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Top 5 Summer Fireworks Displays in the Outskirts of Osaka

If you visit Japan in the summer, it would be great if you can check out the fireworks displays in the country. Put on a yukata (summer kimono) when you go out to get a feel of a real Japanese summer's day. Here are five recommended fireworks displays in the outskirts of Osaka that you just have to see.


1. PL Art of Fireworks

The PL Art of Fireworks, one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world, is held by the Church of Perfect Liberty (PL) near the Kohkyu Country Club every August 1 to pray for peace among people on Earth. The colorful production of the fireworks display is undoubtedly this festival’s best feature. The fireworks display starts with silver palm-shaped fireworks shooting up to the sky from seven locations, and then overwhelmingly ends with the simultaneous explosion of the Star Mine with about 8,000 shots. Another major feature of this festival is the setting off of a large number of fireworks with a 30cm diameter that is rarely seen among the fireworks in the Kansai region. You surely won’t get tired of all the fireworks that will blast into the sky!
This festival has been established as a summer tradition in Osaka and is extremely popular, so a huge crowd is inevitable. Furthermore, the paid viewing seats that have been set up every year thus far will not be available in 2016, so anticipate more people vying for a place at the popular viewing spots this year then. There are little-known great viewing spots at the top of Mt. Kongo where the fireworks can be seen from a distance, but these are quite far. So, if you want to watch the fireworks up close, then you have to research for a good place to stand before you go there!
Date: August 1 (Mon) (for 2016)
*The fireworks display will be canceled in case of bad weather
Time: 7:55 pm – 8:40 pm

2. Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival

The Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival was kicked off in 1989 as a “homemade fireworks festival” by the local volunteers. It is said to have begun with just about 3,000 fireworks, but has kept on growing over the years to become one of the biggest fireworks displays in Osaka today. Held at the Yodogawa riverbed that stretches from Osaka’s Shin-Midosuji Yodogawa Railroad Bridge up to National Route 2, it has become a tradition in Naniwa in summertime.
Among the fireworks that blast off, this festival is best represented by the underwater fireworks. The image of fireworks blasting on the surface of Yodogawa River against the night sky is such a whimsical sight. The fireworks setting off according to the rhythm of the music also adds to the festive mood. Now, entry into the area surrounding the river may not be allowed depending on the time you come, so it would be best to come early. It’s really a fireworks festival that is so much like Osaka, the city of water.
Date: August 6 (Sat) (for 2016)
*No postponement for rain, but the fireworks display will be canceled in case of bad weather
Time: 7:40 pm – 8:40 pm

2. Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival

3. Biwako Fireworks Festival

Regarded as one of the best fireworks displays in Kansai, the Biwako (Lake Biwa) Fireworks Festival is attended by more than 300,000 guests every year. The main event in this festival, wherein about 10,000 fireworks are shot to the skies, is definitely the Underwater Star Mine. The fireworks that rise from the surface of the lake to form a fan figure and the Wide Star Mine that blasts fireworks with 30cm diameters at a maximum tilt of 30 degrees are just too good to pass up! Here, you will get to see gigantic fireworks over a vast area, which is something you don’t see in the other fireworks displays.
The fireworks shoot off from two locations, one on the shore of Otsu Prince Hotel and off the coast of Otsu Port. It is recommended to watch these fireworks on the Otsu Port side, where they have paid seats available. There, you will be able to see the Underwater Star Mine from a really close distance. This festival is also known for its many traffic regulations in place for the event. So if you want to go by car, make sure to look into the rules before you come.
Date: August 8 (Mon) (for 2016)
*The fireworks display go on in case of minor rain, but will be postponed to August 12 (Fri) in case of bad weather
Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

3. Biwako Fireworks Festival

4. Minato Kobe Marine Fireworks Festival

The port city of Kobe is famous for its ten million-dollar nightscape, and the Minato Kobe Marine Fireworks is set against this magnificent Kobe backdrop. During this festival, the night sky is lit up by Star Mines with about 10,000 shots, 30cm diameter fireworks, and creative fireworks pieces. The fireworks shoot off from the ocean, so you can watch them along the coastline, on the mountain, and on the plateaus, something you can only do in Kobe. They usually offer paid seats, so you might want to try them, too, to get a better view and a relaxing seat to appreciate the fireworks even more. But this festival is popular, so these seats sell out easily each year, so take note of that.
The orchestration of the fireworks against the Kobe Port Tower, a symbol of Kobe, and the port town that has been lit up will surely give you memories you won’t forget!
Date: August 6 (Sat) (for 2016)
Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

4. Minato Kobe Marine Fireworks Festival

5. Tenjin Matsuri Hono Hanabi

Osaka’s Tenjin Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan, dating back more than 1,000 years. Fireworks accompany the climax of this festival, the Funatogyo (a ritual where divine spirits are placed on boats to cross the river). From around 7:00 pm up to 9:00 pm, 4,000 to 5,000 fireworks blast off from two places. On the eastern side of Okawa River, where the Funatogyo is held, the famous spot for watching the fireworks is the viewing stand that is set up at Sakuranomiya Park where sellers set up stalls and crowds gather. Meanwhile, on the western side, the area near Osaka Amenity Park is a popular spot for those who want to watch the fireworks. However, both viewing spots could get quite crowded, so it is recommended to go a little farther to areas near Miyakojimabashi. There, you can relax while admiring the beautiful fireworks.
Tenjin Matsuri and the accompanying Hono Hanabi fireworks are both traditions that best portray Osaka. You have to see them both!
Date: July 25 (Mon)
*The fireworks display will be canceled in case of bad weather
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

There are many fireworks displays held in Japan every year. None of them are ever the same and they each have their own different appeal. So, what are you waiting for? Go find the fireworks display that you like best!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: masuda

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