Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (Jul. 29, Asakusa Station)
If you only go to one Tokyo fireworks festival, make it the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival in Asakusa (from 7:05-8:30 pm). The origin of this particular festival dates back to 1733, so it’s rich with history, tradition … and intense competition between pyrotechnic companies trying to outdo one another. And what comes with all that is equally intense crowds. Roughly a million people from far and wide come to see the spectacle from just about any vantage point possible—river boats, rooftops or just elbow to elbow in the streets. But don’t let that put you off, the 20,000(!) fireworks lighting up the sky in just about every shape and color imaginable makes up for having to share space! Read our Sumidagawa survival guide for some tips on enjoying the festival without breaking a sweat or wrecking your wallet.
Other Tokyo fireworks festivals to check out
Just because the Sumidagawa Festival is pretty much the mother of Tokyo’s fireworks festivals doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worth attending as well! These other events also draw huge crowds, but perhaps you’d have better luck finding a prime spot for some of them.
1. Adachi Fireworks Festival (Jul. 22, Kita-Senju Station)
Marking its 39th year, the Adachi Fireworks Festival will involve 12,000 rocket-type fireworks blasting off into the night sky. It’ll last for about an hour (7:30-8:30 pm) and will take place along the Arakawa River—specifically, near Nishi-Araibashi Park.
2. Katsushika Fireworks Festival (Jul. 25, Shibamata Station)
Now on its 51st year, this event, also known as the Katsushika Noryo Hanabi, will take place from 7:20-8:20 pm at the Shibamata Baseball Field, about 10 minutes away from Shibamata Station. While it takes place on a weekday night this year, it sill manages to attract quite a crowd, what with its 13,000 fireworks lighting up the sky.
3. Edogawa Fireworks Festival (Aug. 5, Koiwa or Shinozaki Station)
Another one of Tokyo’s older fireworks festivals, the Edogawa Fireworks Festival turns 42 this year. It’s a bit of a walk from either Koiwa Station (25 minutes) or Shinozaki Station (15 minutes) to the venue: the Edogawa riverbank. (Fun fact: from the other side of the river, the one in Chiba Prefecture, is called the Ichikawa City Noryo Fireworks Festival.) About 14,000 fireworks will go off, set to music and grouped according to themes such as Summer Splash and Yellow Rush. This festival takes place from 7:15 pm-8:30 pm. In case of rain, the event will be postponed to the next day.
4. Itabashi Fireworks Festival (Aug. 5, Nishidai, Takashimadaira, or Ukima-Funado Station)
The Itabashi Fireworks Festival is notably longer than the aforementioned events at 1 hour and 30 minutes, from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm. The event area, the south banks of the Itabashi River, is a long walk from these stations (30 minutes, regardless of which you pick). The organizers caution that Ukima-Funado tends to be the most crowded station, and that Takashimadaira is the most convenient. If you don’t want to walk all the way to the event area, you can take a 15-minute bus ride from Narimasu or Tobu-Nerima Stations.
The festival promises 12,000 fireworks, and there’ll even be a photo contest, so make sure to get your best shot of the fireworks! The event is free, but paid reserved seating options are also available.
5. Tamagawa Fireworks Festival (Aug. 19, Futakotamagawa Station)
Another of the popular ones, the Tamagawa Fireworks Festival, now on its 39th year, will be held from 7:00 pm-8:00 pm around the Futakotamagawa area, just above the Tama River. It gets crowded extremely quickly, so stake out a location as early as possible (or you can pay for a reserved seat here if you’ve got the funds). The fireworks will be set off in synchronicity with music, and there will be a photo contest as well. Note the event will be canceled in case of bad weather with no postponement date.
6. Tokyo Bay Fireworks Festival (On hold until after the 2020 Olympics)
Featuring 12,000 fireworks, this event is also one of Tokyo’s best-known fireworks festivals, however it’s been put on hold until after the 2020 Olympics due to development in the area.
If smaller scale events are what you prefer, check these fireworks festivals out:
7. Hachioji Fireworks Festival (Jul. 22, Nishi-Hachioji Station)
This event is a small one, with 3,500 fireworks brightening the Hachioji Shimin Kyujo Ballpark of Fujimori Park, 15 minutes away from Nishi-Hachioji Station, from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm.
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8. Showa Kinen Park Fireworks Festival (Jul. 29, Tachikawa Station)
Taking place at the spacious, beautiful Showa Kinen Park/Showa Memorial Park, this small-scale event takes place from 7:20-8:20 pm, and will feature 5,000 fireworks. While entrance to the park is free from 6:00 pm, entering the park before then will require paying for entrance, but is recommended if you want to stake out a better spot. The organizers estimate that crowds will start to gather at 5:00 pm, so try to arrive earlier than that—maybe you might even have time to stroll around the park if you arrive early enough! The park is great for a picnic, so why not try to enjoy a dinner accompanied by fireworks?
9. Koto Fireworks Festival (Aug. 1, Minami-Sunamachi Station)
From 7:30 pm-8:30 pm, prepare to see about 4,000 fireworks at Sunamachi Mizube Park near the Arakawa River, a 15-minute walk from Minami-Sunamachi Station. Although the event scale is small, expect a crowd of about 35,000 to show up. Fireworks will be canceled in case of rain with no postponement date.
10. Ome City Noryo Fireworks Festival (Aug. 5, Ome Station)
This festival will be held at Nagayama Park, a 10-minute walk from JR Ome Station, from 7:30-8:50 pm, and will feature about 3,200 fireworks.
11. Jingugaien Fireworks Festival (Aug. 20, Sendagaya or Yoyogi Station)
With 12,000 fireworks, this event held at Jingu Stadium will set off the fireworks from 7:30-8:30pm, but there will also be performances from various artists. Although a ticket is required to view the event from the stadium (and the ticket isn’t a cheapo option), you can still see the fireworks for free if you’re around the area. Gaienmae and Aoyama-itchome Station are also close to the venue. The event will take place the next day in case of bad weather.
12. Chofu City Fireworks Festival (Oct. 28, Keio-Tamagawa Station)
So, not a summer festival as it’s taking place in October—however, it’s a good chance to experience a summer festival atmosphere if you’re visiting in the fall. Like the larger Tamagawa Fireworks Festival, this event, which is on its 61st year, will light up the Tama River with 8,000 fireworks from 6:30-7:50 pm.
This post is updated annually. Last update: July 2017.
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|Location(s):||Asakusa, Chofu, Hachioji, Itabashi, Odaiba, Ome, Shibamata, Shinjuku, Tachikawa,|
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