Sumida river Fireworks Festival and tips on how to survive~

As an old fan in the Japan fandom (if there was one), I have seen so many beautiful things of Japan and Japanese cultures. One of them is fireworks in summer festival! Despite the awfully hot weather last Saturday, I went to Asakusa to view one of Tokyo’s largest fireworks competition. The festival is held annually on last Saturday of July with more than ten thousands fireworks. I was amazed by how beautiful the fireworks, which lighted up the whole sky of Asakusa, were.

I think fireworks are not something that can be described with words or even photos, so you would have to see it to believe it!

If you are planing to visit Japan next summer, this should be in your to-do list!

Because of its long history and popularity, please expect lots and lots of people to be there on the day! Here is a few tip from my experience to survive this wonderful (but awfully crowded) festival!

1. Be early, as early as possible!

The official starting time is 7.05 pm (might be variable from years), but do not come there right on time and expect to see the fireworks. Mostly you will end up seeing only people in yukata (traditional summer wear for girls) and jinbei (traditional summer clothes for men). I suggest arrive there before 5 o’clock!

2. Avoid heavy and large luggage!

There are high chance that you would be pushed from 4 directions, so do not bring many things on the day. Unless you are planning to make it into a picnic with your friends, only bring a handbag with basic things. Backpack is not recommended because you will want something that allows you to reach your stuffs easily from the front.

3. Fans, fans and fans!

Do not overlook the important of those little plastic/ paper fans. Summer in Japan might be hotter than you have expected, and it will be worse with thousands of people around. Some places sell or give-away them for free on the day, but to save time and efforts, I suggest you to bring your own.

4. Be hydrated.

Bring you own bottle or get chilled one from any shops/ stalls. Please be aware that long lines are an irreplaceable part of Japanese festivals!

5. Be patient!

Do not expect anything to happen quickly on the day, even the fireworks are in 1.5 hours!

6. Best spot to view the fireworks for solo/ small groups

If you did not plan to sit down in a large groups, head to Azuma bridge (please ask the polices about Azumabashi in case you get lost). You would then line up with others and walk along the bridge to view the fireworks from both side of the river! It might be very tiring but I guarantee the experience you have is worth your effort.

I hope you find these tips helpful to survive any Japanese

More information can be found on Japan-guide


For optional tour reservation and inquiry, please contact or visit one of our Tourist information center in Tokyo.

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