10 Recommended Fireworks Festivals in Tokyo to Enjoy Thrilling and Impressive Fireworks
Fireworks festivals are one of the biggest features of summer in Japan. The fireworks that paint the skies of the short summers in vivid colors pack a different punch every year. There are so many fireworks festivals in Tokyo that it can be difficult to choose which one to see. With that, here is a list of 10 of the most popular fireworks festivals in Tokyo, as well as details on the features of each one!
Jul 18 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
10 Popular Fireworks Festivals in Tokyo
1. Adachi Fireworks Festival
Adachi Fireworks Festival is the first fireworks festival held in Tokyo each year. Known for being an action-packed event, the fireworks festival in Adachi will let you marvel at 13,000 fireworks launched into the air for about an hour! Massive amounts of fireworks are continuously launched in succession, so you will surely be impressed. About 700,000 spectators await this major fireworks festival, which is held on the banks of Arakawa River in Adachi each year, so that they can catch a glimpse of the gorgeous fusion of the night sky lit up in fireworks and the flowing water of the river.
The highlight of the Adachi Fireworks are the "W Niagara", "Starmine" and "Climax" fireworks. Don’t blink if you don’t want to miss something! The W Niagara really looks like a spray of water in Niagara, while the powerful Starmine always leaves spectators in awe. As for the Climax, the fireworks are rhythmically launched into the sky to loud music. The finale is an exciting part of the program that will give you goosebumps, so it's a great place to go for a thrilling outing!
2. Katsushika Noryo Fireworks Festival
If you are someone who wants to experience that old-fashioned atmosphere, then you should definitely check out the Katsushika Noryo Fireworks Festival. The fireworks at Katsushika, which is filled with a commercial and working class neighborhood vibe, offers an attractive display of fireworks that will make you feel a certain kind of nostalgia about the past. This festival is characterized by fireworks launched at close range that no other fireworks festival can beat. Close to 700,000 spectators make their way to this festival each year in a bid to feel the realistic sensation created by the fireworks. A great way to enjoy the fireworks is to go there on a date and enjoy Edogawa River in a yukata (light cotton kimono).
The most beautiful point of the fireworks at Katsushika is a program called “Mt. Fuji Niagara," in which the skies of Tokyo are lit up in beautiful colors of gigantic white, red, and blue fireworks. It is only at this festival that you will get to see 13,000 fireworks shot into the air up close in a span of one hour. So, why not go enjoy Katsushika’s townscape during the day and wrap up with fireworks in the evening?
3. Tokyo Fireworks Festival EDOMODE
The Tokyo Fireworks Festival EDOMODE was first held in 2018 as one of the biggest events that fused the traditional culture of the Edo period (1603-1868) and Tokyo’s modern, cutting-edge technology. Top-class pyrotechnicians who have bagged the Prime Minister’s Award gathered at the event to launch their own unique fireworks to light up the sky. This is definitely a fireworks festival that you should bring your family and loved ones to so that they can experience the thrilling sights created by fireworks.
The festival isn't all about just the master pyrotechnicians, though. There is actually another highlight at the event, and that is the “Children’s Fireworks” program in which drawings programmed by children will be launched into the air. Ten works created by children who join the “Pro Star Kids” programming class sponsored by MrFusion will be chosen and executed with fireworks in front of the throngs of spectators. This is the first time in the world that pyrotechnicians will attempt to launch fireworks depicting drawings and pictures programmed by children. Don’t you think it would be a lot of fun for spectators to witness children being taught state-of-the-art technology and having their drawings manifest in the sky using fireworks?
4. Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival
The Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival was held at the Jingu Stadium until 2018, but in 2019, the paid seating area will be moved to Jingu Softball Stadium. This festival is particularly exciting because the fireworks are launched with a backdrop of live performances by top artists. This fireworks festival is very popular, drawing crowds well over a million people each year. Tickets for the paid seating area sell out really fast, so make sure to gather information about the event as soon as you can!
There are many stalls and booths at the Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival. It's recommended that you head over to Meiji Park, where there are plenty of food stalls, to buy everything you need before the fireworks start. There are stands along the walkway from Gaienmae Station to Jingu Stadium, too, and you can enjoy them on your way to the venue. If you are going to this fireworks festival, you should also definitely try Jingu Stadium’s specialty Pine Ice (pineapple-flavored shaved ice). Be sure to try this shaved ice delight as it will help cool you down while sitting or standing in the hot and humid heat within the stadium.
5. Ichikawa Shimin Noryo Fireworks Festival
At the Ichikawa Shimin Noryo Fireworks Festival, around 14,000 fireworks are launched into the air. There are two venues for this event - the Ichikawa Venue and the Gyotoku Venue - and the views are different at both locations. Every year, this festival delights spectators with traditional fireworks that include kiku (chrysanthemum), starmines and set fireworks. The Ichikawa Venue is especially recommended since it is located near the launch site of the fireworks, giving you a chance to fully enjoy the thrilling fireworks. This venue is also quite accessible, as it is just a 15-minute walk from the train station, so it won’t be difficult to get there. The venue will most likely be very crowded on the day of the festival, so if you want to quietly enjoy the fireworks from afar, then you might want to head to the Gyotoku Venue.
The highlight of the Ichikawa Shimin Noryo Fireworks Festival is the fireworks in the opening program. Starmines launched for 5 seconds from 10 spots using 1,000 fireworks create a truly gorgeous masterpiece that you can enjoy! The fireworks will be launched one after another without any pauses,, so try not to blink or you might miss it! This festival consists of eight themes, including the opening program; the scheduled 45-minute event will be over before you know it! In the finale, the sky will be painted in colorful fireworks that look like a shower of lights. Enjoy Ichikawa’s unique fireworks, but make sure to keep watching until the very end!
