Odakyu Line; 046-225-2820.

SOUTHERN BEACH CHIGASAKI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:30-8:20 p.m.; 3,000 fireworks along the coast of Southern Beach Chigasaki; 20-minute walk from Chigasaki Station, JR Tokaido Line; 0467-82-1111. 

AKISHIMA CITY KUJIRA FESTIVAL FIREWORK DISPLAY (Western Tokyo): Aug. 1, 8-8:30 p.m.; 1,800 fireworks at Akishima Koen Stadium as a highlight of the Akishima Kujira (whale) festival; Kujira parade at 4-5:45 p.m. Aug. 2 starting at JR Akishima Station, music, dance, karaoke and children’s show scheduled at stadium; stadium is a five-minute walk from Higashi Nakagami Station, JR Ome Line; 042-543-8186. 

TAKASAKI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Gunma prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:40-8:30 p.m.; about 15,000 fireworks at Karasugawa Wadabashi (upper reaches) riverside; 20-minute walk from JR Takasaki Station east exit; 0270321-1257. 

OME FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Western Tokyo): Aug. 1, 7:30-8:40 p.m.; about 3,200 fireworks will be displayed at Nagayama Park; designated seats of 1,000-5,000 yen available; 10-minute walk from JR Ome Station; 0428-24-2481. 

YOKOSUKA KAIKOKU FESTIVAL FIREWORK DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:15-7:45 p.m.; 6,000 fireworks will be displayed as a finale of Yokosuka Kaikoku (port opening) festival on July 26-Aug. 1; Umikaze and Mikasa Parks; 15-minute walk from Yokosuka Chuo Station, Keikyu Line; 046-822-8294. 

MATSUDO FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Chiba prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:15-8:20 p.m.; 8,000 fireworks display at Edogawa River; 15-minute walk from JR & Shin Keisei Dentestu Matsudo Station; 047-366-7327.  

KOGA FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Ibaraki prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:20-8:50 p.m., 25,000 fireworks display at Koga Golf Links (shore of Lake Watarase); 20-minute walk from JR Koga Station or five-minute walk from Shin Koga Station on Tobu Line; 0280-92-3111.

AGEO FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Saitama prefecture): Aug. 1, 7 p.m., 10,000 fireworks near the Riverside Phoenix Golf Club course; shuttle bus available from JR Ageo Station on Takasaki Line; 048-775-5917.   

ITABASHI FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Tokyo): Aug. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.; 12,000 fireworks beside the Arakawa River (south side of a river), 1968ft. wide of “Niagara Fall Fireworks” at finale; 20-minute walk from Ukima Funado Station on JR Saikyo Line; 03-3579-2255.  

EDOGAWA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Tokyo): Aug. 1, 7:15-8:30 p.m.; 14,000 fireworks beside the Edogawa River; 15-minute walk from JR Koiwa Station on Sobu Line or Shinozaki Station on Toei Shinjuku Line; 03-5662-0523.

SEIBU AMUSEMENT PARK FIREWORK DISPLAY (Saitama prefecture): Aug. 1, 2, 8, 9, 13-16, and 22-23; 7:45-8:05 p.m.; about 2,500 fireworks will be displayed at Seibu Amusement Park; Seibu Yuenchi Station, Seibu Line; 1,100 yen, if you want to view at a beer hall, call 04-2922-1371 for a reservation. 

MAKUHARI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Chiba prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; 15,000 fireworks display at Makuhari Kaihin Koen; 15-minute walk from JR Kaihin Makuhari Station; 043-222-0300.

ASHIKAGA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Tochigi prefecture): Aug. 1, 7-8:45 p.m.; 20,000 fireworks display along the Watarase River, lower reaches from Tanakabashi (bridge); five-minute walk from JR Ashikaga Station (South Exit); 0284-21-1354.  

ICHIKAWA CITY FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Chiba prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:15-8:30 p.m., 14,000 fireworks beside Arakawa River; 15-minute walk from JR Ichikawa Station on Sobu Line or 20-minute walk from Keisei Dentetsu Kokufu Station; 6,000 yen designated seats, 10,000 yen a couple, 18,000 yen for four person;  047-711-1142. 

ASAMUSHI ONSEN (HOT SPA) FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Aomori prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:30-8:40 p.m.; 4,000 fireworks display at Asamushi Kaigan Koren ; five-minute walk from Asamushi Onsen Station on Aoi-mori Tetsudo or 10-minute drive from Aomori-higashi I.C. on Aomori Express; 017-752-3250.   

TEGANUMA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Chiba prefecture): Aug. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.; 13,500 fireworks display at Teganuma basin areas; 25-minute walk from JR Kita Kashiwa Station on Joban Line; 04-7162-3325. 

ASAKA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Saitama prefecture): Aug. 1, 7:15-8:15 p.m.; 7,500 fireworks display at Asaka Chuo Koen; five-minute walk from Asaka Station on Tobu Tojo Line; 048-463-2645. 

SASEBO SEASIDE FESTIVAL (Nagasaki prefecture): Aug. 2, 8:30 p.m.; 3,000 fireworks display at Sasebo Station Minato-guchi Hiroba; 1,000 yen for designated seats (advanced), 1,500 yen (at doors) available; JR Sasebo Station; 0956-46-6855. 

GOSHOGAWARA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Aomori prefecture): Aug. 3, 7:30-9 p.m.; 5,000 fireworks display beside the Iwakigawa River (Hokuto Athletic Field); 10-minute walk from JR Goshogawara Station; 0173-35-2121, 

KANAGAWA SHIMBUN FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 4, 7-8:15 p.m.; 15,000 fireworks will be displayed at Yokohama Minato Mirai 21; 15-minute walk from JR Sakuragicho Station; 0425-227-0744.  

