After June and rainy season, it’s time for firework season in Tokyo! From the end of July to August, firework festivals are held almost every weekend in Japan.
Japan has been enjoying fireworks since 1549 and Tokyo’s Sumida River was one of the first locations to watch firework displays. Since then, there are many other locations in Tokyo and surrounding venues for viewers. During Edo period, people used to take baths in the late afternoon and afterwards, wear yukata. They were used to enjoying hanabi, fireworks, wearing yukatas and up until today, many people love to dress up in yukata to enjoy summer fireworks.
So, bring this following calendar and get ready to enjoy the Summer Fireworks in Tokyo. But, note that most of the Tokyo area fireworks will be canceled in the case of rain and also go early to reserve your seat; it is gonna be really crowded!
Adachi Firework Festival is the first summer firework festival in Tokyo and the best point to view them is by sitting on the bank slope along Arakawa riverside. In 2017, an impressive firework called “Golden Weeping Cherry”, made of approximately 4,000 fireworks, launched into the air all at once adorning the display’s finale.
Katsushika Nouryo Fireworks, takes place in one of the Shitamachi Areas of Tokyo, has been going on for over 50 years and 13.000 fireworks light up in the sky. It’s a good chance to have a walk in an Edo-period atmosphere before enjoying the show!
This is absolutely the best and most popular Firework Festival in Tokyo, which started in 1732 in remembrance of those who died of starvation due to plagues that afflicted Edo during that period. Since then, there is an ongoing competition between two firework manufacturers and that’s why the Sumidagawa Firework Festival has two locations from which the fireworks are launched.
The classic way to enjoy the Sumidagawa Fireworks is on the water, floating around Tokyo Bay on a traditional yakatabune. These long, low boats festooned with lanterns cruise the river, recalling the summer nights in the Edo period when they were the pleasure boats of rich merchants and samurais. On board guests can enjoy traditional dishes like tempura and sashimi while sitting on tatami. Tokyo Skytree offers a true bird’s eye view of the Sumidagawa Fireworks, but tickets are limited.
If you think Sumidagawa Fireworks is too crowded for your taste, what about enjoying fireworks while having a picnic on the grass? The Showa Kinen Park is an huge park in Tachikawa, west area of Tokyo, and is popular especially to admire different flower bloomings during the year. Entrance is free this night after 6 pm, but it is recommended to arrive early to reserve the best spot and have time to enjoy the park which includes a Bonsai Museum, a Japanese Style Garden and old houses.
Edogawa-Ku is in the east ward of Tokyo next to Chiba prefecture. The firework festival is held along Edo River, and the fireworks’ reflection in the river is just amazing. The point you cannot miss is the opening “1,000 fireworks in 5 seconds” and the display is accompanied by Samba Music.
This firework show is a double show with fireworks setting off from both sides of the Arakawa River. It is super crowded since the show lasts for 90 minutes (very long in Japan). Bring a plastic sheet, some dinner, drinks and enjoy. Note that it is a long walk from the station so it’s best to bring easy to push strollers (bigger wheels to navigate over uneven ground) or baby carriers for the little ones.
Featuring 12,000 fireworks, this event began as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the opening of Meiji Jingu Shrine. The fireworks run from 7.30pm-8.30pm, but there will also be performances from various artists. Tickets are required for seats in Jingu Stadium, Jingu Secondary Stadium and the Chichibunomiya Rugby Field, but you can still see the fireworks for free if you’re around the area (although do note the launch site has moved to the softball stadium, which may affect the view for unpaid areas). Gaienmae and Aoyama-itchome Station are close to the venue.