One of the Best Firework Displays in Tokyo this Summer

Not many things say 'summer' as much as Hanabi(花火), or fireworks, in Japan. Weather you get a pack of firecrackers from the supermarket and do it with friends on the beach or in a local park, or go to one of the many spectacular firework shows that are happening around Japan in the summertime, one thing is for sure: there is something absolutely magical about of the almost unbearable heat of summer combined together with the fireworks sparkling against the night sky that just screams 'summer in Japan'. 

So, bring your groups of friends together or plan a romantic firework date with that special someone. If you have the chance to try it, dress up in a Yukata (浴衣) and go enjoy one of the things that make the sweltering heat in summer seemingly worth it: the Hanabi Taikai (花火大会), or fireworks festival. There are many amazing events coming up in Tokyo during the summer, but my personal favourite since years back have to be The Itabashi Fireworks festival.

Photos by Ella Jacobson

The Itabashi Fireworks Festival takes place on the banks of the Arakawa River in Itabashi which is located in Nothern Tokyo. It is a spectacular display of 12,000 fireworks fired over ninety minutes, making it one of the longer firework shows you can enjoy in Tokyo. This particular event is a joint effort with the Todabashi Fireworks Festival in Saitama, so it has a special element of humor in how they are both flexing to show off who can put on the best fireworks display before ending the show together in a spectacular finale that lights up the sky and gives you that pleasant 'boom' in your chest that only fireworks can produce.

The Fireworks festival takes place between 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm on August 4th, but I would recommend going earlier to get a place to sit since it is a really popular festival for locals both in Tokyo and Saitama. You can sit on either side of the river, but if you have any sense of pride as a Tokyoite, the obvious choice is the Itabashi side. If you are feeling a little hungry there are a lot of street vendors along the road to the river as well as some at the actual site, so it is also a good opportunity to try some typical festival foods like Yakisoba or Takoyaki

Photo by Ella Jacobson

To get there you can either take the Mita Subway Line to either Nishidai or Takashimadaira Station or the JR Saikyo Line to Ukimafunado Station, and then you can  just follow the people after that because they are all going the same way as you are: to the fireworks. It is a 20 minute walk from either station and there are directions along the way, so it is easy to navigate.

Map provided by Google

The most popular site for checking for fireworks festivals is Walker Plus, where you can see close to all of the major events in the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

If you are going to a park or a beach for fireworks though, make sure to check for local regulations. There are usually pretty clear signs if setting off firecrackers is forbidden, but other than that most parks in Tokyo can be found here