Summer in Japan: The 3 best firework festivals that are not to be missed

Feeling festive this season? You’re not the only one. With its warm weather and many festivals, summer is one of the best times to visit Japan. From amazing fireworks and mass folk dancing to live music and bustling street parties, there is so much to do, see and experience.

If you find yourself in Japan during the hot and humid months, attending a matsuri (festival) is a must. Held across cities and towns between July and August, these big, fun-filled occasions are simply unforgettable. Resident shrine gods ride on portable shrines atop locals’ shoulders, rhythmic shouts and music pulsate the streets and beer and sake flow generously. 

But with so many festivals, it can be overwhelming working out which ones to attend. Don’t worry. We’re here to help with the best 3 firework festivals in Japan this summer. Here goes…

  • Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (2nd & 3rd August 2022)

  • Set against a picturesque backdrop of the Shinano River, the longest river in Japan, the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival sets off a truly impressive sequence of vibrant fireworks into the summer night’s sky. A highlight is the jaw-droppingly impressive Shosanjakudama, a 650-metre long masterpiece that evokes images of Niagara Falls. Nagaoka is also the home place of one of Velarof’s key team members, making the festival all the more meaningful to our brand.

  • Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival (Saturday 27th August 2022)

  • Taking place on the banks of the Yodo River, the Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival was launched in 1989 by a group of local volunteers. Today, it’s one of the biggest festivals in the area, with around 500,000 people from far and wide gathering on the riverbanks with their picnics for the best views of the spectacular ‘handmade fireworks’ display. Lasting 50 minutes, the show features every firework from Hello Kitty to magnificent waterfall effects. 

  • Kawagoe Fireworks Festival (Saturday 20th August 2022)

  • Returning after a two-year hiatus as a result of the pandemic, the Kawagoe Fireworks Festival takes place in Kawagoe City, alternating venues between Isanuma Park and Aina Water Park. This year, the 30th annual Kawagoe fireworks display will take place at the latter, promising an unforgettable spectacle of magnificent fireworks complete with meaningful personalised messages from the locals. 

    And what better way to soak up and celebrate all that Japan has to offer than to attend these festivals wearing a piece of Velarof underwear? 

    Complete with its own surprising and exciting patterns set against a sky blue background, Thunder Matsuri is a distinctive design inspired by yukata, the traditional attire for attending summer festivals in Japan. 

    Sporting a premium fit and supremely soft fabric, it’ll also provide long-lasting comfort well into the early hours – which may come in handy as you celebrate all the excitement these festivals have to offer. 

    Ready to give it a go? We thought so.