【Upcoming Festivals in 2022】Top 3 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

【Upcoming Festivals in 2022】Top 3 Fireworks Festivals in Japan
Summer has come again with chirping cicadas and sweltering days, bringing temperatures over 30°C (86°F). While there are many things to enjoy in summer in Japan, from the beach activities to swimming pools and summer festivals, we would like to introduce to you Japan's proudest fireworks display, the "Three Greatest Fireworks Festivals in Japan"!

Introduction


What are the "Three Greatest Fireworks Festivals in Japan"?


There are various theories about the Three Great Fireworks Festivals in Japan, but they generally refer to the fireworks displays held at the National Fireworks Competition “Omagari Hanabi” in Daisen City, Akita Prefecture; the Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition in Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture; and the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.

1. Omagari Fireworks Festival(Akita Prefecture)


Omagari Fireworks Festival(Akita)

  ▲Omagari Fireworks Festival(Akita)/ Image courtesy of PIXTA 


The Omagari Fireworks Festival is usually held in the Omagari area of Daisen City, Akita Prefecture, and attracts about 700,000 spectators. Every year, about 18,000 fireworks are launched. The competition is divided into 3 categories: "Daytime Fireworks", "The No. 10 ball (Shaku-yama)", and "Creative Fireworks". The Prime Minister's Prize is awarded to the pyrotechnicians who create the most outstanding fireworks after complex judging in the daytime and nighttime categories. Omagari fireworks are held once in the spring, summer, fall, and winter, and you can enjoy the "fireworks of the four seasons," but the summer one is the core of Omagari fireworks.

Omagari Fireworks Festival(Akita)

  ▲Omagari Fireworks Festival(Akita)/ Image courtesy of PIXTA 


It has a long history, starting from the first fireworks display in 1910 as an entertainment for the Suwa Shrine Festival, and today it has become a fireworks competition with a 100-year history.

Check this out! ~Omagari Daytime Fireworks~
Omagari Daytime Fireworks Omagari Daytime Fireworks

▲Omagari Daytime Fireworks / Image courtesy of PIXTA


The noon fireworks competition is held only in Omagari. This competition is performed with Yakuryu (smoke) and Wari-mono (broken pieces) styles. Unlike night fireworks, daytime fireworks use colored smoke (red, yellow, blue, green, purple, etc.) to create colorful patterns of peonies and chrysanthemums in the sky.

■Omagari Fireworks 2022 Information
Date & Time:Saturday, August 27, 2022 Daytime fireworks from 5:15 p.m. / Nighttime fireworks from 6:50 p.m. * Usually held on the last Saturday in August.
Location:Omono Riverside Ryokuchi Athletic Park
Access:30 minutes walk from JR Omagari Station 
Public transportation is not available around the fireworks site due to traffic restrictions.
Seats:Available for charge
Official website: "Omagari Fireworks" Executive Committee Secretariat


2. Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki Prefecture)


Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki)

  ▲Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki)/ Image courtesy of PIXTA 


The Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition is usually held in Sanoko, Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, and attracts about 750,000 spectators. About 20,000 fireworks are shot off, and they are launched for about two and a half hours. The competition is divided into three categories: "Starmine", "No. 10 Ball", and "Creative Fireworks". The Prime Minister's Prize is awarded to the winner of the "10" category. The Prime Minister's Prize is only awarded at the Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition and Omagari Fireworks, so it is considered a great honor for the pyrotechnicians.

Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition

  ▲Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki)/ Image courtesy of PIXTA 


The Tsuchiura National Fireworks Festival began in 1925. The late Master Umemine Akimoto, the chief priest of Shinryuji Temple, held the event to restore the shopping district, which had lost its vitality due to the worsening economic situation after the Great Kanto Earthquake, and to commemorate those martyred by the Kasumigaura Naval Air Squadron. The event was later canceled due to World War II, but has continued to the present day.

Check this out! ~Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Starmine)~
Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki)Starmine Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition(Ibaraki)Starmine

▲Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition / Image courtesy of PIXTA


Starmine is a series of fireworks shot in rapid succession, and the Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition is said to be the competition to determine the "best Starmine in Japan". Since each pyrotechnist brings their best to the Starmine, you can see a rare competition.

■Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition 2022 Information
Date & Time:November 5, 2022 (Saturday) * Usually held on the first Saturday in November
Location:SANOKO, Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Access:40 min. walk from JR Tsuchiura Station *Shuttle bus service will be provided.
Seats:Available for charge
Official website: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition Executive Committee Secretariat

3. Nagaoka Fireworks Festival(Niigata Prefecture)


Nagaoka Fireworks Festival(Niigata)

  ▲Nagaoka Fireworks Festival(Niigata)/ Image courtesy of PIXTA 


The Nagaoka Fireworks Festival is held at Chousei Bridge in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, and is the only one of the three major fireworks festivals in Japan that is not a competition. The number of spectators is about 1 million over the two days, and the number of fireworks shot off over the two days is about 20,000. The Nagaoka Fireworks Festival has a long history, dating back to the Nagaoka Reconstruction Festival held on August 1, 1945, as a memorial service for those who lost their lives in the Nagaoka air raid and to pray for the reconstruction of Nagaoka. For this reason, the date of the fireworks display is usually fixed to August 2 and 3 every year.

Nagaoka Fireworks Festival

  ▲Nagaoka Fireworks Festival"s symbol "Regular three-size ball" / Image courtesy of PIXTA 


The symbol of the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival is the "Regular three-size ball," a huge blooming ball with a diameter of 650 meters! The most astonishing thing about the fireworks is the sheer scale. It is the largest firework among the three major firework festivals in Japan.

Check this out! ~Nagaoka Fireworks Festival "Phoenix"~
Nagaoka Fireworks Festival Phoenix Nagaoka Fireworks Festival Phoenix

▲Nagaoka Fireworks Festival "Phoenix" / Image courtesy of PIXTA


"Phoenix Fireworks" is 2 km long and lasts 5 minutes. This firework was launched to pray for the rebuilding of Niigata after the Great Chuetsu Earthquake.

■Nagaoka Fireworks Festival 2022 Information
Date & Time:August 2 (Tue) - 3 (Wed), 2022 * Usually held on August 2 and 3
Location:Shinano riverbed downstream of Chosei Bridge, Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture
Access:30 min. walk from JR Nagaoka Station
Seats:Available for charge
Official website: Nagaoka Fireworks Foundation


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Conclusion

What do you think? The scale of the displays is very large and the fireworks are very impressive. We hope you could learn the characteristics of each fireworks display. It is very exciting to see fireworks in the sky. We also hope you will find this information useful and will enjoy fireworks to the fullest.


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