6. Sumida River Fireworks Festival
The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is the oldest out of all the fireworks festivals in Japan. Visited by nearly 950,000 spectators annually, it is so ingrained in the minds of people in Tokyo that they usually say there’s no other fireworks festival like the one by Sumida River. The secret behind this festival’s popularity is the dynamic atmosphere that is created by a whopping 20,000 fireworks that are launched in the middle of the city. At Venue 1, there is a competition among expert fireworks craftsmen. You won’t be able to keep your eyes off the sky with the new creations of the pyrotechnicians in the competition!
The sight of the fireworks reflecting on the surface of the river will also take your breath away. There is no doubt that it will be something to remember if you end July by marveling at this spectacular spot. Another thing that you should try are the food offerings of the stalls at this festival. It is a major fireworks festival, so it probably need not be said that there are countless stalls and booths, too. One of the most recommended items is the “Ramen Burger”, a burger in which the ramen ingredients and toppings are sandwiched in between hard pan-fried noodle “buns”! If you happen to see it, make sure to try it.
7. Hachijojima Noryo Fireworks Festival
The Hachijojima Noryo Fireworks Festival is a little-known fireworks display spot in the Tokyo area. Hachijojima, an island that a famous spot that tourists also love for its clear ocean water, holds a two-day-long summer festival. You might want to try to join this island’s fireworks festival at least once and enjoy the surrounding scenery, where no streetlights obstruct the view like in the city and where the night sky is full of stars.
On the eve of the festival, there are various programs in store for visitors, as well as a long list of stalls and booths to enjoy. While this festival is relatively small in scale with only 811 fireworks, the fireworks are actually launched from the embankment, so you can get to appreciate them from up close. The thrill that you get is virtually incomparable to those you get from other fireworks festivals! The reflection of the fireworks on the surface of the sea is also like a work of art. The finale features a massive flower display that will almost cover the entire Hachijojima sky. So, how about watching some beautiful fireworks while basking in the nature of Hachijojima?
8. Koto Fireworks Festival
The Koto Fireworks Festival is famous for its powerful and large fireworks display, with around 4,000 fireworks launched into the sky. This festival is just 6 minutes away from the Higashisuna Go-chome and Roku-chome stops of the Toei Bus on foot, and its easy access draws in huge numbers of spectators each year. Its venue, the Arakawa Sunamachi Mizube Park, is an area with vast riverbanks, so you can spread a mat and leisurely watch the fireworks show. It attracts nearly 300,000 visitors every year, so it would be best to secure a spot early.
There are stalls and booths around Minami-Sunamachi Station, so you should buy whatever you need before the program starts. You will find rows of booths offering staple festival food items, such as cotton candy, yakisoba (fried noodles), and shaved ice. The spot that is most recommended for watching the fireworks display is the little-known “yataibune” (similar to a party boat). If you get on this boat, you will see fireworks reflected on the surface of the water, and it is truly beautiful. The view from a distance that is nearer than when you are in the actual venue is too beautiful for words!
9. Itabashi Fireworks Festival
The Itabashi Fireworks Festival is held simultaneously across Toda City in Saitama and Arakawa in Tokyo. At the event, spectators are treated to luxurious displays created by 12,000 fireworks. One of the highlights of this event are the artistic balls made by fireworks craftsmen who have racked up impressive track records in fireworks competitions throughout the country. Every year, people look forward to the artistic fireworks that will be launched in the sky to create a 10-minute masterpiece. You will also be unable to take your eyes off of the four Goshakudama fireworks that are said to be the biggest fireworks in Tokyo.
The biggest feature of the Itabashi Fireworks Festival is the “Great Niagara Falls”. Spectators from all over Japan flock to this festival just to see this fireworks display that stretches 700m, making it the biggest in the Kanto region. The festival finishes off with a wide starmine that is also called “Niagara in the Sky”. Unlike the usual starmines out there, this starmine in Itabashi is said to fill the entire horizon.
10. Okutama Noryo Fireworks Festival
The venue of Okutama Noryo Fireworks Festival is just a 3-minute walk from Okutama Station on the JR Ome Line. At this festival, fireworks are launched from the summit of Mt. Atago in Okutama, so the sky covering the Okutama area will be filled with colorful fireworks. With around 1,000 fireworks launched in a span of 35 minutes, this small-scale festival continues to be a popular event in Tokyo.
Aside from the fireworks, there is also a summer festival that is held featuring stalls, shrines, and other attractions. You are guaranteed an evening filled with delights as you watch the fireworks in the sky while eating delicious food stall treats and cold beer. The Earth Garden is a secret spot that you absolutely have to check out when you go to the Okutama Noryo Fireworks Festival. Here, you can marvel at the fireworks while enveloped in nature and indulge in pizza, hamburger, and other dishes. And if you come on a clear day, then you should get a seat on the terrace and savor an elegant ambience while admiring the fireworks.
This Year’s Fireworks Festivals Will Be Packed With Thrills!
This article showcased 10 fireworks festivals in Tokyo to look forward to during the summer season. All of them are filled with great appeal points that are definitely worth checking out. It is no wonder that people from all over Japan flock to Tokyo to watch its fireworks festivals that get better and bigger each year. Head to one of the fireworks festivals in Tokyo to create a summer memory that will remain with you forever!
Translated and republished with permission from：Relux Magazine
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.