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Easily Accessible from Tokyo! 5 Recommended Fireworks Shows and Festivals in Kanto

It's easy to explore Kanto from Tokyo, and each area within the region has its own peculiarities and culture. Here are five recommended fireworks shows and festivals to check out in the summer!

1. Kounosu Fireworks Festival

This is a popular fireworks show that holds the Guinness record for the biggest firework ever ignited. The firework show is held over the Arakawa, Japan's widest river (2,537m), and uses that to their advantage for a dynamic show. More than 15,000 fireworks light up the night sky. The final firework is a starmine called "the boisterous dance of the phoenix," and it is a must see. For this special set, the number of fireworks (at least 30cm in diameter) shot within one minutes is recognized as Japan's greatest, and the sight is just splendid.

Will be held on Saturday, October 7th, 2017

1. Kounosu Fireworks Festival

141 Imaizumi, Yoshimi-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama

2. Atami Sea Fireworks Festival

This fireworks festival is known for when it(s held. It's a rare fireworks show that's held monthly between January and December, so you can enjoy fireworks in every season. The show is held in Atami Bay, in a basin-shaped area surrounded by mountains on three sides. You can experience the reverberating sound as though you were inside a stadium. The impressive finale is the Mid-Air Niagara. Consecutive fireworks go off for minutes on end to paint the sky in silver, and it's so bright that it makes the sky look like it's midday.

Dates for 2017 (starting with summer):
Summer: Sunday, July 23; Friday, July 28; Saturday, August 5; Tuesday, August 8; Friday, August 18; Sunday, August 20; Thursday, August 24
Fall: Monday, September 18; Monday, October 9; Sunday, November 12
Winter: Sunday, December 10; Sunday, December 17

2. Atami Sea Fireworks Festival

Higashi-Kaigan-cho, Atami-shi, Shizuoka

3. Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival

The Tanabata Festival is a tradition handed down from China, and each region within Japan has its own unique festival traditions. At the Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Matsuri, the entire town from the center of Hiratsuka is colorfully decorated. There are huge decorations of over 10m as well as decorations modeled after popular characters, and many of the decorations are modeled after the popular trends of the year. There are also plenty of booths featuring local cuisine set up.

Will be held between Friday, July 7th, and Sunday, July 9th, 2017

3. Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival

Beniya-cho, Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa

4. Sawara no Taisai Summer Festival

This is a 300 year old religious festival at Yasaka Shrine. It's one of the 3 Major Kanto Dashi Festivals, designated as a UNESCO intangible cultural property. "Dashi" are decorated floats. During religious festivals, usually these dashi are pulled through the streets by a large number of people. In the Sawara area, the two-story floats are made with zelkova wood and have deep carvings. On the bottom level is where traditional Japanese musicians called "hayashikata" ride, and on the top level is a huge figurine of about 4m tall! You can enjoy the sight of the float traveling through the streets with its own traditional music reverberating through the air.

Will be held between Friday, July 14th, and Sunday, July 16th, in 2017

4. Sawara no Taisai Summer Festival

Sawara Honshuku-chiku, Katori-shi, Chiba

5. Oyama Summer Festival

This is a popular festival that's reaching its 64th year in 2017. On the first day, they hold opening events. Local groups perform live dance and concerts, and many booths offering different types of local food and drinks are set out. Around the evening, they parade around a portable shrine called a mikoshi. On the second day, they hold fireworks on the Omoi River riverside. Around 21,000 fireworks are ignited, ending in a huge finale decorating the sky.

Will be held on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30, 2017

5. Oyama Summer Festival

Oyama, Oyama-shi, Tochigi

You will be welcomed by many other interesting events, so why not reach out surrounding areas while you are staying in Tokyo?

*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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