Life is back to normal! Must-see fireworks display in TOKYO


photo by SAGA Gem

Since the coronavirus pandemic started in 2019, people had to avoid big events attracting large crowds. But this year, restrictions related to social gatherings were lifted. Accordingly, summer fireworks displays were held as usual this year. The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival finished successfully attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers. Fireworks festivals in Tokyo are expected to be held as normal in 2024 too. So, this column will introduce the firework festivals in Tokyo that you should view in 2024.


Adachi Fireworks

The Adachi Fireworks is counted as one of the three fireworks displays of Tokyo held on the Arakawa riverbed. Come to think of it, many fireworks festivals in Tokyo are held on riverbeds. This event has a long history dating back to the Meiji period and has been entertaining residents of Tokyo every summer. Today, it displays 13,000 to 15,000 fireworks which is one of the largest scales of fireworks displays in Tokyo. Other than paid viewing stands, viewers can sit on the riverbed to watch. The long stretching riverbed can accommodate a spectacular display of fireworks.

Location: Arakawa Riverbed (between Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Bridge and Nishiarai Bridge)
Date & Time: Late July starting at 19:20 (held on July 22, 2023)
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Katsushika Fireworks Festival

The Katsushika Fireworks Festival is held in Shibamata, Katsushika, a historical downtown of Tokyo. This 70-year-old festival normally displays an average of 13,000 fireworks every year, but this year, 20,000 were generously shot as this year was the year of a new start. This year, 770,000 viewers came around to watch the second-largest fireworks festival in Tokyo following the Sumidagawa Firework Festival. This event is highlighted by large-scale fireworks such as Niagara and Star Mines. Spectacle view from the other side of the river.

Location: Shibamata Ball Game Ground (Edogawa riverbed)
Date & time: Late July at 19:30 (held on July 25, 2023)
Access: 10 minutes from Keisei Line Shibamata Station, 20 minutes from JR Kanamachi Station, 15 minutes from Hokuso Line Shibamata Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Tachikawa Festival Showa Kinen Park Fireworks

Tachikawa City is 1 hour away from the Tokyo metropolitan area by train. Tachikawa Festival Fireworks is held at the lawn field of Showa Kinen Park. The best thing about this festival is that you can watch fireworks sitting on the lawn. This year’s festival was the first one in the Reiwa period attracting as many as 700,000 viewers altogether including people who watched from outside of the park. The event was highlighted by displays of large-scale fireworks shot up to 400m high and Star Mines. Note that you need to get there early if you are planning to view fireworks inside the park.

Location: Showa Kinen Park
Date & time: Late July at 19:00 (held on July 29, 2023)
Access: 15 minutes from JR Tachikawa Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid), free admission after 18:00


Itabashi Fireworks Festival

This is a fireworks festival held on the Arakawa riverbed in Itabashi attracting 600,000 viewers every year. The best thing about the Itabashi Fireworks Festival is the number of large fireworks. Especially, the 700m wide Niagara at the climax is a must-see spectacle. This event has many famous pyrotechnicians preparing firework balls showcasing their masterpieces many times. Make sure to allow plenty of time when you visit as huge congestion is expected at railway stations and on the streets.

Location: Arakawa Riverbed, Itabashi
Date & time: Early August at 19:00 (held on August 25, 2023)
Access: 20 minutes from Toei Mita Line Takashimadaira Station/Nishidai Station/Hasune Station, 20 minutes from JR Ukimafunado Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid), free viewing space is available


Chofu Autumn Fireworks

Chofu Autumn Fireworks is held at Tamagawa in late September every year, later than other fireworks festivals. The highlights of this event are a barrage of big fireworks and a combination of music and fireworks, Hanabi-lusion. For one entire hour from the sunset, numerous big fireworks are shot without stopping. This popular event puts a perfect finale to summer for 300,000 viewers. The colorful fireworks display on the Tamagawa riverbed is mesmerizing. There are food stalls on the site for visitors to enjoy festival atmosphere.

Location: Tamagawa River, Chofu City
Date & time: Late September at 18:30 (September 25, 2023)
Access: Fuda site: 20 minutes from Keio Line Fuda Station, 25 minutes from Chofu Station; Keio Tamagawa site: 10 minutes from Keio Line Tamagawa Station, 20 minutes from Chofu Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Life is like fireworks

A fireworks display is a perfect summer scenery of Japan. Unlike just 15-minute displays at the year end, summer festivals normally last for at least one hour. You will never get bored with watching the colors in the night sky. In Tokyo, many fireworks festivals are held every week in July and August so you can’t choose which one to go. This column introduced the most famous festivals in Tokyo (excluding Sumidagawa), but there are many more fireworks events. Why don’t you go out for strolling in yukata?



あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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