Fireworks (Nagaoka, Niigata)

There are two types of fireworks you can enjoy in Japan; Large, skyrocket fireworks set off at festivals or events in fireworks displays, and small, toy fireworks for household use.

Fireworks bring the real feeling of summer in Japan. A number of large fireworks displays are held in July and August. The longest fireworks display continues for as long as two hours with the setting off about 40,000 fireworks.

Fireworks displays are held all across the country. Omagari National Fireworks Competition in Akita prefecture, Tsuchiura National Fireworks Festival in Ibaragi prefecture, and Nagaoka Fireworks in Niigata prefecture, are famous in particular and called the Nihon Sandai Hanabi Matsuri (Three Biggest Fireworks Displays in Japan).

Japanese fireworks have colorful and vibrant colors, and they sparkle in a beautiful circle. The secret is a special Japanese technique used; gunpowder explodes at the core of the fireworks to disperse into all directions, circle from any viewing angle.

How to enjoy and points to note

So many spectators throng fireworks displays that you should start hours ahead of schedule to reserve the best spot or get seat that you can enjoy. Some firework displays offer paid seating that you can book in advance. A windward place is favorable to avoid smoke. Yakatabune, a roofed pleasure boat, can bring you a great atmosphere for viewing fireworks on the river or sea.

Picnic ground cloths, insect repellent, and fans are useful to take with you a fireworks display as it is an outdoor event of the hot summertime. You should take garbage with you at the end of the event. Roads and parking lots are so packed and closely restricted that public transportation is the best way to get to the fireworks site.

Characteristics of toy fireworks

 Toy fireworks are sold at Japanese convenience stores, supermarkets, and home centers in various kinds of packaging: single-kind fireworks sets, assorted fireworks sets, or any fireworks sold singly. There are many flashy kinds of fireworks available.

These include temochi-hanabi (handheld fireworks) that changes color gradually,   pinwheels, and small skyrockets. Sparklers are also popular with its subdued atmosphere. They are mainly sold in summer, but there is no regulation limiting seasons to enjoy fireworks. 

"Sparkler", traditional Japanese firework toy. You can feel emotions of Japan.

Take care of the places you enjoy fireworks: keep a safe distance from houses, other flammable articles, and overhead electric wires. Fireworks are prohibited at some parks and riverbanks. It is common in Japan to prepare a bucket of water beside you and extinguish any embers in it. 

Fireworks: Video Gallery

Spectacular fireworks sparks.