Summer in Japan is the season of fireworks. Did you know? All of the 「3 Great Fireworks Festivals of Japan」are in Eastern Japan! In addition to the stunning displays that light up the evening sky, most festivals have a wonderful atmosphere with food and game stalls, making for a fun and enjoyable time. Put on a yukata to further enjoy the festivities! For all these fireworks shows, both ticketed seats (paid seating) and free seats (bring your own mats to sit along the riverside / roadside etc) are available, so choose how you would like to enjoy the fireworks!

Fireworks Festivals

1 Nagaoka Fireworks Festival

Niigata Prefecture
02~03 August annually, 7:20pm~9:15pm
Held over 2 nights, the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival is the highlight of the 3-day Nagaoka Festival (01~03 August). Be enthralled by the large-scale, spectacular fireworks display lighting up the night sky over the Shinano River. This fireworks festival is also one of the 「3 Great Fireworks Festivals of Japan」, so you can expect many stunning pyrotechnic displays.

2 Omagari Fireworks Festival

Akita Prefecture
30 August 2020 Daytime: 5:15pm~
Evening: 6:50pm~
One of Japan's most highly anticipated fireworks festivals and considered by many to be the best fireworks display in Japan, the Omagari Fireworks Festival is both one of the「3 Great Fireworks Festivals of Japan」and 「3 Great Fireworks Competitions of Japan」. This fireworks festival has both day and night categories, unlike many other fireworks shows which have only nighttime displays.

3 Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival

Nagano Prefecture
15 August annually, 7:00pm~
Lake Suwa’s dazzling fireworks display is the largest in Japan with over 40,000 fireworks set off over the lake. Enjoy the beautiful reflections of the fireworks on the surface of the lake. Surrounded by mountains, spectators can feel the reverberations from the fireworks, which create an amazing "4D" experience. The highlight is the grand finale - “Niagara” style fireworks with 2km of cascading sparkles!

4 Aomori Nebuta Fireworks Festival

Aomori Prefecture
07 August annually, 7:15pm~9:00pm
The Aomori Nebuta Festival is famed for its large and colorful handmade floats, hand-painted with historical and mythical figures and creatures. Closing the Aomori Nebuta Festival every year is the Aomori Nebuta Fireworks Festival, which are set off as the year’s award-winning floats are paraded on boats.

5 Sendai Tanabata Fireworks Festival

Miyagi Prefecture
05 August annually, 7:00pm~8:30pm
The Sendai Tanabata Fireworks Festival is held on 05 August every year, the evening before the Sendai Tanabata Festival (06-08 August), Japan's most famous Tanabata (Star Festival)! Enjoy the Tanabata decorations during the day, and the fireworks at night.

6 Akagawa Fireworks Festival

Yamagata Prefecture
15 August 2020, 7:15pm~
Not just a regular fireworks display, the Akagawa Fireworks Festival is also a National Fireworks Design Competition, so you can expect to be mesmerized by the breathtaking and colorful pyrotechnic displays! About 12,000 fireworks light up the sky in one of Tohoku's most highly anticipated fireworks shows.

7 Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition

Ibaraki Prefecture
07 November 2020(first Saturday of November), 6:00pm~8:30pm
Tsuchiura is only 50-min away from Tokyo, so you can easily travel by train. Like the Omagari Fireworks Festival, the Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition is both one of the 「3 Great Fireworks Festivals of Japan」and one of the 「3 Great Fireworks Competitions of Japan」, so you can expect high quality displays from the best teams in Japan.

8 Sumida River Fireworks Festival

25 July 2020 (last Saturday of July), 7:30pm~8:30pm
Located within Tokyo City, this fireworks festival held over the Sumida River is a must-see if you are in the city during the period. There are many viewing spots to enjoy the fireworks displays for free, but be sure to come early as the crowds can reach nearly 1 million!
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Located in northeastern Japan, the Tohoku region comes alive in summer, where people all over the country come to experience the unique natsu matsuri (summer festivals) in the region. For travelers looking for new things to experience in Japan, why not take a trip to check out all the different festivals? They are all held in early August, so if you plan well, you can visit them all!

Summer Festivals

1 Aomori Nebuta Festival

Festival period: 02~07 August annually
The Aomori Nebuta Festival's main attraction is the large and colorful floats, which are hand-painted with historical and mythical figures and creatures. The floats are illuminated from the inside and paraded around the city, and are visited by over 3 million people each year.

2 Hirosaki Neputa Festival

Festival period: 01~07 August annually
Many regions in Aomori Prefecture have their own version of the Nebuta Festival. If you have time, check out the festivities in both Aomori and Hirosaki, and you will see that the types and shapes of the floats are different!

3 Akita Kanto Festival

Festival period: 03~06 August annually
One of the three great festivals of the Tohoku region, the Akita Kanto Festival’s highlight is in the evenings, when you can marvel at the energetic and highly-skilled performers balancing large kanto (bamboo pole lanterns) with all parts of their bodies (forehead, hip, palms, shoulders etc). The kanto can have up to 46 paper lanterns attached, weigh up to 50kg and be up to 12m long!

4 Morioka Sansa Odori

Festival period: 01~04 August annually
The Morioka Sansa Odori Festival holds the Guiness World Record for being the largest taiko drum festival in the world, with over 10,000 dancers and taiko drummers parading through the city, and attracting more than 1.4 million people in crowds each year. Part of the fun is being able to join in the sansa dance; anyone of any age / gender / nationality is welcome to join!

5 Yamagata Hanagasa

Festival period: 05~07 August annually
Held for three nights in summer, the Yamagata Hanagasa Festival is known for its flower hat dance, in which thousands of dancers parade down the city's main street. Everyone is welcome to join in the Hanagasa Circle Dance and participate in the dance!

6 Sendai Tanabata Festival

Festival period: 06~08 August annually
The Sendai Tanabata Festival is one of Japan's largest and most famous tanabata celebrations. Millions of visitors come to see the giant, exquisite, hand-made fukinagashi (streamer) decorations, which are a gorgeous, visual delight!
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Summer Festival Calendar