Tag Archives: japan

Kamakura Fireworks Festival 2018

WHAT: KAMAKURA FIREWORKS 2018
WHY: FIREWORK FESTIVAL
WHERE: YUIGAHAMA BEACH, KAMAKURA, JAPAN
WHEN: TUESDAY 24TH JULY 7:20PM TO 8:10PM (WEATHER PERMITTING)
COST: FREE

The Kamakura fireworks festival celebrates its 70th year in July 2018. The beautiful Yuigahama beach plays host to the rustic fireworks, providing locals and visitors alike to a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. This may be a smaller scale display compared to the others in the surrounding cities, but this doesn’t mean that it is any less popular as it attracts over 150,000 visitors to the area each year during this time.

The fireworks are set off from boats set out on the water so everyone has a fantastic view of the beautiful fireworks display. The beach is the place to be and you have 2 to choose from, Zaimokuza or Yuigahama Beach. You can opt for a more prestigious seat at one of the beach houses or simply bring along a towel and find a place on the sand.

2012 Fireworks Kamakura

The event does get very crowded, so it is recommended to arrive early and take a picnic or lunchbox with you to grab a spot. If you want to venture off and visit some of the food stalls in and around the beach just make sure that you leave your blanket down to reserve your space for a while.

There were rumors this year that the fireworks may have had to be cancelled due to a lack of funding, but the local community has all pitched in and raised the funds to make sure that the event goes ahead. The fireworks themselves start off around 7pm and the beaches soon become crowded with everyone waiting in anticipation for them to begin.

The pyrotechnics are a truly magnificent spectacle with not only a display in the air but also underwater. This is something that you may not get to witness anywhere in the world and something that you don’t want to miss. A speedboat glides along the horizon with the rider with fireworks in hand, drops them at a precise moment and then the magic begins. Exactly half of the explosion happens above the water and half below. Along with this as each of the fireworks and rockets are set off above the water the reflection creates a dual image, ideal for photographers to get some beautiful shots.

Fireworks may have originated in China, but Japan certainly gives them a run for their money with these 2,500 fireworks extravaganzas and the Japanese are world renowned for their precision and expertise in the creation of the ‘super shells’ which are always handmade and are HUGE and contain multiple effects.

Kamakura fireworks

Should the weather not be suitable for the firework event, it will take place the following day, Wednesday 25th July 2018.

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Yodogawa Fireworks Festival

Fireworks festivals in Summer are not normally the ‘done thing’ here in the UK, but in Osaka, Japan this is when they hold the world’s biggest and most popular firework festival. The main summer event is held in Osaka on the Yodogawa River and was started by volunteers in 1989 using handmade fireworks crafted especially for the event. This is a tradition that is still carried on today and brings not only a big display but a more one of a kind and dynamic firework display to be enjoyed by all.

Osaka is known as the city of water due to the number of rivers passing through the area, the best known of which is the Yodogawa River. This was, therefore, the perfect venue for volunteers who decided to combine all their knowledge and expertise around pyrotechnics and so the firework festival was borne. Each of the display nights can last over 1 hour with combinations of different effects, synchronised to music.

Tickets are available from around 2,500 Yen to get seats to the event also you can pay up to 8,000 Yen per person to get a chance of a prime viewing spot and this also includes a bento (a Japanese lunchbox) and chilled drinks.

Whilst paying is an option, there are plenty of free seating and standing areas around the venue. However, it is recommended that due to the massive number of spectators attending the event that you get there early for your chance to grab a spot as at the height of the event, some 500,000 people are in attendance.

As well as the fireworks display the side streets are lined with and abundance of food stalls named (Yatai or Demise in Chinese) all serving traditional foods. Why not try something different like:

Okonomiyaki- Japanese savoury pancakes that are made with cabbage, pork and cheese topped with a savoury and sweet sauce and mayo

Ikayaki – this is grilled squid on sticks normally washed down with a cup of beer.

And for those who have a sweet tooth there is:

Choco-banana – banana dipped in chocolate (this is only available at the summer festivals in Japan)

Kakigori – Shaved ice, perfect for cooling down on a hot summers day they come in many flavours like strawberry, melon, lemon etc.

The dress code for the event normally consists of men and women dressed in their traditional summer dress of the Yukata. These are a popular choice of dress especially in the summer months as it is the perfect way to keep cool.

The shells that the Japanese use in the displays can range in size from small to the world record-breaking like the Yonshakudama shells that are 1.2 meters in diameter and weigh several hundred kilograms.

The most common shells used are called starmines, as these have a variety of burst patterns. Other unique fireworks include Niagara sparklers that are set under bridges to resemble the famous waterfalls and shaped shells that burst into familiar patterns such as hearts, smiley faces and cartoon characters.

Fireworks normally begin after sunset and can last up to 2 hours long. They are broken down into shorter segments to make for better viewing. The best and longest display on the event is always the finale, making the night sky so bright that it resembles daylight due to the thousands of shells launched into the sky simultaneously.

Due to the popularity of this event, travel agents around the World have now got in on the act and have started offering packages to the event that is all inclusive so that you can avoid the difficulty of crowded transport, seating and viewing areas etc.

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OUT OF THIS WORLD FIREWORKS

It has been said by many that our fireworks are “out of this world”, referring to the quality and the excitement that seems to accompany them whenever the sky needs filling with colour.

Now the Japanese are planning to take fireworks to a whole new level and truly out of this world.

We have seen some pretty amazing scenes when it comes to the opening of the Olympic Games, who remembers the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games with the rocket man.

One of the most controversial Olympic opening ceremonies was the 2008 Games when China had us all fooled – for a very short time with their footprints in the sky which were in some part CGI images for the televised event.

Dubbed “Sky Canvas” Tokyo based company “Star Ale” plan to launch up to 5000 small pellets made from different elements to produce diverse colours; these will be fired from a micro satellite high above the Earth. Following international agreements the launcher will be set to self-destruct after the display to prevent additional space debris.

When you consider each pellet measuring just a few millimeters across will cost around £5,500 each, then a satellite will have to be constructed to get the pellets into space and all the research costs involved it is not something that has been considered lightly.

The display itself will feature as one element of the opening ceremony for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan and it will be fired by the space craft from between 35 and 50 miles. The show will be visible for approximately 120 miles radius and is expected to be seen by 30,000,000 spectators.

Bring it on.

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