Ultimate Guide to Japanese Fireworks Festivals

Jun 12, 2024

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Hanabi (花火) or fireworks in Japan are not like ordinary fireworks that welcome in the new year in the West. Hanabi have played a significant role in the Japanese festivals during summer. Thousands of fireworks shows are held every year from July to August. Hanabi festivals bring together the community to eat, drink, and celebrate with their loved ones.

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Here are a few tips to make your Hanabi festival a memorable one.

Get ready for the long haul

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Attending the summer fireworks festival starts after sunset and can last as long as one to two hours. Many of the shows can be divided into shorter segments, and usually, it often ends with a grand finale with fireworks launched simultaneously. Therefore, it is essential to be ready and equipped with the necessary belongings including snacks, water, chairs, mats, power bank, sunblock, bug spray, and cash.

Find a good viewing spot

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Witnessing the fireworks requires a perfect viewing spot. There is a competition for good viewing spots. Many people show up early or reserve their seats. The best option you can do is to go with the flow and be respectful to the locals and neighbors.

Be hydrated and grab a bite to eat


Festivals will not be complete without our Japanese street food favourites: okonomiyaki, takoyaki, taiyaki, yakitori, chocolate-covered bananas, oolong tea, beer, and many more! You can never resist these local delicacies and it’s always best shared with your loved ones.

Consider accommodation and transportation

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During such festive periods, it is anticipated that hotels will be fully booked, and public transportation will be congested. With this, it is crucial to make reservations well in advance, potentially months ahead, in neighbouring cities. Larger metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka have a greater capacity for accommodating guests compared to smaller cities.

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Furthermore, traffic congestion is inevitable, necessitating the development of alternative plans. For instance, consider walking to the nearest train station rather than relying on shuttle buses, or identify a temporary place to stay until the crowds disperse. Additionally, various tour packages are available for popular fireworks events, encompassing transportation, lodging, and reserved seating. However, international visitors may encounter challenges due to language barriers.

Click here to discover the complete list and schedule of summer Hanabi festivals this year in Japan.

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