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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogJapanese Fireworks: Unlimited Summer Fun!

Japanese Fireworks: Unlimited Summer Fun!

Thalia HarrisThalia Harris
Published Time
Posted on 
February 07, 2024
A Japanese fireworks festival near Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo.

Japanese fireworks festivals are just one of the many events you can enjoy during the summer! From amazing food to mindblowing displays, here are all the events you can do when the weather gets warm!

What is a “hanabi matsuri”?

A hanabi matsuri is a traditional Japanese fireworks festival, with “hanabi” meaning fireworks in Japanese. These festivals have a long history in Japan and are an integral part of the country’s summers. The festivals take place in July and August during the summer holidays. Major shows draw hundreds of thousands of spectators. Japanese fireworks come in various forms.

A Japanese fireworks festival near a shrine.
There are even fireworks festivals in the city! Image via Shutterstock

There are traditional displays and innovative designs. The unique designs include starmines, Niagara sparklers, fireworks shaped like hearts, smiley faces, and characters from anime. Some famous hanabi matsuri in Japan are Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, Omagari Fireworks Competition, and Tsuchiura Fireworks Competition.

How can I enjoy a Japanese fireworks festival?

A fireworks show.
Make sure to go to a fireworks festival early! Image via Shutterstock

In Japan, people love to watch fireworks festivals while sitting on the riverbank with friends, family, and loved ones. It’s best to arrive early to get a good spot and consider smaller towns for a less crowded experience. Some festivals offer paid seating or designated viewing areas for a more comfortable experience. To avoid the crowds, it’s essential to check the dates and locations in advance.

What should I wear at a summer festival?

At a summer festival in Japan, wearing traditional clothing can enhance the experience and help you blend in with the festive atmosphere! Two popular choices for festival attire are the yukata and the happi. The yukata is a casual, lightweight kimono typically worn in the summer and is suitable for both men and women. People often wear it with a sash (obi) and geta sandals. 

Women dancing in red robes at a festival.
August is full of festival fun! Image via Shutterstock

On the other hand, the happi is a loose, airy jacket adorned with symbols on the sleeves and back, often worn by festival teams or individuals associated with the event. These traditional garments contribute to Japanese summer festivals’ colorful and vibrant ambiance. Additionally, accessories such as a uchiwa fan and a Japanese hair accessory can complement the traditional look and add to the festive spirit!

Are you looking for some amazing snacks this summer? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers the best Japanese snacks, drinks, sweets, and noodles straight from Japan to your door so that you can have a fun summer party at home!

Which festivals should I check out in August?

August in Japan is a vibrant month with many festivals and events. Some notable ones include the Kyoto Gozan Okuribi, which features the lighting of five bonfires atop mountains on August 16th. The Sendai Tanabata Festival is known for its colorful decorations and traditional performances, celebrated from August 6th to 8th.

Japanese women dancing at a festival.
Summer festival wear is very light and colorful! Image via Shutterstock

Comiket is also important for manga, anime, and gaming fans. The event is held at Tokyo Big Sight and attracts a large international crowd. It offers diverse experiences, from traditional cultural celebrations to modern pop culture events, providing something for everyone to enjoy during the lively month of August in Japan.

What are some popular festival treats during the summer?

Some popular festival treats to enjoy in Japan include choco banana, takoyaki, and kakigori. Choco banana is a delightful snack featuring a banana on a stick, dipped in chocolate, and often coated with colorful sprinkles or nuts. It’s a sweet and indulgent treat commonly found at Japanese festivals. 

A bunch of choco banana.
Choco banana is a popular festival treat! Image via Shutterstock

On the other hand, takoyaki are savory octopus balls made of a wheat flour-based batter, cooked in a special molded pan, and typically served with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and seaweed. These flavorful and comforting snacks are a must-try at any festival. 

Lastly, kakigori is a refreshing Japanese shaved ice dessert sweetened with various flavored syrups, similar to snow cones. It’s a perfect way to cool down during the summer festivals while enjoying the burst of fruity flavors. These festival treats offer a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors, adding to the festive experience in Japan!

What summer flavors do people enjoy?

In Japan, summer flavors are popular and enjoyed during the warm months. Some of these include salt lemon, mint chocolate chip, and ramune. Salt lemon is a refreshing and tangy flavor often used in various summer treats and beverages to combat the heat. 

A glass of fruit jelly.
Summer flavors range from fruit to choco mint! Image via Shutterstock

Although not traditionally Japanese, Mint chocolate chip has become a popular flavor for ice cream and other desserts during the summer. Ramune, a well-known Japanese soda, is a favorite summer drink with its unique and refreshing taste. 

These flavors are sought after for their ability to provide a cooling and enjoyable experience during the hot summer days, making them a quintessential part of the Japanese summer culinary scene.

Why should I check out Japanese fireworks this summer?

You should check out Japanese fireworks this summer for an unforgettable experience deeply rooted in Japanese culture. The festivals offer a vibrant and festive atmosphere, with families, couples, and groups of friends gathering to enjoy the spectacular displays.

Whether it’s the cultural significance, the breathtaking fireworks, or the lively festival atmosphere, Japanese fireworks festivals are a unique and enchanting experience that should not be missed during the summer months. Have you ever experienced Japanese fireworks before? Let us know in the comments below!

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Thalia Harris

Writer living in Tokyo who likes stories, music and video games. <3

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