Photo: Ling Jin

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 on July 27 is 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. on Saturday

Each year, about 1 million spectators congregate on nearby streets, buildings, parks and even the river itself, fighting for the best views of the show.

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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?

Dating all the way back to 1733, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival was originally a way to memorialize those who died in the Kyoho famine the previous year.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 go for the best view

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.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot Travel

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I went once and will never go again. That crowd is a stampede disaster waiting to happen.

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The worst place to see hanabi. Go to Onjuku beach or Sendai tanabata. Much more enjoyable.

I live in Sumida-ku and it's a waste of time. Unless you are on the river itself all you will see are some fireworks over the top of apartment buildings.

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