KOTO FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Eastern Tokyo): Aug. 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; about 4,000 fireworks along Arakawa riverside; Arakawa and Sunamachi Shore Park (Mizube Koen), 15-minute walk from Minami Sunamachi station, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line; 03-3647-4963. 

KAWAGUCHIKO KOJO FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Yamanashi prefecture): Aug. 5, 7:45-9 p.m.;10,000 fireworks on Lake Kawaguchi with “Hanabi (firework) Illusion” - spectacular show of music and fireworks, and “Niagara Fall Fireworks”; 75-minute drive from Shinjuku on Chuo Express; Kawaguchiko Town Sight-seeing Bureau; 0555-72-3168.   

SENDAI FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Miyagi prefecture): Aug. 5, 7-8:30 p.m.; 16,000 fireworks at Sendai Nishi Koen Areas, 10-minute walk from Kotoudai Koen Station (subway)/12-minute walk from Hirose-dori Station (subway); 022-222-9788.

MIURA BEACH FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Kanagawa prefecture): Aug. 6, 7:30-8:15 p.m.; 3,000 fireworks; Miura Beach, three-minute walk from Miura Kaigan Station, Keikyu Line; 046-888-0588. 

AOMORI NEBUTA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Aomori prefecture): Aug. 7, 7:15-9 p.m.; 11,000 fireworks display at Aomori Port; 10-minute walk from JR Aomori-higashi Station on Aoi-mori Tetsudo; 017-739-1249.

UTSUNOMIYA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Tochigi prefecture): Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m., 20,000 fireworks beside the Kinugawa River;  five-minute walk from Yanagida Garage bus stop after taking a bus from JR Utsunomiya Station on Tohoku Line, also parking lots for 4,000 vehicles available nearby; 028-600-3980. 

FUKUSHIMA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Fukushima prefecture): Aug. 8, 7:30-8:40 p.m., 10,000 fireworks display at the juncture of Abukuma and Matsukawa Rivers; 15-minute bus ride from JR Fukushima Station; 0180-99-3590.  

MAEBASHI FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Gunma prefecture): Aug. 8, 7:15-8:45 p.m., 15,000 fireworks beside the Tone River Owataribashi Nanpoku Kasen Ryokuchi (east side of a river), 1312ft. wide of “Niagara Fall Fireworks” at finale; five-minute walk from Iwagami Elementary School-mae bus stop after taking a bus from JR Maebashi Station on Ryomou Line; 027-234-5108. 

KUMAGAYA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL (Saitama prefecture): Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m., 10,000 fireworks beside Arakawa River (the lower reaches of Arakawa Ohashi);  five-minute walk from JR Kumagaya Station south exit or parking lots available nearby (1,000 yen per day); 048-524-1111.

TATEYAMA FIREWORKS (Chiba prefecture): Aug. 8, 7:30-8:45 p.m.; 10,000 fireworks along with flamenco performances; three-minute walk from Tateyama Station, JR Uchibo Line; 0470-22-8330. 

TOKYO BAY FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Central Tokyo): Aug. 8, 6:50-8:10 p.m.; 12,000 fireworks from Tokyo Bay; 15-minute walk from Kachidoki Station, Oedo Line; 03-3248-1561. 

DREAM IN THE SKY IN HUIS TEN BOSCH : FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Nagasaki prefecture): Aug. 8, 13, 15, 22 & 29, 8:40-9 p.m.; annual fireworks display; Huis Ten Bosch; 2,000-yen for adults viewing plus entry fee after 5 p.m., 1,000 yen for mid-school students, 500 yen for ages 11 & younger; 0570-064-110; http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/.  

KAWAGOE FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Saitama prefecture): Aug. 9, 7-8:30 p.m.; 6,000 fireworks at Isanuma Park; 10-minute walk from Isanuma Boken-no mori bus stop after taking a bus from JR Sagakoe Station; 049-224-5940.  

ANJIN FESTIVAL OCEANIC FIREWORKS DISPLAY (Itoh, Shizuoka prefecture): Aug. 10, 8-9 p.m.; 10,000 fireworks will be launched at six different locations in the ocean; five-minute walk from Itoh Station, JR Itoh Line; 0557-37-6105. 

JINGU GAIEN FIREWORK DISPLAY (Central Tokyo): Aug. 11, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; about 10,000 fireworks, live music and performances at the nearby Jingu Stadium and Prince Chichibu Rugby Field, Tickets for viewing at these stadiums are 2,500-6,500 yen; Sendagaya or Shinanomachi Station, JR Sobu Line; 03-3547-0900. 

KANMON STRAITS FIREWORLS FESTIVAL (Yamaguchi prefecture): Aug. 13, 7:50-8:40 p.m.; 15,000 fireworks display at Aruka Port; 20-minute walk from JR Shimonoseki Station; 083-223-2001. 

TOWADA CITY FIREWORK DISPLAY (Aomori prefecture): Aug. 14, 7-8:30 p.m.; about 4,000 firework display at Towada Track and Field Stadium; 23-minute ride from JR Shichinohe-Towada Station on Tohoku Express; 0176-24-3006. 

TWIN RING FIREWORK FESTIVAL (Tochigi prefecture): Aug. 14, 7:30-8:15 p.m., 14,000 fireworks and music along with various motor sports events at Twin Ring Motegi Speedway; 80-minute drive from Utsunomiya IC on Tohoku Express; 60-minute drive from Kanuma IC on Tohoku Express; 33-minute drive from Mito IC on Jyobai Express; 3,100 yen for adults, 700 yen for children and 2,000 yen for vehicle parking and 500 yen for bike parking, 6,000 yen all passengers with parking fee; 0268-64-0080.  
 

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