Sumida River Fireworks Festival
Epic fireworks with equally as epic crowds. ?
Breathtaking fireworks are synonymous with summer in Japan, but the Sumida River Fireworks Festival has the biggest, most spectacular of them all. This stunning pyrotechnic display of legendary proportions sees over 20,000 fireworks launched in 90 minutes!
Make sure you arrive early, and by early we mean before 5 p.m.
Over 1 million spectators congregate on nearby streets, buildings, parks and even the river itself, fighting for the best views of the show.
The festival takes place annually from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of July and is generally a maelstrom of shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. What do you expect of the most popular fireworks display in the country?
Which fireworks festival is better?
An intense competition soon developed between two rival fireworks manufacturers, each trying to outdo the other with their displays. This tradition continues today.
Where to spectate
You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to watching the explosive display, which is set off from two locations — one near the Taito Riverside Sports Center and another near Komagata Bridge.
The roads around the area are closed off in the evening and are lined with food and drink stalls (and toilets) catering to festival-goers. Check this map of the area (in Japanese only) from the Sumida River website for a lay of the land.
Another option is to join the queue to walk across one of the bridges during the display. The views from here will be unbeatable, however, you’ll only have about five minutes to enjoy them.
To make the most of the festival, try watching from Tokyo Skytree or taking a riverboat that will take you right into the heart of the action. Advance tickets are required though, and have a hefty price tag with boat rides ranging from ¥15,000 to ¥40,000!
You could also try getting reservations at a restaurant, hotel or rooftop terrace event in the area – but good luck if you haven’t made a reservation months in advance. Still, being that this is the best fireworks display in Tokyo, it’s definitely worth a go at least once.
Not a big fan of crowds, but don’t want to miss out on the summer fireworks fun? Check out these not-so-crowded fireworks festivals!