Japanese New Year

In Japan, the time period of January is called “o-shou-ga-tsu, Oshougatsu in Japan is an event for the family, much like Chinese New Year.  Most Japanese people will be at home with their families come together to celebrate the New Year.

  • The o-souji (house cleaning)
  • New Year’s Decorations
  • nengajo (New Year’s cards)
  • Huge bellsand toshikoshi soba” (year-crossing soba)
  • Events and customs


■The o-souji (house cleaning)

The o-souji ritual used to start on December. It has a practical and a spiritual significance. This major house cleaning is thought as a ritual to give a pleasant welcome to God on New Year’s Day.They will associate a big annual clean with spring, in Japan it’s done in the last days of the year – pretty much everywhere. Homes, schools and offices all get a thorough going over that creates a clean slate for the year ahead.


■New Year’s Decorations

After finish the house cleaning, it will start to decorate their houses with special decorations on December 28th and 30th. Please be carefully they would not do it on December 29th because that is apparently also not a good day to put up decorations because the number nine has the same sound as “suffer” (ku 苦) in Japanese, so it is also considered to be bad luck.

Let’s get to know the different Japanese new year decorations!



Kadomatsu are placed in  pairs in front of the gate or front doors of homes to welcome the Shinto gods.



Shimekazari will put it on top of the house entrance to prevent bad spirits from entering and to invite the Shinto deity, to descend and visit.


A round rice-cake


Japanese people will  and place these at very visible places around their homes for decoration. Placing them in different rooms is said to bring more luck, as each room will welcome Shinto gods come and stay.


■nengajo (New Year’s cards)


People say ”あけましておめでとうございます(akemashite omedetou (gozaimasu)” which is meaning congratulations on the new year. They will  send New Year’s cards called ”nengajo ”to their family or someone treated well by.  Although with the growth of the Internet and cell phones, the number of people who send nengajo is decreasing yearly,  The receiver can know your feeling during you hand writing. However, do not send the New Year’s cards to anyone who has had a death in the family during the year.


■Huge bellbsound and toshikoshi soba” (year-crossing soba)

New Year’s Eve is called “Oomisoka” in Japanese. At Buddhist temples, huge bells are hit 108 times during midnight to get rid of all evil desires. Most people believe that huge bells are hit 108 times during midnight to get rid of all evil desires. So that we will eat the “toshikoshi soba” when we hearing the huge bells sounds and wish for a long lasting life. You can still listen the huge bells sounds even while you’re staying at home  because you can see it at the TV shows.


■Events and customs


The first sunrise



It is an event to worship the first sun rising on New Year’s Day, which is the beginning of the year since it is believed that the Shinto gods of the year appear with the first sunrise. So, people pray for good luck when the first sun rises.


First visiting to the Shrine

At the beginning of the year, people go to the shrine and pray for the safety and happiness of the new year. Some people leave their home to visit the shrine on the night of the 31st, or at the midnight, and some people just go there in the morning on January 1st or afternoon. Shrines are very crowded at this time of year. The money which you can put into the wooden box for good luck is well known as the more money you put into it, the more luck you will get. On the other hands, some people believe if you put 5 Yen, it is super lucky. Since the pronunciation of 5 Yen which is ‘go en’ sounds similar to the word ‘ご縁(go en)’ which means luck.


Osechi dish

It is a celebration meal that Japanese people have between January 1st and 3rd. Japanese people believe that Osechi dishes bring good luck in the sense of celebration. It is filled with grilled, boiled and pickled foods in a multitiered Japanese food box. It is made up of dishes which could be preserved longer time so that it  can allow housewives who are busy with cooking take a rest around some days at the New Year.



Originally, this began with the custom to give some left over rice cakes to children. but today it has become an event for adults to give money to children. It’s a small bag of money that children receive from their parents, grandfathers, grandmothers and relatives.




You should eat Kagami-mochi which were offered to the Shinto gods after some days from the New Year day!  People cut this rice cakes and put them into some red bean soup or Ozoni which is Dashi soup(Soup types and other ingredients might be changed up to the location.). They eat this praying for keeping good health of the new year. People eat this mostly on January 11th or 20th.

