Fireworks, or known as hanabi in Japan. They are a staple of summer in Japan.There is a firework show somewhere in Japan every weekend in summer during June-August.
Last week, I got the opportunity to view the first fireworks of 2016 at the Yokohama Port Festival.
Although a lot of people gathered at the edge of the water, I got to ride the Anniversary Cruise for an even better view.
Last summer, we covered many blogs about summer activities in Japan.
Along the edge of the bay, there were stalls selling street food and snacks such as yakisoba and choco bananas. A lot of the participants in the festival were wearing yukata, perfect for the warm weather.
The cruise departed at 6:50pm, which was a perfect time to watch the sun set along the horizon.
Although there were a few other cruise ships around the bay, I didn’t see many others with rooftop seating like this one.
Inside the ship was an assortment of tables with designated seating, and a bento box and green tea at each seat. There was also an open bar with beer, wine, juice and soda.
I have been to Yokohama several times since moving to Tokyo, and the night view is beautiful every time!
Our blog about Yokohama >> here
The top floor of the boat was a little windy, but had unparalleled views of the skyline.
After around 30 minutes to eat, it was time for the fireworks to start!
The timing of the fireworks were perfect, with the sunlight barely peeking over the horizon.
Everyone gathered to the top of the boat when the fireworks started so it was quite hard to move around! The first few minutes, I was obstructed by the mast of the boat.
I finally managed to relocate for a better view.
The fireworks lasted around 30 minutes in total.
The grand finale was closer to the shore, with smaller ones building up to huge ones in succession.
As far as fireworks festivals go, most of them are in July or August. As this one was in June, it is one of the first for the year, marking the beginning of summer.
Although this was a one day event, I am looking forward to joining more fireworks festivals in the upcoming months!
Thank you for reading. For those planning to visit Japan this summer, I definitely recommend joining the local fireworks festivals in the area you will be visiting. Wearing summer kimono or “yukata” are not required but are encouraged!
**it’s not so easy to take photo of firework using compact camera! I am sorry for not-so-good quality photos.
Summer 2016 fireworks:
Although the Yokohama Port Festival is over, there are many more fireworks festivals coming up in summer.
The biggest fireworks event in Tokyo is the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, Here you can see thousands of fireworks over the Sumida River.
This event attracts around 1 million people every year, so it can get very crowded! If you want to guarantee the best view and avoid losing your friends in the crowd, why not book a cruise?
Activity Japan offers a plan for 6980 yen, where you can get a standing view of the fireworks, with lunch beforehand included in the ticket price on July 30th.
Currently available firework tours
- Yokohama sparkling night July 16th-1th7 12,000 yen
- Kanagawa Shinbun Fireworks Festival watching cruise with lunch box August 2nd 19,800 yen
Reservation? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out this link: http://goo.gl/UhTjUY for online reservation.
Other firework festivals
There is also the very popular Tokyo Bay Fireworks Festival in Odaiba which features 12,000 fireworks lighting up the sky.
There are also festivals held in Adachi, Katsushika, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Koto, Edogawa, Itabashi and Setagaya. This is not an exhaustive list but you can already see that there are many fireworks festivals being held all around the Tokyo region. The festival season is from July-August so make sure to try and catch one if you are in Japan during that time!
List of summer events&festivals >> gotokyo.org
*Contact us if you want to rent the yukata for firework festival.
Tips to enjoy firework in Japan
- be as early as possible
- avoid heavy luggage
- bring a paper fan!
- stay hydrated
- be patient!
Blog by Rachel