Tag Archives: japan

MIYAJIMA WATER FIREWORKS FESTIVAL

WHAT: MIYAJIMA WATER FIREWORKS FESTIVAL 2018
WHY: WATER FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
WHEN: 25th AUGUST 2018 7:40pm – 8:40pm
WHERE: ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE, MIYAJIMA ISLAND, JAPAN
COST: FREE

Japan is well known for the huge number of summer festivals which take part across the country; all which include fireworks in some way shape or form. The Miyajima water fireworks festival will be one of the most unique and exciting displays you will witness this season in Japan.

Held every year at one of the popular tourist sites on Miyajima island, this is where the world heritage Itsukushima shrine is located and is instantly recognisable with its magnificent red “floating” Torii Gate. With over 300,000 visitors to the event no wonder that the water fireworks festival is known as one of the most spectacular displays in the country. To grab a seat and get in place for that perfect photo opportunity make sure that you arrive extra early. The festival is free to watch and can get busy really quickly. However, you can get a special viewing seat, and these are available in advance for around 6,000 Yen which equates to around 42.00 GBP. These are not exactly on the cheap side but the view that you get from the seats is incomparable.

From the early hours of the morning, the city is bustling more than it normally would be and by dusk, the crowds pack the shores on both the mainland side and island side of the river. Extra ferries and streetcars are brought in for the major event along with the ever-popular sightseeing boats just there for the one day for viewing the fireworks.

The fireworks are fired on the sea just behind the Torii gate creating gorgeous views as the 5,000 fireworks light up not only the sky but reflect in the water below. Launched in successive bursts the blooming flowers, glittering streamers and weeping willows fill the sky with a rainbow of colours and the odd bang as they break. Everyone eagerly awaits the finale as the firing is more rapid and the effects more varied covering the whole skyline.

The festival will be brought to a close amid boisterous cheering, whistles and of course loud applause from the appreciative audience.

Make sure that you don’t miss out on the only festival that combines one of Japan’s most scenic places with one of Japan’s favourite summer activities – fireworks.

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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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