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Sumida River Fireworks Festival

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2017.07.27 (Thu)

Sumida River Fireworks Festival - Saturday, July 29, 2017

In many countries the biggest fireworks are part of the New Year celebrations, but in Japan fireworks are a traditional part of the summer. Many cities have firework festivals in July and August. The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is one of the major fireworks in Tokyo.

Fireworks are called “hanabi” in Japanese, meaning fire flowers. Imagine bright colorful flowers popping up in the night sky and disappearing after creating a beautiful fleeting moment. This year over 22,0000 fireworks will be launched in a great display of fire flowers over Sumida River.

The history of this summer festival dates back to 1733. Since then fireworks have constantly developed and at Site 1 between Sakura-bashi Bridge and Kototoi-bashi Bridge new creative fireworks will be shown in a contest. More fireworks will be launched from Site 2 further downstream between Komagata-bashi Bridge and Umaya-bashi Bridge.

Bring a blanket to sit on and mark your spot among the crowds - the Sumida River Fireworks usually attracts about a million people. Come early to the area near Asakusa and Kuramae. Some people put down sheets to reserve their spots as early as the day before, just as it is done during sakura time to watch the cherry blossoms. The streets near Sumida River will be closed off before the fireworks to create more place for spectators.

Most Japanese people enjoy snacks and drinks while they watch. Vendors set up “yatai” food stalls in the area for the day selling typical Japanese festival foods like yakisoba noodles, takoyaki, sweet castella cakes, kakigori ice, and of course ice-cold drinks.

The fireworks are also an occasion to dress up in a light “yukata“ summer kimono combined with an “uchiwa“ fan. This is why you can see many shops selling yukata now. Their designs and colors are as cheerful as the fireworks.

Enjoy this fun summer festival!

Sumida River Fireworks Festival (Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai)
Date & Time: Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 19:05 to 20:30

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