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일본의 크리스마스

매년 12월은 전 세계가 크리스마스를 축하하는 시즌인데요. 일본도 예외는 아니랍니다.
혹시 일본의 크리스마스 문화에 대해 아시나요? 일본만의 형태로 변화해온 흥미로운 크리스마스 문화, 이번 포스팅에서 소개드리고자 합니다.
  • 프라이드 치킨과 크리스마스 케이크
  • 누구와 함께
  • 25일 밤이 지나면


프라이드 치킨과 크리스마스 케이크

미국등에서는 크리스마스 저녁식사라 하면 칠면조나 햄 등의 통구이로 알려져있지만, 일본에서 크리스마스에 가장 사랑받는 요리는 프라이드 치킨이라해도 과언이 아니랍니다. 칠면조를 쉽게 구할 수 없었던 일본에서 칠면조를 대체한 것이 바로 이 치킨인데요. 일본의 크리스마스 시즌엔 프라이드치킨 수요가 급증하여, 켄터키 프라이드 치킨 등 패스트푸드나 음식점에서는 12월이 시작됨과 동시에 예약 접수를 시작한다고 해요. 편의점이나 슈퍼에서도 프라이드 치킨이나 로스트 치킨이 빽빽히 진열되어 있어 독특한 크리스마스 분위기를 엿볼 수 있답니다.

크리스마스 케이크를 먹는 것은 한국과 비슷하게 일본에서도 기본이라 여겨진답니다.  크리스마스 분위기를 연출하기 위해 산타 데코레이션 등 화려한 장식의 케이크를 보실 수 있습니다.( 참고로! 25일 저녁이 되면 크리스마스 케이크의 재고처리를 위해 반값 세일도 열리니, 그 시간대를 노려 싸게 구매하는 것도 절약의 팁이라면 팁입니다.)

일본에서 먹는 크리스마스 케이크의 발상은 1922년 양과자 메이커 “후지야”의 캐치프레이즈로 거슬러 올라갑니다. “크리스마스엔 케이크를 먹자”라는 캐치프레이즈와 함께, 생크림으로 데코된 케이크를 발매한 후지야. 당시, 케이크는 고급음식으로 일반 서민들은  접근하기 힘든 음식이었는데요.  1970년대 이후에는 서민들이 크리스마스 케이크를 먹는 것이 보편화 되었답니다. 현재 크리스마스 케이크로 가장 많이 볼 수 있는 것은 생크림 딸기 케이크지만, 그 외에도 다양한 맛과 데코의 케이크를 보실 수 있습니다.


누구와 함께

크리스마스가 되면, 일본에서는 가족보다 연인과 데이트하며 로맨틱한 분위기로 보내는 경우가 많습니다. 일본인들에게 크리스마스와 발렌타인데이는 연인들을 위한 2대 이벤트로 자리잡고 있답니다. 아이들에게는 산타클로스가 착한 아이에게 선물을 가져다 준다는 날로 알려져있는게 일본에서도 같다고 하네요.



25일 밤이 지나면

즐거웠던 크리스마스는 12월25일의 밤이 지나면 언제 그랬냐는 듯 끝나버립니다. 가게의 진열과 크리스마스 장식품들은 25일의 폐점을 끝으로 일제히 모습을 감추고, 26일에는 바로 새해모드로 들어갑니다. 집에서도 물론, 장식된 크리스마스 트리가 정리되고 새해 문앞에 새우는 일본의 소나무 장식 ‘카도마츠로 꾸며진답니다.




기존 크리스마스 문화에 일본 전통적 관습을 도입해나가면서 독자적인 문화를 진화 시켜온 일본의 크리스마스. 이젠 일본의 독자적인 크리스마스 문화로 정착된 것 같네요. 12월이 되면 서양의 크리스마스 캐롤 뿐만아니라, 일본만의 크리스마스 캐롤이 들려오고, 방송에서도 크리스마스를 테마로 한 에피소드를 방영하는 것 등을 보면 말이죠.

겨울에 일본을 찾으신다면, 일본만의 ‘메리 크리스마스’를 즐겨 보시는건 어떨까요?

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Christmas in Japan

Every December brings the season to celebrate Christmas around the world, and Japan is no exception. Christmas in Japan has many unique characteristics as part of Japan’s culture. This time we would like to introduce to you how Japanese people celebrate Christmas.


  • Fried chicken and Christmas cake
  • Who to celebrate with
  • Ending the 25th night


Fried Chicken and Christmas Cake

In the United States and elsewhere, Christmas dinner is a roast turkey or ham, but the dish most associated with Christmas in Japan is fried chicken. Since turkey is difficult to find in Japan, it was replaced with chicken instead. Demand for fried chicken in Christmas season in Japan is very high, with fast food chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and butcher shops accepting reservation as soon as December 1st. As Christmas draws nearer, fried chicken and roast chicken will be sold at convenience and grocery stores, so you will be able to see the unique Christmas atmosphere.




It is said that eating cake at Christmas is a staple for Japanese people. To produce a sense of Christmas, it is a common practice to arrange fruits and decorate it with Santa and other motifs. Incidentally, on the night of December 25, many cake shops will be selling their goods for half-price,  so if you want to enjoy a more cost-effective Christmas, please time your shopping as such!

