Translated by Lester Somera
What to Remember When Attending Summer Fireworks Displays
If it's summertime in Japan, it's time for fireworks. Before you go to enjoy the epic sights, remember these points in order to have a good experience.
Written by Jihyeon Kim
Summer in Japan means it’s time for fireworks. When you’re looking up at the beautiful night sky, set ablaze by fireworks launches, you can feel that summer has come. Often appearing in dramas and movies, fireworks are emblematic of the summer season.
From June through the end of August, fireworks displays will be held all over Japan. If you’re coming to Japan during this time, you should absolutely join one of these events!
In this article, we’ll explain some things you should remember before you go to a Japanese fireworks display.
Things to Remember Before Going to See the Fireworks
From [Summer] 4 Ways to Fully Enjoy Japan’s Fireworks Displays (MATCHA article, Japanese)
1. Look Up the Venue and Start Times In Advance
Most fireworks displays are held in July and August, so if you’d like to see one, we recommend visiting Japan during this time.
Also, the grounds and viewing areas at fireworks venues are very wide. It goes without saying that you need to confirm the details about the venue to avoid getting lost.
2. Check the Weather
Fireworks displays are vulnerable to the elements. In the event of rainy or stormy weather, they can be postponed or canceled, so double-check right before you go.
3. Think About Transportation to and From the Venue
Parking situations vary from venue to venue, but many places will not have parking lots, so going by train is more convenient. However, the station closest to the venue and the surrounding area will be packed with crowds. If you don’t have a Suica or Pasmo transit card, buy your return ticket soon after arriving. Many a tourist has grumbled about the long wait to buy a train ticket after the fireworks have ended, so save yourself some time with an advance purchase.
Things to Remember on the Day of the Fireworks Display
From 1,000 Fireworks Launched in Five Seconds! Marvel at the Edogawa Fireworks Display (MATCHA article, Japanese)
1. Go to the Restroom Early
While there are toilets set up at fireworks venues, most facilities will have long lines of people waiting to use them, and they can be located a long walk from viewing areas. Handle your business before the show starts, so you can relax and fully enjoy the fireworks.
2. Be Polite When Getting a Spot!
Some venues sell tickets to seats set up in the viewing areas closest to the fireworks. However, the good seats must be reserved far in advance, so tourists from overseas may find it difficult to buy tickets.
Of course, you can enjoy the fireworks for free. However, you will need to get a spot to sit. At that time, please refrain from marking the area with oil-based spray paint, markers, or sticy tape. Also, using stones may cause people to slip and fall, so be careful. Bringing tarps or towels will let you sit comfortably, and they serve as convenient markers, too.
3. Don’t Cause Trouble For Other People
When you look up at the summer night sky, illuminated with fireworks, it’s understandable to get really excited. Nevertheless, try not to interfere with other people’s enjoyment of the show - take care to avoid things like loud yelling and intruding into other people’s seating areas.
Things to Remember After the Fireworks are Over
Photos provided by: Northern Biwako Town Sightseeing Company
1. Clean Up After Yourself
Most places have trash bins separated by the type of garbage, but some don’t; if you can’t find a trash can, please bring your rubbish with you when you leave.
2. Give Yourself Extra Time to Get to Your Next Destination
There will be hordes of people rushing for the train after the fireworks are over. There might be a long wait until you can get on, or the train might be packed or behind schedule. We recommend arranging your schedule so you don’t stress about being late for your next appointment. Avoid unnecessary rushing, and stay safe; wait patiently in line.
When you actually go to a fireworks display, you might be surprised by the crowds, but that’s really how many people go to see the fireworks in Japan. There are many different kinds of displays, with some that are awe-inspiringly large in scope, or located by the seaside. At any of them, you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of the gorgeous night sky in tandem with the fireworks. If you have the opportunity, by all means, see them for yourself.