EP 19: Summer Fireworks in Japan

Fireworks are very popular in Japan, and nearly every one of Tokyo’s 23 wards launches them during the weekends in the summer. Access by car would not be possible for most venues, so most people arrive by train, bike, or foot. 

Maybe I’m crazy, but I like the organized chaos of attending fireworks.


Hundreds of thousands will attend a fireworks display (with some events getting up to a million spectators). As many of them are held on riverbanks, it’s crowded, but manageable.

If you don’t live within walking distance, riding the train is a popular way to get to fireworks.


You can spot the Yukata’s (浴衣 – casual summer kimono) in the crowds. They look like kimono’s, but they’re not so formal, expensive, or heavy.


I don’t know what fireworks are like where you live, but where I’m from in Canada, our shows would maybe last 20-30 minutes. The larger displays in Tokyo can last 1-2 hours. I was blown away to say the least.


It was nice to see that after the fireworks people generally did a decent job of cleaning up after themselves.


What’s fireworks like where you’re from?