Japanese fireworks festivals, known as “hanabi taikai,” are most commonly associated with the summer months, but many cities and towns hold spectacular displays throughout the autumn season as well. These events often coincide with local matsuris (festivals) and draw large crowds from all over Japan and beyond.
Autumn Fireworks Festival to Enjoy in Japan
If you missed summer fireworks, this is the perfect chance to get a glimpse of the famous Japanese hanabi (fireworks).
Tonegawa Fireworks Festival, Ibaraki
Tonegawa Fireworks Festival is a significant autumn event featuring a 2-hour-long show with 30,000 fireworks. It takes place at Sakai Riverside Park near JR Koga station in Ibaraki. Due to the large turnout, it’s advisable to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot. Alternatively, for those who want to ensure a prime location in advance, tickets are available on the official website. Prices range from 5,000 yen to premium seats costing up to 60,000 yen.
Tsuchiura National Firework Competition, Ibaraki
The Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition is renowned as Japan’s premier Starmine (rapid-firing fireworks) contest, where pyrotechnists blend a wide array of fireworks to craft a dazzling and potent Starmine display. The competition features three categories: Starmine, No. 10 Ball, and Creative Fireworks.
Originating in 1925, the Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition owes its existence to the 24th head priest of Shinryuji Temple in Tsuchiura City. He invested personal funds to organize the event on Lake Kasumigaura’s shores, both as a memorial for Air Force personnel who perished and as an economic stimulant in the wake of the Great Kanto Earthquake’s aftermath.
This year the 92nd Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition will take place on November 4th. There will be paid spectator seats available, and information regarding their sale will be posted on the official website, so keep an eye on it if you wish to participate. Get ready for a breathtaking and dynamic fireworks exhibition.
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Minato Hanabi, Kobe
This year’s Minato Hanabi in Kobe is scheduled to take place from October 16th to October 20th at Meriken Park in Kobe Harbour. While this festival is relatively smaller in scale compared to other major hanabi taikai events across the country, with fireworks lasting only for 10 minutes from 6:30 to 6:40, it offers a unique charm. The fact that it runs for five consecutive days helps disperse the crowds, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a quieter event. Set against the backdrop of Kobe Port’s waterfront and Mount Maya, it creates particularly beautiful and serene scenery.
Lake Toya, Hokkaido
Located about 2 hours and 30 minutes away by car from Sapporo City, the Toyako Long-Run Fireworks Festival has been a cherished tradition since 1982 at Lake Toya Onsen, a renowned hot spring resort renowned for its high-quality thermal waters.
What sets this event apart is its remarkable duration, offering fireworks enthusiasts a treat from the end of April until the close of October. While long-run fireworks displays can be found in various places, none can match the extensive timeframe of this festival.
While many associate fireworks festivals with the summertime, enjoying them in spring and autumn provides a unique appeal, allowing visitors to savor different aspects of the fireworks depending on the season, a characteristic exclusive to long-run fireworks festivals.
Every evening, from 20:45 to 21:05, approximately 450 fireworks light up the skies over Lake Toya from boats on the water. The fireworks are particularly impressive against the backdrop of the large lake, with their reflections shimmering on the surface. You can enhance your experience by watching them on a sightseeing boat.
Regardless of the time of year, visiting this area offers an exceptional fusion of nature and fireworks, making it a must-see destination for all seasons.
Unmissable Autumn Fireworks Festival Experiences in Japan
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As the summer fireworks season wanes, Japan’s autumn still offers a chance to witness the renowned hanabi. From the grandeur of the Tonegawa Fireworks Festival to the historic Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition, these events light up the autumn skies. Minato Hanabi in Kobe provides a quieter but charming experience, and Lake Toya’s Long-Run Fireworks Festival offers a unique extended season.
Whether in spring, summer, or fall, these displays amidst nature’s beauty make for unforgettable memories.
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