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How to Enjoy the Japanese Fireworks Festival

Triplelights official blog B.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Triplelights official blog B.

Last updated : Feb 24, 20235 min read

Travel Tips

The fireworks or "hanabi" is one of the traditions of a Japanese summer. During July and August, there are many fireworks festivals all over the country.  I'd like to introduce how to enjoy the fireworks festival for those who are interested in this summer tradition.  

 

How to enjoy the Japanese fireworks

You can feel the ephemeral beauty in how the fireworks appear with a loud bang, but then disappears leaving a trail of smoke. The Japanese have a unique sensitivity to this ephemeral beauty. Enjoying how the colors burst into the night sky and then disappear, is the Japanese way to enjoy the fireworks.  

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 Photo from  www.yakatabune-kumiai.jp/

 

Enjoying the fireworks on a "Yakata" houseboat

On the day of the festival, all the festival grounds are packed. If you want to get out of the crowd and watch the fireworks in a special place, I recommend the "yakata" houseboat. You can order a luxurious dinner on the boat, and some boats have a sky deck where you can see the whole sky filled with fireworks. A 360 degree view of the fireworks is a sight to see. You'll need to make reservations with a "yakata" boat agency beforehand. Once the seats are sold out, that's it, so be sure to make reservations early on.  

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Photo from Komatuya.net

Fireworks festivals you can see from a "yakata" boat  

 

Watching the fireworks from paid seats

At large festivals, there are "paid seats" or "sponsor seats" for people who pay to sponsor the festival. They're situated nearer to the fireworks, and you can watch the fireworks leisurely away from the crowd. There are all types of seats, like single seats, group seats, bench seats. And the cost of the seats differs according to the type. It's necessary to buy tickets beforehand to sit in the "paid seats" (or "sponsor seats"). And in case of rain, your money will be fully refunded. You'll need to buy tickets early on in this case too.  

 

Watching the fireworks from the riverbed

The most popular way to enjoy the festival is to bring a picnic sheet and sit on the riverbed with the crowd. Families, couples, groups of friends; everybody enjoys the fireworks in their own way. People who live near the festival grounds can enjoy the fireworks from their balconies.

 

Enjoying the festival booths

For festivals held near riverbeds, it's not unusual for booths to line the grounds. There's cotton candy, shave ice, candied apples, and all kinds of drinks. And also, "takoyaki" (octopus baked in batter), "yakisoba" (fried noodles), and other fast foods. There's also booths with games you can play for prizes. It's one of the small enjoyments of going to a festival to walk around in the crowd and see all the booths.

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Photo from Dick Johnson @ flickr.com

 

Enjoying the fireworks in a "yukata"

A "Yukata" is a type of traditional Japanese clothing. You wear it over you bare skin, so you can say it's a casual summer kimono. They have many colorful designs, so it's popular with young people. You wear "geta" sandals with the "yukata" instead of shoes. And you can hear the sound of the wooden sandals hitting the ground when people walk by. Nowadays, most people don't wear traditional Japanese clothes on a daily basis. But at summer festivals, many people dress in the "yukata" so it's become a common sight at the fireworks festival.  

 

Photo from Takayuki Suzuki @ flickr.com 

 

Enjoy the Japanese summer to its fullest!

During the summer season, there are fireworks festivals held all around the country. For people planning to visit Japan in the summer, be sure to see if there aren't any fireworks festivals held during your stay. If there is, I recommend taking one night out of your trip and enjoying the Japanese summer the Japanese way.

 

 

Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)
Japan

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Nagasaki Tour Guide - Shonosuke S.

Shonosuke S.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
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Hi! I'm Sho! I live in the center of Nagasaki city and work as a YouTuber, podcaster, and tour guide specializing in sharing the charms of Nagasaki. Actually, I was born and raised in Yokohama, near Tokyo, and worked for about 5 years in Tokyo. However, I fell in love with the culture and history of Nagasaki and moved here in 2020. Nagasaki has a rich history of international exchange and friendship, established about 450 years ago as an international trading port in Japan. Since then, many people from all over the world with diverse cultures and values have visited this city. I love these stories and histories of Nagasaki. Nagasaki is often associated with the sad history of the atomic bomb, which is, of course, an important part of this city's history, but Nagasaki has much more than that. I'm looking forward to introducing you to the many charms of Nagasaki!                                                                                                                                 

Fukuoka Tour Guide - Kazue I.

Kazue I.

5.00 / 5
(17 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I am Kazue. I am from Fukuoka and live in the central city. I spent almost 20 years traveling around the world as a cabin attendant. Meeting different people, different cultures and eating local food were best things in my career. This experience definitely widened my perspective and will help me in some way when I work as a guide. Since I spent half my life outside of Japan, I noticed our culture and traditions are very unique and became more interested in historical sites in Japan. For my personal life, I am a mom of twins. It is still a hard work but I am enjoying a lot with them. We take them around Kyushu whenever possible for their fun and experience. We all love traveling after all. I am looking forward to showing you around our hometown soon!                                                                                                                                  

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