One of the most exciting aspects of Japanese summers is the multitude of dazzling fireworks displays to enjoy. Originally, fireworks (花火, ‘Hanabi’) were thought to help ward off evil spirits, but the tradition is still going strong today among tourists and locals alike as a coveted summer pastime.
With hundreds of fireworks festivals erupting across the country throughout July and August, it can be hard to choose which events are the premiere ones to attend! Luckily, especially in the Kansai region, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Check out this list of hanabi festivals around Kansai so you can mark your calendars and plan ahead and beat the crowds for an awesome fireworks season!
Tenjin Matsuri Festival Dedication Fireworks Display
Before the big Tenjin Festival is fully underway find a spot along the Okawa River to enjoy a boat procession and 4,000 fireworks exploding against the night sky!
Where: Around the Okawa River, Kita-ku & Yodogawa-ku, Osaka
When: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 7:30pm -8:50pm
Reference Website (English): http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/events/festivals_events/post_22.html
Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival
This is one of the largest festivals in Osaka and attracts many visitors each year, so be sure to arrive early to get a good seat! It’s a beautiful festival that’s locally run and set up along the scenic Yodo River.
Where: The Yodo River area, Kita-ku & Yodogawa-ku, Osaka
When: Saturday, August 4 , 2018 7:40 p.m. – 8:40 p.m.
Official Website (Japanese): http://www.yodohanabi.com/
Reference Website (English): http://www.nihon-kankou.or.jp.e.wp.hp.transer.com/hanabi/searchDetail.jsp?ken__=hyogo&shi__=27100&id__=F2703
Kobe Port Fireworks Festival
With over 10,000 fireworks exploding into the sky, it’s no wonder this hanabi festival is one of Kansai’s most popular festivals of the summer. If you want to make sure you get a seat with a decent view, you have to arrive early because this event tends to attract thousands of visitors each year!
Where: 5-1-14 Hamabedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture 651-0083
When: Saturday, August 4 , 2018 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Official Website (Japanese): https://kobehanabi.jp/
Reference Website (English): https://japancheapo.com/events/kobe-port-fireworks-festival/
Lake Biwa Fireworks Display
Held in Otsu, just outside of Kyoto, this festival allows you to watch as the fireworks explode over the serene Lake Biwa and illuminate the city beyond.