The origin of Christmas cake in Japan began with a campaign in 1922 when cake manufacturer Fujiya started selling a cake decorated with cream with the catch phrase “Let’s eat cake at Christmas!” At that time, cake was a luxury good, and ordinary people could not easily buy one, but around the 1970s, the custom to eat Christmas cake spread through every home in Japan. Whipped cream and strawberry Christmas cakes are the most popular in Japan today, but there are a variety of other flavors and decorated cakes.


Who to celebrate with

At Christmas time, Japanese people often spend more time with their romantic partner than with their families. So, for Japanese people, Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the two big romantic holidays for lovers.

By the way, it’s the same for children in Japan that Santa Claus brings Christmas presents to good children.




Ending on the 25th night

A happy Christmas will be finished at night on December 25th. The shop displays and Christmas decorations are changed immediately after closing on the 25th, and on the 26th we will enter 100% New Years mode. Of course, the Christmas tree will be put away and the traditional New Years kadomatsu (bamboo decoration) will be brought out.




While incorporating Japanese customs, Christmas has evolved from the original for many years and Japan’s unique Christmas is now fully established. In December, Christmas songs playing throughout the town are not only Western traditional songs and pop music, but also Japanese original Christmas songs. Also in this season, TV and anime will also be broadcasting their Christmas episodes.

If you visit Japan in winter, why not enjoy a unique “Merry Christmas” in Japan?

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Japan Winter Illuminations 2018-19

In December, streets around the world will light up the city for the holidays and hold various illuminations. The town starts to be colored with various lights and fascinates the people walking by. Every year illuminations with various features are held all over Japan. We will introduce the most popular illumination events held this year.

  1. Blue Cave SHIBUYA
    Yoyogi Park will be lit up for a total length of 800 meters and the magnificent Blue Cave represented by the blue-colored light colors the Shibuya winter streets. Several kinds of illumination with special effects effect will also appear.


出典:青の洞窟SHIBUYA PR事務局HP


Event Period: November 30-December 31, 2018 17:00~22:00 (The lighting time may depend on the day.)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho, Shibuya Park Street-Yoyogi Park area
Website: http://shibuya-aonodokutsu.jp/




2. Germany Christmas Market Osaka 2018
This winter, a 27-meter high Christmas tree brightens the Wonder Square of Shin Umeda City. In Germany Christmas Market, you can enjoy German-style Christmas festivities in Japan, including German-style ornaments and candles, sausages and mulled wine. Also, a wooden merry-go-round with about 120 years of history will also be available. During the event, the whole Umeda Sky Building is full of the Christmas spirit.



Germany Christmas Market 2018
Event Period: November 16-December 25, 2018 17: 00 ~ 22: 30 ※Market is open from 12:00-21:00 (Friday ~ 22:00, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11:00-22:00)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Kita-ku, Oyodonaka Shin Umeda City Wonder Square
Website: https://www.kuchu-teien.com/en/


3. Ebisu Garden Place Christmas illumination
At Ebisu Garden Place, an illumination event is held entitled “Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS – Form of Joy.” The world’s largest baccarat chandelier of about 5 meters in height, about 3 meters in width, more than 8000 crystals, and more than 250 lights in total. It also features large Christmas trees on Clock Square, set in the city, lit up with a total of about 100,000 lights. You can enjoy a Christmas unique to Ebisu Garden Place.




Ebisu Garden Place Christmas Illumination
Event Period: November 3, 2018~January 14, 2019 Chandelier is lit from 11:00~24:00, Christmas illumination is 16:00~24:00 * Open throughout the day※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu Garden Place Center Square
Website: https://gardenplace.jp.e.adx.hp.transer.com/


4. Marunouchi Illumination 2018
This year is the 17th anniversary for the Marunouchi Illumination. The illumination covers about 1.2 kilometers of the streets with 1 million original Marunouchi “Champagne Gold” LED lights. This year, the Nijubashi Square has also been added in to the illumination area, and the “Gate of Light” will be open again this year in the Yurakucho area.



Marunouchi Illuminaton 2018
Event Period: November 8, 2018-17 February 2019 17: 30-23: 00 (17: 00-24: 00 during December)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku Marunouchi Naka-dori, Tokyo Station Area, Otemachi area, etc.
Website: https://www.marunouchi.com/




5. Yomiuri Land Jewellumination (R) ~ Shining Light Pier~
Jewellumination is produced by lighting designer Mikiko Ishii. This season we renewed the whole area with the theme of Light Pier as the ideal village of light, the gemstone illumination of 6 million lights. One of the highlights is the 25-meter high Jewelry Mountain. The slopes spread over the mountainside and you can enjoy sledding. In addition to the fountain show using 216 fountains with a width of 60 m and a height of 15 m, you can also enjoy ‘Starlight Bandet’ and ice skating, which runs like a shooting star across the night sky.




