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WHAT: Beppu Fireworks Festival – The Art of Light and Music
WHERE: Beppu Spa Beach, Japan
WHEN: Late July 2023
COST: Free

The Beppu Hanabi Taikai (Beppu Fireworks Festival) is a must-see summer event. The festival is held annually on either the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August.

The Beppu Hanabi Taikai Festival is held at Spa Beach, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. People dressed in yukata (summer kimono) come along to browse the hundreds of colourful and varied stalls set up in preparation for the fireworks spectacle. The stalls sell typical festival food such as yakiniku (grilled meat), Takoyaki (octopus balls), yakisoba (fried noodles), crepes, apple candy, kakigori (shaved ice covered in syrup) and cotton candy.

Members of large organizations and companies gather on stage by the sand to praise the god of hot springs in the form of a traditional dance. The dance goes on until darkness falls, at this point, you need to be quick on your feet to secure a good spot on the beach as everyone dashes to get the best spot for the firework display. You can then sit back and relax for the next hour and enjoy the brilliant multicoloured spectacle in the sky.

The event attracts thousands of people every year and is well known for light explosions of various shapes and sizes. Fireworks can form into any shape, such as an animal, cartoon character, or even Beppu’s famous hot spring’s logo.

As unique as this experience is, there is another way to enjoy Beppu’s fireworks. You can dip into an outdoor hot spring pool and relax your body while watching the fireworks from afar. All at the cost of 400 yen.

Beppu offers another similar fireworks festival on the following weekend in the Kamegawa district. The main difference with this one is that it is by a small fishing port, giving you a true sense of the Japanese countryside. The fireworks are launched from a large boat floating on the calm blue sea. The reflections in the water are simply breath taking.


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