Where to see fireworks displays this summer

by Minoru Matsutani

It’s that time of year again when fireworks color the sky on sultry summer nights.

A centuries-old summer entertainment, fireworks draw crowds, many sporting light “yukata” kimono, to enjoy not only the heavenly spectacle but also the yakitori and “yakisoba” fried noodles sold at the innumerable stalls. And what fireworks display would be complete without beer?

Finally, the true fireworks aficionado takes public transportation (there’s not place to park, after all) and joins the throng of revelers meandering slowly from station to venue.

The following is a guide to some of the major fireworks displays around the Tokyo area and across Japan:

Yokohama

July 20 — 19:30 to 20:40 Launched from barges off Yamashita Park, the fireworks can best be viewed from Rinko Park, Red Brick Warehouse and Yamashita Park accessible from Minatomirai, Bashamichi and Nippon-Odori stations on the Minatomirai Line. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama port.

Number of fireworks: 6,000

For more information, call: (0180) 99-4045

Katsushika, Tokyo

July 22 — 19:20 to 20:20 This display launches from the banks of the Edo River near Shibamata Station on the Keisei Kanamachi Line or Shin-Shibamata Station on the Hokuso Line.

Number of fireworks: 10,000

Call (03) 3838-5558

Adachi, Tokyo

July 24 — 19:15 to 20:45 Come to the banks of the Arakawa River near Kita-Senju Station by the JR Joban Line, or take the Hibiya or Chiyoda subway lines, or the Tobu Isesaki and Tsukuba Express lines, to Kosuga, Gotanno or Umeshima stations on the Tobu Isesaki Line.

Number of fireworks: 15,000

Call (03) 3880-5853

Sumida River, Tokyo

July 26 — 19:10 to 20:30 At two locations on the banks of the Sumida River, on the border of Taito and Sumida wards in Tokyo, near Asakusa Station via JR or subway lines. Most consider this the No. 1 display.

Number of fireworks: 20,000

Call (03) 5608-6951

Tachikawa, Tokyo

July 26 — 19:20 to 20:30 Showa Kinen Park near JR Tachikawa Station.

Number of fireworks: 5,000

Call (042) 527-2700

Kanagawa Shimbun, Yokohama

Aug. 1 — 19:15 to 20:30 At Rinko Park near Minatomirai Station on the Minatomirai Line.

Number of fireworks: 8,000

Call (045) 227-0744

PL Fireworks in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture

Aug. 1 — 19:45 to 20:45 At Hikarigaoka Country Club near Tondabayashi Station on the Kintetsu-Nagano Line.

Number of fireworks: 20,000

Call (0721) 24-1111

Edogawa, Tokyo

Aug. 2 — 19:15 to 20:30 On the banks of the Edo River near Shinozaki Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line.

Number of fireworks: 14,000

Call (03) 5662-0523

Toda, Saitama Prefecture, and Itabashi, Tokyo

Aug. 2 — 19:00 to 20:45 On the banks of the Arakawa River, on the border of Saitama and Tokyo, near Toda Koen Station on the JR Saikyo Line.

Number of fireworks: 10,000

Call (048) 431-0206

Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture

Aug. 2 and 3 — 19:25 to 21:20 both days On the banks of the Shinano River near Nagaoka Station on the Joetsu bullet train and other JR lines. One of the largest firework events in Japan.

Number of fireworks: 20,000

Call (0258) 39-2221

Enoshima, Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture

Aug. 5 — 19:15 to 20:15 On Enoshima Island near Katase-Enoshima Station on the Odakyu Line and Enoshima Station of the Enoden Line.

Number of fireworks: 5,000

Call (0466) 22-4141

Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture

Aug. 9 — 19:00 to 21:00 On the banks of the Arakawa River near Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki and Chichibu Railway lines.

Number of fireworks: 10,000

Call (048) 524-1111

Naniwa Yodogawa, Osaka

Aug. 9 — 19:50 to 20:40 On the banks of the Yodo River near Tsukamoto Station on the JR Tokaido Line or Juso Station on the Hankyu Line.

Number of fireworks: 20,000

Call (06) 6307-5522

Tokyo Bay

Aug. 10 — 19:00 to 20:20 At Harumi Wharf Park near Kachidoki Station on the Oedo subway line or Tsukishima and Toyosu stations on the Yurakucho subway line.

Number of fireworks: 12,000

Call (03) 3248-1561

Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Aug. 11 — 19:00-20:20 At Yuigahama and Zaimokuza beaches near Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line or Yuigahama and Wadazuka stations on the Enoden Line. When the pyrotechnics barge is being reloaded, a fishing boat drops fireworks into the water, creating mirror-like explosions.

Number of fireworks: 4,000

Call (0467) 23-3050

Tama River, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo and Takatsu Ward, Kawasaki

Aug. 16 — 19:00 to 20:00 On the banks of the Tama River near Futako-Tamagawa and Futako-Shinchi stations on the Den-En-Toshi Line.

Number of fireworks: 12,000

Call (03) 3482-2169

Daisen, Akita Prefecture

Aug. 23 — 17:00-17:40, 18:50 to 21:30 On the banks of the Omono River near Omagari Station on the Akita bullet train and other JR lines. One of the largest fireworks displays in Japan.

Number of fireworks: 15,000

Call (0187) 62-1262

Tsurumi River, Yokohama

Aug. 23 — from 19:30 At Tsukuno Park near Tsurumi Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line.

Number of fireworks: 1,000

Call (045) 521-5530

Kanazawa, Yokohama

Aug. 23 — 19:00-20:00 At Umi-no-Koen (Sea Park) in Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, near Umi-no-Koen Shiba-Guchi, Umi-no-Koen Minami-Guchi and Nippon-Odori stations on the Seaside Line.

Number of fireworks: 3,500

Call (045) 788-7801

Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture

Oct. 4 — 18:00-20:30 On the banks of the Sakura River near Tsuchiura Station on the JR Joban Line. One of the largest fireworks displays in Japan.

Number of fireworks: 20,000

Call (029) 824-2810