The Fire Flowers in the Capital

Uji fireworks festival


people watch the fireworks

Adored by All

Hanabi, or "fire flowers," exploding in the sky, reflecting in the nighttime waters, under the gaze of a packed crowd. Summer fireworks are an institution in Japan.

This is a typical summer evening in Japan. Onlookers gather along a waterfront, leaving their picknick tables and toasts for the sun-filled afternoon.

When night falls, so begins the choreography of shapes and colors to the sounds of exclamations from the crowd; the Japanese adore the dazzling spectacle of fireworks and its pyrotechnic prowess.

Hanabi and Hanami 

It's worth mentioning that Japanese fireworks are among the most spectacular in the world, combining the power and height of fire, alternating "fire flowers" (the literal translation of hanabi, the Japanese word for fireworks) in the forms of peonies, willows,  and chrysanthemums-- the symbol of the imperial throne--offering bright colors reminiscent of the saturated makeup of kabuki theater.
The rhythmic explosions are a real feat, and hold tens of thousands of spectators spellbound for their hour-long show.

Attending a hanabi in Japan is as essential a view as the cherry blossoms in spring (hanami), and an event that is both attractive and friendly.

Take this opportunity to experience popular Japanese culture and the family-friendly atmosphere that characterizes summer festivals, or matsuri: laughter all around, yatai (food stands) serving local specialties, beer flowing freely, all as the water reflects the color explosions.

small fireworks

Festival fireworks of Lake Biwa



Explore Fireworks in Kyoto

There are hundreds of Japanese fireworks displays during the summer, the most famous in Tokyo and Miyajima.

However, all cities around Japan compete to prepare a hanabi display more technically dificult and more magnificant than the last (see our Top 5 in Japan guide).

In Kyoto city, the former imperial capital does not hold any hanabi events in order to avoid fire hazards, but its neighboring towns and cities and full of them:

August 7th: the Festival of Peace in Kameoka city

August 8th: along Lake Biwa, the Biwako Dai Hanabi Taikai

August 10th: on the banks of the Uji River, Hanabi Taikai on the Uji-gawa.

August 14th: Yagi, the Yagi Nantan-shi Hanabi



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