It’s Summertime! Fes time! Eastern Japan Journey to Enjoy Vibrant Fireworks Festivals Illuminating the Night Sky

In this edition, we introduce summer's iconic tradition in Japan: fireworks festivals (Hanabi). These events have set dates, and some are ticketed, so be sure to check the official websites before attending. On the day of the fireworks festival, there might be traffic restrictions around the venue, so we recommend researching transportation options in advance.

This trip starts at Akita Station - take the Tohoku Main Line to Sendai Station, then transfer to the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station. From there, take the local line to Koyama Station, and then transfer to the Joetsu Shinkansen at Omiya Station, finally taking the local line to Rokuharamachi Station. On the day of the fireworks festival, there might be restrictions or special schedules at the stations, so be sure to check the transportation information in advance.

"The 36th Akita city Summer Festival Omono River Fireworks"- Akita city One of the Three Major Summer Festivals in Akita, Enjoy “ Niagara-style fireworks” and Underwater Fireworks Against the Backgrop of Omono River!

Along with the Aomori Nebuta Festival and the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the Akita Kanto Festival is one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region (held from Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 August), and the Tsuchizaki-ko Hikiyama Festival (held on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 July), which is an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan. The 'Yubutsukawa Fireworks Display' (see photo) is a summer tradition in Akita City that attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.

Recommended sight seeing spot
The 36th Akita city Summer festival Omono river fireworks
The "Akita City Summer Festival Omono River Fireworks" (photo) is held annually on August 11th at the Omono River Riverside (Araya). This year, a total of 4,000 fireworks are planned to be launched, illuminating the summer night sky over the Omono River with spectacular displays including, underwater fireworks, star mines, and a ‘Niagara waterfall’ effect spanning approximately 300 meters. Access to the event is convenient, with a 15-minute ride on a Central Transportation bus from JR Akita Station, followed by a quick walk from Akita Ohashi bus stop to the venue. For those traveling by car, there is a parking lot at the venue with a capacity of 1,500 vehicles, which is free to use.


Address:Address: 6 Barajima, Akita city, Akita
Schedule: August 11th, Friday 2023
*In case of inclement weather, the event may be postponed to the following day.

"2023 Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival” - Utsunomiya city Full-area Ticket System. Shoot Off about 20,000 Spectacular Fireworks!

The first fireworks festival was held in Utsunomiya in 1984 (Showa 59). Despite a temporary cancellation in 2003 (Heisei 15), the festival made an extraordinary comeback in 2007 (Heisei 19) when volunteers formed an organizing committee and successfully managed its revival. In 2012 (Heisei 24), aiming for the uninterrupted continuation of this fireworks festival for another century, the inaugural fireworks festival-specific non-profit organization, “NPO Utsunomiya Hyakunen Hanabi (lit. Utsunomiya 100-year Fireworks)," was established. The "Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival" (pictured) has been held annually since.

Recommended sight seeing spot
2023 Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival
This year, on Saturday, August 12th, the "2023 Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival" is scheduled to take place at the Dōjōjuku Green Park on the Kinu Riverbed in Utsunomiya City. The event will kick off with a spectacular display of three consecutive 2-shaku diameter fireworks (approx. 30cm), followed by about 20,000 fireworks illuminating the night sky of Utsunomiya. The entire area operates under a ticketed system, meaning entry to the venue, access to parking, bicycle parking, and shuttle buses, is only available to those holding tickets. Make sure to check the official website in advance for details. Also, don't forget to stay updated with information shared by the official ambassador (pictured)!


Address:Dōjōjukumachi, Uchinomiya city, Tochigi
Schedule: August 12, Saturday, 2023
* In the event of a postponement, it will be held on August 13, Sunday, 2023.

"Oyama Summer Festival 2023 ― the 71st Oyama Fireworks―“ Oyama City Over 70-Year Historic Firework Festival is Returning After a 4-year Hiatus!

"The Oyama Summer Festival - Oyama Fireworks" which boasts one of the largest scale-festival among the numerous summer festivals in Oyama City is set to return after a 4-year hiatus. Other summer festivals include the "Nagashi-bina of Omoigawa" (1st Sunday of July), "Oyama Gion Festival” (3rd Sunday of July), and "Oyama Beer Festival" (early September). Initially spanning over 70 years, this event holds a rich history and tradition within the city, passed down through the collaboration of residents (pictured).

Recommended sight seeing spot
Oyama summer festival 2023 ― the 71st Oyama fireworks―
At the "Oyama Summer Festival - Oyama Fireworks" (pictured) about 20,000 fireworks will illuminate the night sky over the city's symbol, the pristine stream "Omoi River." The event features a continuous launch of aerial shells, grand star mines, Niagara Falls-inspired displays, and more. The venue is conveniently located about a 10-minute walk from JR Oyama Station. Additionally, one day before this a "Bon Dance Market" will debut at the western parking lot of Oyama City Hall. Stage performances and vendors will enhance the excitement on the eve of the fireworks display.


Address:Oyama, Oyama city, Tochigi
Schedule: July 30, Sunday, 2023
*Rain or Shine- Postponed in Severe Weather

“Minamiuonuma city Lord Kanetsugu Grand Fireworks Festival” - Minamiuonuma city A Spectacular Collaboration of Big‐bloomed Colors and Grand Resonance Echoed Through the Impregnable Sengoku Mountain Castle of Sakatoyama!

Minamiuonuma City is home to festivals like the "Shiozawa Festival" (July 14th - 16th) and the "Urasa Summer Festival and Grand Fireworks Festival (July 15th)" of Sumiyoshi Shrine. The biggest summer event, however, is "Minamiuonuma City Lord Kanetsugu Festival (July 17th - 19th)" with the finale: "Minamiuonuma City Lord Kanetsugu Festival Grand Fireworks Festival" (pictured).

Recommended sight seeing spot
Minamiuonuma City Lord Kanetsugu Festival Grand Fireworks Festival
The "Minamiuonuma City Lord Kanetsugu Festival" is the largest summer event in Minamiuonuma City, the birthplace of Lord Naoe Kanetsugu, where local pride and traditional performing arts come together. The festival features highlights such as the "Barrel Mikoshi" procession, the "Oroku Nagashi" dance performed to the local folk song "Oroku Jinku," which depicts the love story of a young Lord Kanetsugu and a princess, with powerful taiko drum performances. The grand finale includes a fireworks display (pictured) of several thousand rounds, illuminating the night sky, making it one of Minamiuonuma's largest fireworks festivals and is held along the banks of the Uonoi River.


Address:Uono River banks, Muikamachi, Uonuma city, Niigata
Schedule: July 19, Wednesday, 2023
*Rain or Shine - Postponed in Severe Weather

A Journey Through the Dazzling and Extravagant Fireworks that Adorn the Summer Night Sky of Eastern Japan!

Why not enjoy a quintessential summer tradition, the fireworks festival? Indulge in local gourmet delights from stalls and nearby shops while savoring the unique moments of summer that can only be experienced there.

  • All prices in the article include tax. Prices are subject to change without notice.