The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is an annual event held in Tokyo, Japan. It is considered the oldest fireworks festival on record, with a history dating back to 1733. The festival is held in two separate locations along the Sumida River, with each location offering a unique viewing experience.
During the festival, over 20,000 fireworks are launched into the night sky, creating a breathtaking display of light and color. The festival attracts millions of visitors each year, making it one of the largest and most famous fireworks festivals in Tokyo. If you’re planning to attend the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you have the best possible experience.
- Starts at 7 pm
- There are many viewing spots along the Sumida River
- Food and drinks are available at the festival
- Public transportation is the best way to get to the festival
- Can be crowded, so be prepared to navigate large crowds and potentially long lines.
History of the Sumida River Fireworks Festival
The festival’s history dates back to 1733, when the 8th shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, launched the Ryogoku Kawaki-no-Kiraki Fireworks to pray for the end of a famine and to ward off evil spirits.
Although the event has been suspended on occasions over the years, it has been held annually since 1978. Today, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival attracts over a million spectators every year.
The festival has a long history of intense competition, with pyrotechnic companies trying to outdo one another with their displays. The fireworks are launched from barges anchored along the Sumida River between Ryogoku and Asakusa.
In addition to the traditional fireworks display, the festival also includes food stalls, live music, and other entertainment. The festival is a celebration of summer and a reminder of the history and culture of Tokyo.
Location and Time of the Sumida River Fireworks Festival
The festival is usually held on the last Saturday of July, but the exact date can vary from year to year, so be sure to check the official schedule before making your plans. The fireworks display typically starts at 7:00 PM and lasts for about an hour and a half, so you’ll want to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.
The festival is held in two main locations: the area near Asakusa and Mukojima. The Asakusa location is closer to the city center and is easy to get to. The Mukojima location is further east and is less crowded, making it a good choice if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Both locations offer great views of the fireworks, but if you want to avoid the crowds, you can also watch the display from a boat on the Sumida River. companies offer fireworks cruises during the festival, so you can enjoy the show while sipping on a cold drink and taking in the sights and sounds of Tokyo at night.
Note that the Sumida River Fireworks Festival is a popular event, so you’ll want to plan and arrive early to avoid crowds.
What to Expect at the Sumida River Fireworks Festival
You can expect a spectacular fireworks display at the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. The festival is known for its innovative firework displays that light up the sky over the Sumida River. The fireworks are launched from two separate locations on the river, and the entire display lasts for about an hour. Be prepared to be amazed by the beautiful colors and patterns of the fireworks.
Food and Drink
The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is also a great opportunity to indulge in some delicious Japanese street food. You’ll find a wide variety of food stalls selling everything from yakitori to hot dogs. You can also buy drinks from the stalls, including beer and sake. But be prepared to stand in line for some of the more popular food stalls, but the wait is worth it!
In addition to the fireworks display and food stalls, there is also plenty of entertainment at the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. You’ll find musicians and dancers performing on stages throughout the festival area. There are also carnival games and other activities for children. The festival is a great place to soak up the festive atmosphere and enjoy the company of friends and family. Overall, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival is an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.
Tips for Enjoying the Sumida River Fireworks Festival
To get the best spot for viewing the fireworks, you should arrive early. The festival is very popular, and it can get crowded quickly. If you arrive early, you can secure a good spot. You can also enjoy the pre-fireworks entertainment, such as live music and food stalls.
Wear A Yukata
Wearing a yukata, a traditional Japanese summer garment is a great way to immerse yourself in the festival’s atmosphere. Many locals wear yukata to the festival, and you can rent or buy one at shops around the city. Wearing a yukata will also keep you cool and comfortable in the summer heat.
Bring a Picnic Blanket
Since the festival takes place by the river, it’s a good idea to bring a picnic blanket to sit on. You can relax and enjoy the fireworks while sitting on the blanket. You can also bring food and drinks to enjoy during the festival.
Many food stalls and vendors at the festival only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to bring some with you. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs around the festival area. However, ATMs can be crowded during the festival, so it’s best to bring cash with you.
When is the Sumida River Fireworks Festival?
The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is usually held on the last Saturday in July. However, the date may change due to weather conditions or other factors, so it’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.
Where is the Sumida River Fireworks Festival held?
The Sumida River Fireworks Festival is held along the banks of the Sumida River, which runs through the heart of Tokyo. The best spots to view the fireworks are from the riverside parks or from boats on the river.
What time does the Sumida River Fireworks Festival start?
The fireworks display usually starts around 7:00 pm and lasts for about an hour and a half. However, it’s best to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot and to avoid the crowds.
Is there an admission fee for the Sumida River Fireworks Festival?
No, there is no admission fee for the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. However, you may need to pay for transportation, food, and drinks.
Can I bring food and drinks to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival?
Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. However, be aware that there are restrictions on alcohol and glass bottles in certain areas.
Getting to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival
The easiest way to get to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival is by train. The closest station is Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, and Tobu Skytree Line. From Asakusa Station, it’s about a 15-minute walk to the festival site.
Another option is to take the JR Yamanote Line or Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ueno Station and transfer to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Asakusa Station.
If you prefer to take the bus, there are bus routes that go to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival. From Tokyo Station, take the Toei bus to Asakusa Station. From Shinjuku Station, take the Toei bus to Asakusa Station or the Keisei bus to Tokyo Skytree Station.
It’s not recommended to drive to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival as roads in the area will be closed and parking will be limited. If you do decide to drive, be aware that traffic will be heavy and it may be difficult to find a parking spot.
There are paid parking lots near the festival site, but they tend to fill up quickly. It’s recommended to arrive early if you plan on driving.
The Sum Up
Overall, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival is a must-see event for anyone visiting Tokyo in late July. It offers a unique cultural experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. So wack on your yukata, pack your bento box and beer, and head on down to the Sumida River for an unforgettable evening of fireworks and fun!