WHAT: SUMIDAGAWA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL 2019
WHY: FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
WHERE: SUMIDA RIVER, TWO SEPARATE LOCATIONS
WHEN: SATURDAY 27TH JULY 2019
For all Tokyoites, the Sumidagawa Fireworks is the must-see summer fireworks festival. To say that it is popular is an understatement as the crowds reach around one million and are growing year on year with even the local hotels nearby and riverboats driving up the prices and taking advantage of the trade in the prime viewing locations.
The event has a long history of rivalry and first burst onto the scene around 1732, despite a few interruptions it has been a regular occurrence since 1978 and even to this day the rivalry is there. Each of the pyrotechnic companies trying to outdo each other making bigger and better displays each year making not one single show the same so its worth a visit for the ‘one of a kind’ performances from the pyrotechnic wizards.
The fireworks are set off from two locations – venue 1 is upwards from the Kototoibashi bridge, whilst venue 2 is between Komagata bridge and Umayabashi bridge. Along with the two locations, there are also 2 different start times of the fireworks; the first spot begins at 7pm to 8:30pm and the second spot from 7:30pm to 8:30pm, giving spectators a sky full of effects colours and sound.
The show may be cancelled and moved to the next day in the event of stormy weather, but since it is a summer festival, fingers crossed that it has the summer weather.
There are several spots to choose from when it comes to viewing the fireworks but remember these are quite crowded and often fill up from early in the morning with everyone wanting to get a good viewing spot.
Without question, the best viewing point is the Sumida Park but there are other options such as the Shiori Park or the north part of the Oyokogawa water park, but you will need again to go before 5pm go grab a spot. A lot of people queue on the bridges that cross the river waiting for their turn to walk across and get a clear view of the fireworks even if it’s for a couple of minutes. If you want a different point of view, you can see the fireworks from the Tokyo Sky tree, and various riverboats (yakatabune or pleasure boat. You will need to book these in advance to reserve your tickets.
Wherever you go expect to get up close and personal to half of Tokyo as it’s the countries largest popular urban display. This is an event that gives you a true taste of summer Tokyo style, so not attending this event is simply out of the question.