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Welcome to Japan!

Hanabi fire work

Reference: Itabashi City Office

Hanabi fire work is an essential summer transition of Japan.

The large fire flowers in the night sky make people forte the heat of summer and unite the hearts of those people.

Fireworks festivals of all sizes are held throughout Japan, mainly from summer to autumn.

Fireworks are also displayed at New Year’s and other festivals around the world, but here we introduce some of Japan’s unique and exquisite fireworks and major fireworks festivals.

History of Hanabi

History of Hanabi has begun with the introduction of gunpowder as a raw material.

Although there are various theories as to the date, gunpowder was invented in China in the B.C. period and introduced to Japan from Europe in the 16th century during the Warring States period.

However, these were mostly used for military purposes such as firearms and wolf smoke at that time, and fireworks for fun and viewing began in the Edo era in the 17th century.

Hanabi got popular among the public, but the frequent occurrence of fires in the city let to the banning of fireworks in the city, and as a result, fireworks became to be mainly held along riversides, lakeshores, and beaches.

Its sophistication and design have evolved to nowadays, and it is even advanced including computer-controlled staging.

Reference: National Diet Library. Japan.
Reference: Edogawa City “Edogawa city fireworks festival”

Types of Hanabi

There are many types of fireworks, but here are some of the most popular types.

Kiku (Chrysanthemum flower)

Typical of Wari-mono, which gunpowder is ejected from the center of the firework ball into the surrounding area in a round shape. This is the most popular type which looks like a blooming flower in the night sky.

Reference: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition.  

Yanagi (Weeping willow)

It is a representative of Poka-mono, in which a firework ball splits in two above the sky and emits gunpowder of parts in a staggered manner.

The graceful appearance of glowing line falling after the gunpowder is ejected is loved.

Reference: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition.


This is a representative of Han-Wari-mono which is many smaller fireworks opens with spreading after a big firework ball crack in the sky

Reference: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition.


This is the most gorgeous firework in recent years, but this is not the type of Hanabi, but the style of launching. It is the state of continuous shotting, and it colors the entire night sky like a large painting.

Reference: Edogawa city “Edogawa city fireworks festival”

How big Hanabi is?

Hanabi firework ball is often used up to Size 5th (outer diameter is 15 cm and appx. 1kg.), but one more than Size 10th can be integrated more than two fireworks with outer diameter of 30 cm.

Firework ball more than Size 30th weighs over 200 kgs., and is prepared with use of heavy equipment.

The largest Japanese firework ball is Size 40th with the diameter of 114 cm and weight of 420kgs.

In the sky, Size 10th will be spread as large as diameter of 280m, and Size 40th will be 750m.

When Size 40th is launched, it looks wrapping the entire Hanabi festival area.

Reference: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition.

Hanabi fireworks festivals in Japan

We here introduce some of large Hanabi fireworks festivals in Japan.

*Popular festivals might have ticketing system. Please check the necessity of reservation or ticket for each festival.

Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition (Tsuchiura-city, Ibaragi) Early of November.

This is a festival with long history since 1925, and it is competition for fireworks-makers throughout Japan. Starmines, large-sized fireworks, and new designs are shown there. Especially its famous “Wide starmine” is must-see.

It is about an hour’s access from Tokyo, Ueno station by express trains.

Reference: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition.

Edogawa city fireworks festival (Edogawa-city, Tokyo)Early of August

This is popular due to easy access. Besides, we can have seats on boats in river which are provided by Edogawa-city, and tour agents provide helicopter tour to watch this festival.

Reference: Edogawa city “Edogawa city fireworks festival”

Nagaoka fireworks festival (Nagaoka-city, Niigata) Early of August

It is popular with great-sized fireworks along the Shinano river, the longest river of Japan. The origin of Nagaoka Fireworks Festival is the festival for Restoration from War Devastation for citizens to focus their thoughts on reconstruction was held on August 1st ,1946 in same day of the after bombs was dropped. Now that Festival later renamed the Nagaoka Festival, our hopes for peace are still being continued even now.

Reference: Nagaoka fireworks festival

Hanabi fireworks are waiting for you.

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