Tokyo fireworks 2015

Explosions of colour light up the summer sky

Tokyo fireworks 2015

An essential part of any Tokyo summer, fireworks displays will again be taking place all over and around the capital in July and August. This year's celebrations kick off with the Adachi Fireworks on July 18 and include everything from classics (Sumida River, Tokyo Bay) to film-themed festivals (Chofu) and smaller-scale happenings out in the western forests (Ome). It's time to dust off your yukata, find the best viewing spot well in advance, and enjoy the colourful spectacle while snacking on some tasty festival grub.


Adachi Fireworks

July 18 | Arakawa River (near Kita-Senju, Kosuge Stations)
With its origins going back as far as 1924, Adachi's annual fireworks festival returns in July and kicks off the Tokyo fireworks season. Around 12,000 rockets will be shot up from two locations along the Arakawa – the Nishi-Arai side of the river is usually the best spot for relaxed viewing.
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Yokohama Sparkling Twilight

July 18 & 19 | Yamashita Koen
Now in its fourth year and taking place around the seaside Yamashita Park, Yokohama Sparkling Twilight lights up not only the city but also the sky above it. Popular restaurants and bars set up booths, a variety of performances take place on the stages and parades cross through town – and all of this is before the fireworks show, which is combined with illuminated boats crisscrossing the sea in front of the park.
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Katsushika Noryo Hanabi

July 21 | Shibamata Baseball Field
Held every year along the Edogawa, Katsushika's popular fireworks festival is known for the short distance between where the around 13,000 rockets are shot up and where onlookers are allowed to sit. Walk along the picturesque street reaching from Shibamata's Taishakuten temple to the river and you'll get a taste of what Edo was like in summer.
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Kamakura Fireworks Festival

July 23 | Yuigahama Beach
NOTE: This event has been cancelled.
If the many Tokyo summer fireworks displays are a little too crowded and urban for your taste, head on down to the beach in Kamakura for this small-scale but fun and energetic local version. The colourful explosions are made even more impressive by the reflections off the surface of the water, and unimpeded views are not hard to find.
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Sumida River Fireworks Festival

July 25 | Sumida Park
Japan's oldest recorded fireworks festival dates back to 1733, when it was staged as part of a ceremony to pray for victims of a severe famine the previous year. Today, it's by far the largest display in the capital – this year's will involve more than 20,000 fireworks – and regularly draws close to a million spectators.
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Tachikawa Fireworks Festival

July 25 | Showa Kinen Park
It may not be the biggest of Tokyo's many fireworks displays, but Tachikawa's hanabi is certainly one of the more comfy ones. Centred on the spacious Showa Kinen Park and taking place for the 57th time this year, the festival always gathers massive crowds, so make sure to arrive early in order to reserve your viewing spot. Temporary recycling centres will be set up around the area as well, so you'll have no excuse not to clean up after yourself.
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Hachioji Fireworks

August 1 | Fujimori Park
Taking place on the weekend before the Hachioji Festival, this western city's fireworks party is a relatively small-scale affair (3,300 rockets will be launched), but it makes up for the lack of size with an interesting variety of explosions and the impressive 'Fire Festival' taking place from 4.30pm on the same night.
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Itabashi Fireworks Festival

August 1 | Banks of Arakawa River, Itabashi
Taking advantage of a serendipitous schedule clash, Itabashi's annual fireworks display takes place at the same time as the one in Toda City, just across the waters of the Arakawa. You can expect a combined 12,000 fireworks to go up in the course of the evening, including an enormous ‘star mine’ and the spectacular ‘Niagara Falls’, a 600-metre chain of explosions that always draws the biggest cheers of the night.
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Ome Noryo Fireworks Festival

August 1 | Nagayama Park
First held in 1948 to mark the opening of Toei Bus service in the Ome region, this one is recommended for those who want to escape the crowds at Tokyo's big-name alternatives. The 'falling fire' effect caused by some of the explosions is impressive (and loud!), but the real highlight is when nearby Nagayama Hill is lit up by the massive fountain of bursting colour set up on the hill's hiking trail.
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Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks

August 4 | Rinko Park and surrounding area
One of the several fireworks festivals taking place in the Minato Mirai area in summer, this one features an astounding 15,000 fireworks, including the gigantic Nishakudama, which spread out 480m in the sky. Nearly 200,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance.
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Tokyo Bay Fireworks

August 8 | Harumifuto Park (launching ground)
Set against the backdrop of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, this is arguably the most picturesque fireworks festival in the capital – and the most exclusive. The official viewing spots in the Harumi Pier area sell out quickly and nearby hotels are booked long before the event. The festival features 12,000 fireworks launched from the sea in front of Harumifuto Park, and is best viewed from slightly further away: try Odaiba, Tokyo Tower or even Roppongi Hills.
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Chofu Summer Fireworks

August 22 | Tama River (Fuda, Kokuryo, Keio-Tamagawa stations)
Chofu builds on last year's success for its 33nd annual hanabi celebration, celebrating its connection to the movie industry in an explosive way. Several film scenes have been shot on the banks of the Tamagawa, and the city is home to multiple studios and film-related companies. Dubbed the 'City of Cinema: Chofu Summer Fireworks', this festival sees around 8,000 rockets launched over the river, choreographed to popular film scores.
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By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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