Where to Go to See Fireworks in Tokyo

By Time Out Tokyo
June 11,2016
Time Out Tokyo

Time Out Tokyo is the Tokyo edition of Time Out, a London-based global media group covering 108 cities in 39 countries, from New York to Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.

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Adachi Fireworks (Photo by hirow/PIXTA)

An essential part of any summer in Tokyo, 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 Kamakura Fireworks on July 20 and include everything from classics (Sumida River, Jingu Gaien) 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. And if you need a drink after the show, try one of the city's best beer gardens.

Our top firework picks

Kamakura Fireworks Festival

This article originally appeared on Time Out Tokyo

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. Note that the event will be moved to July 21 in case of bad weather, and cancelled in case of two consecutive rainy days.

Where: Yuigahama Beach, Kamakura
When: Wednesday, July 20

 

Adachi Fireworks

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 13,500 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.

Where: Arakawa River (near Kita-Senju, Kosuge Station), Kita-Senju
When: Saturday, July 23

 

(Photo by hirow/PIXTA)

Katsushika Noryo Hanabi

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 must have been like in summer.

Where: Shibamata Baseball Field, Katsushika
When: Tuesday, July 26

 

Hayama Kaigan Fireworks Festival

If fireworks at the beach are your thing, there's no better summer event than Hayama's annual hanabi festival. Around 1,000 fireworks are shot up from the Isshiki tide embankment, making for a small-scale but spectacular show as the colourful explosions reflect off the water. Consider heading over early, finding a comfy spot on the sand and watching the fireworks rise from behind Mount Fuji while the last rays of the sun are still visible on the horizon.

Where: Isshiki Beach, Hayama
When: Wednesday, July 27

 

Sumida River Fireworks Festival

(Photo by faula/PIXTA)

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. Note that the event will be moved to Sunday if the weather is poor.

Where: Sumida Park, Asakusa
When: Saturday, July 30

 

Edogawa Fireworks Festival

(Photo by arumakan/PIXTA)

Tokyo's easternmost fireworks festival – officially 'Exciting Hanabi Edogawa' – takes place along the banks of the Edo River north of Shinozaki and merits a trip just for the first five seconds of action. This is when a whopping 1,000 silver and gold rockets are shot up in spectacular fashion, functioning as an impactful intro to the remaining 75 minutes during which 13,000 fireworks themed on everything from Mt Fuji to stardust are launched into the summer sky.

Where: Banks of the Edogawa, Edogawa
When: Saturday, August 6
 

Idabashi Fireworks Festival

(Photo by kunish/PIXTA)

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 River. 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 700-metre chain of explosions that always draws the biggest cheers of the night. If you want to guarantee yourself a good vantage point, reservations for reserved seating areas are being taken from June 25 (details, in Japanese only, available here).

Where: Banks of Arakawa River, Itabashi
When: Saturday, August 6

 

Ome Noryo Fireworks Festival

First held in 1948 to mark the opening of Toei Bus service in the Ome region, this fireworks display 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. Note that the event will be moved to the following day in case of bad weather.

Where: Nagayama Park, Ome
When: Saturday, August 6

 

Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival

Yukata-clad spectators crowd the streets of Harajuku and Aoyama during the annual Jingu Gaien Fireworks, a display that ranks alongside the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay events as one of Tokyo's top summer fireworks festivals.

The cluster of sports stadiums to the south of Sendagaya Station offer the best vantage points, albeit at a significant premium: expect to pay between 2,500 yen and 7,000 yen for admission to each, which includes a program of J-pop performances in the run-up to the fireworks themselves. Alternatively, just wander around the surrounding area until you find somewhere you can see the action for free.

Where: Jingu Stadium, Shinanomachi
When: Saturday, August 20

 

(Photo by Shin@K /PIXTA)

Chofu Summer Fireworks

Chofu builds on the success of the past few years for its 34th 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.

Where: Banks of the Tama River, Chofu
When: Sunday, August 21
 
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