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


photo by Chi (in Oz)

In Japan, event after event was canceled because of the pandemic for three years after 2020. But this year, many events gathering crowds were held as there were no restrictions. The fireworks event was one of these things that restarted in 2023. Japanese summer can’t be done without fireworks. In Osaka, many fireworks festivals are held between July and September. This column will introduce the must-see fireworks events of Osaka in 2024.


Tenjin Festival Fireworks

Tenjin Festival is one of the three Japanese festivals held by the Osaka Tenmangu, which enshrines Michizane Sugawara, on July 24 and 25 every year. This festival is one of the largest festivals in Osaka and has a thousand-year history. The Tenjin Festival Fireworks is held to conclude this festival. On the final day, a hundred boats sail on the Kyū-Yodo River to conduct a Shinto ritual followed by the fireworks display. In this event, as many as 3,000 fireworks are used. This is a great opportunity to experience Japan’s tradition with fireworks viewing.

Location: Kawasaki Park, Sakuranomiya Park
Date & time: July 25 at 19:30
Access: 10 minutes from JR Sakuranomiya Staiton/Osaka Metro Tenmabashi Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival

The Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival is the most popular in Osaka. It has more than 30 years of history and gathered 600,000 viewers this year. Its powerful fireworks performance is well-known, especially for spectacular Star Mines (baggage of large fireworks) at the climax. The site is set on the Yodogawa Riverbed. The combination of sparkles in the night sky and colors reflected on the water is fantastic. The Umeda side of the riverbed will be closed and there will be traffic restrictions on the streets. Make sure to check traffic information beforehand if you are planning to drive there.

Location: Yodogawa Riverbed (Shinmidosuji to Route 2)
Date & time: Early August at 19:30 (held on August 5, 2023)
Access: 15 minutes from Hankyu Juzo Station/Nakatsu Station; 15 minutes from JR/Hankyu/Osaka Metro Umeda or Osaka Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Ibaraki Benten Fireworks

The annual Ibaraki Benten Fireworks is held by Meioji Temple in Ibaraki City, Osaka. This city is located northeast of Osaka City, as close as 20 minutes by train from the Osaka metropolitan area. 3,000 fireworks are shot in this event gathering about 20,000 people every year. The venue, Meioji Temple, gets very crowded on the day. But there are many other spots where you can view the fireworks, such as a shopping mall and playgrounds around the temple. This is a great option if you want to avoid crowds. There will be traffic restrictions and the parking lot of the temple is closed. So, public transport is the better option to get there.

Location: Meioji Temple
Date & time: Early August at 19:30 (held August 8, 2023)
Access: 20 minutes from JR Ibaraki Station
Viewing stand: Not available


Senshu Dream Fireworks Festival

Located at the south end of Sennan City, Osaka, SENNAN LONG PARK is a popular leisure spot that overviews the Kansai Airport. This year, the Senshu Dream Fireworks was held at Sennan Long Park after a few years of dormancy due to the pandemic and will be held next year. The panoramic view of fireworks sparkling on the water can be seen from nearby playgrounds, beaches, and shopping centers in addition to the paid viewing stand. Many viewers drive there as the site is a little far from the Osaka metropolitan area. A big congestion is expected on the way out so plan ahead.

Date & time: Late August at 19:45 (held on August 26, 2023)
Access: 10 minutes from Nankai Line Tarui Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Suito Kurawanka Fireworks Festival

The Suito Kurawanka Fireworks Festival is held on the Yodogawa Riverbed just like the Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks, but this one is in Hirakata City. For an hour from the sunset, big colorful fireworks are displayed one after others. The number of fireworks is 4,700! The best view is the panoramic Star Mines shot up from two spots. Although fireworks start in evening, many food stalls are open on the site from 15:00. If you get there early, you can stroll around eating snacks. Use public parking around the site if you drive there as there is no carpark is available on the site.

Location: Yodogawa Riverside Park Hirakata side/Otsuka side
Date & time: Mid-September at 19:30 (held on September 17, 2023)
Access: 5 minutes from Keihan Line Hirakata Park Station, 10 minutes from Hirakata Station
Viewing stand: Booking required (paid)


Life is like fireworks

You may think of year-end countdown when it comes to fireworks. Of course, there are end-of-year fireworks in Japan, but fireworks should be shot in summer! The last few years were quiet because of the pandemic but this year, we have been back to normal and so have fireworks festivals. There are many fireworks festivals to be scheduled in 2024. Congestion is expected on the day, so make sure to check traffic and public transport.



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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