Many of Tokyo’s summer fireworks festivals have yet to make a comeback despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to do without the classic summer tradition this year. Just make your way to the nearby hot spring town of Atami in Shizuoka prefecture. The coastal resort is widely known for its massive fireworks shows, and there will be six happening over these two months. What’s more, Atami is only a 36-minute shinkansen ride away from Shinagawa Station, making it an ideal weekend getaway.
Atami’s fireworks festivals are scheduled for July 29 as well as August 5, 8, 18, 21 and 26, from 8.20pm to 8.45pm. The hanabi (fireworks) are launched from Atami Bay, so you’ll get the best views along the coastline between Sun Beach and Atami Port.
Being partially surrounded by mountains, Atami Bay’s mortar-like terrain helps create an acoustic effect similar to that of a large stadium. The reverberations of the fireworks’ explosion will sound amplified. For that reason, Atami is known as one of the best locations for hanabi in Japan.
The fireworks’ reflections on the water’s surface also make for a memorable sight. And you’d want to stay till the end for the grand finale Niagara Falls in the Sky, where a torrent of fireworks are launched simultaneously.
Atami’s fireworks festival dates back to 1952. It was first held in honour of the reconstruction efforts by the local residents after a typhoon washed away 140 houses in 1949 and a large fire destroyed 979 buildings in 1950.
Don’t feel sad if you can’t make it to any of the six summer shows. Atami’s fireworks are held more than ten times a year, so you can still catch the autumn shows on September 19, November 5 as well as December 4 and 18, between 8.20pm and 8.40pm. You can even watch the summer fireworks live on Instagram.
For more information, see the event website (in Japanese only).
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