The Nagaoka Festival Fireworks as experienced by a Taiwanese living in Japan!

The Nagaoka Festival Fireworks as experienced by a Taiwanese living in Japan!
The summer tradition in Japan is to go to see fireworks and festivals wearing a yukata (traditional Japanese summer clothes)

Among these are the 3 biggest fireworks festivals in Japan.


Omagari National Fireworks Competition (Daisen city, Akita prefecture)


Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition (Tsuchiura city, Ibaraki prefecture)


Nagaoka Festival Fireworks (Nagaoka city, Niigata prefecture)

The Nagaoka Festival Fireworks will be introduced this time. Compared to the other two, this is not a "competition" and it is an event that depicts the recovery from the Nagaoka air raid and natural disasters like the big quake in Niigata.
The Nagaoka Festival Fireworks commemorates the victims of the Nagaoka air raid made by the US army on 1st August, 1945 during WWII. During that time, 80% of the town became a wasteland and 1,486 people died.

The festival before the Nagaoka Festival Fireworks, the "Nagaoka Recovery Festival", was held a year after the air raid to commemorate recovering from the horror of the attack. It comforts and motivates the people of Nagaoka to stay strong and determined while their town continues to recover.

The first fireworks festival was made possible with the money from the people and there were 350 fireworks launched. Currently the amount launched is 20,000. (total for 2 days)

When I joined two years ago, there were 960,000 people, but it was 1,040,000 this year based on the count made by the organizers. The spectators continue to increase every year and the number of paid seats also increased. It was initially a memorial festival for the people of Nagaoka, but it is now a popular fireworks festival in the entire country.

Next, I want to share my own experience.
Japan Travel Fireworks
I went to the Nagaoka fireworks festival for two consecutive years. I was able to get free seats for the two years. (Riverbed seats)
About 3 hours and 40 minutes from Tokyo to JR line's Nagaoka station via car
About 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo via bullet train (Joetsu Shinkansen)
Venue Information:
The place is at the Chosei bridge downstream from the Shinano riverbed and the two famous items in this event are the Shosan-shakudama (large cascading ball firework) and the large phoenix called the "Recovery Prayer Fireworks Phoenix".
In fact, Nagaoka was the pioneer of the Shosan-shakudama firework. I got seats near the Chosei bridge during my first year. The good thing about this is that there a lot of flowers blooming and the fireworks fall like willows. If you want to see the Shosan-shakudama fireworks, then I recommend the left side of the riverbed area of the Chosei bridge.
(First year venue photographs)
Japan Festival Fireworks
Japan Festival Fireworks
Japan Travel Fireworks
This is a 2 year old photo of the Shosan-shakudama fireworks. It is a bit away from the viewing area so it does not have a big impact.

For 2 years I wanted to see the phoenix fireworks, so I got a seat by the riverbed near the bridge. The phoenix looks like something you would see at an IMAX movie theater and the music matches the firework. When the firework was launched, I was so moved I cried.
Japan Festival Travel
Japan Festival Travel
Japan Festival Travel
Japan Festival Fireworks
Japan Festival Fireworks
Japan Festival Fireworks
Plus, I will introduce you to the paid seats. It is 3,000 JPY for adults. This is the selection process.
I've had free seats for the past 2 years, but since there aren't high buildings nearby even if you have a free seat you can still see the fireworks very well.

Going back, on the way home my taxi driver told me "as soon as the fireworks end hotels already start taking reservations for next year".

During the first year, we thought that it would not be so difficult to make a reservation at a hotel near the Nagaoka Fireworks. When I started looking for a hotel from the 1st of the month, I was not able to find one and I had to finally settle with a hotel at the back of the mountains about 1 hour away by car..... It is better to book the hotel at least 3 months in advance.

Next is the gourmet information that is only known by the local people.

◎ Maple Round

The taste of the maple flavor spreads through your mouth as soon as you bite into the roll. I think that 1 person can eat 1 roll (LOL). Plus, chocolate rounds were also being sold.
Japan Festival Fireworks
(Wheat workshop Brooklyn)

Finally, I was impressed from joining the festival for 2 consecutive years. After the event was done, there was not a single piece of garbage to be found. My Japanese friend was also very impressed. I think this is the thing that can only be done and experienced in Japan.

So are you going to the fireworks festivals in Japan next summer? There are those that are not that far from the city, but with the high buildings of places like Tokyo, I think it is not possible to hold a big event like this in Tokyo, So plan early and let's have a look at the charm of the Japanese fireworks craftsmen.

Born in Taiwan. A gluttonous 30 year old OL (Office Lady). I was addicted to idols during senior high school and got interested in Japan. I love Japan with its mixture of new and traditional cultures.

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