Yomiuri Land Jewellumination (R) ~ Shining Light Pier~
Event Period: October 11, 2018 – February 17, 2019 16:00 ~ 20:30 (※ From December 15th to 25th ~ 21: 00)
* Closed January 15-17 and 21-24, 2019※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Tokyo-to, Inagi-shi, Yanokuchi 4015-1 Yomiuri Land
Website: http://yomiuriland.com/


  1. OSAKA Renaissance of Light 2018
    The main feature of the Osaka Light Symposium 2018 in which the lights are integrated from the city hall around Nakanoshima Park. At the Osaka Municipal Central Public Hall, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening this year. Also in the west side of the Nakanoshima Park Rose Garden, about 1000 lanterns will be put up to celebrate Taiwan’s Lunar New Year (Gen Shosetsu). Nakanoshima Illuminations Street of Zelkova trees with a total length of about 150 meters is synchronized with music and colorful lights.



OSAKA Renaissance of Light 2018
Event Period: December 14-25, 2018 17:00~22:00 (Some programs are from 16:00~)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Osaka Prefecture Osaka-shi Kita-ku Osaka City Hall/Nakanoshima Park
Website: http://www.hikari-kyoen.com/




  1. 24th Annual Kobe Luminarie
    Kobe, famous for its night view, remembers victims of the Great Kobe Earthquake and entrusts dreams and hopes for the revival and revitalization of the city since 1995. Since then, it has been supported by many people as an event symbolizing Kobe. The theme is changed every year, and LED light bulbs are used for all works including large works of Luminarie street. Furthermore, in order to continue Kobe Luminarie, please consider to cooperate with the venue donation (100 yen per person).



24th Annual Kobe Luminarie
Event Period: December 7-6, 2018 (※For details, please refer to the official website)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Hyogo-ken, Kobe City, Chuo-ku
Website: http://kobe-luminarie.jp/




  1. National Showa Memorial Park Winter Vista Illumination 2018
    An oasis of llumination at the National Showa Showa Memorial Park in Tokyo. From the Tachikawa area to the plaza, it is wrapped in light. The theme of the illumination changes every year, directing different expressions respectively. Lighting up the large fountain with the symbolic existence of the champagne glass tower using the approximately 15,000 glasses and the symbolic existence of the park, with the canal in the center, the illuminating world where trees and the water surface shine can enjoy the fantastic world.



National Showa Memorial Park Winter Vista Illumination 2018
Event Period: December 8-25, 2018 17:00~21:00 (Admission to ~20:50 ※From 16:00 onwards you can only enter from the Tachikawa gate)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo Midoricho 3173 National Showa Memorial Park Tachikawa entrance – Fureai Hiroba
Website: http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/




  1. Shonan’s Jewels 2018 ~ Light and Color Celebration Enoshima ~
    Enoshima Sea Candle (Enoshima Observatory Lighthouse), which is popular as a symbol of Shonan, is focused on various parts of Enoshima Island as illumination. The main venue glows with colorful crystal beads. From the middle of December, you can enjoy 20,000 winter tulips and illumination competitions



Shonan’s Jewels 2018 ~ Light and Color Celebration Enoshima ~
Event Period: November 23, 2018 to February 17, 2019, 17:00 to 20:00※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Kanagawa Prefecture Fujisawa City Enoshima, Enoshima Sea Candle, Nakatsu Palace Square, etc.
Website: https://enoshima-seacandle.com/




  1. 2018 Sendai Light Pageant
    Sendai ‘s winter scenes that counts the 33rd time this year. With the theme “Lights on everyone, the light of the heart” with about 600 thousand star-like lights. During the period, there are also booths and ice rinks at Gotokudai Park and Citizen Square. Also, from November 1 to the next February 20 entitled “2018 SENDAI Light Pageant in Izumi Park Town,” the main street in the center area of Izumi Parktown will be colored as the pageant of light.



2018 Sendai Light Pageant
Event Period: December 14-31, 2018 17:30-22:00 (※ Fridays, Saturdays and December 23-24 are ~23:00, and December 31 is ~24:00)※Please confirm the latest event details with the event organizer or on the official website.
Venue: Miyagi-ken Sendai City Aoba-ku Jozenji-tsu
Website: http://www.sendaihikape.jp/

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Kansai International Airport and New Chitose Airport Latest Updates

Due to the typhoon damage that occurred on September 4, 2018, Osaka’s Kansai International Airport has been temporarily closed. Additionally, New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido has also been put under restrictions due to the damage caused by the earthquake that occurred on September 6, 2018. There are also many rental car outlets which are closed temporarily. If you are preparing to travel soon, please be careful and check the details.

1、Kansai International Airport Status
2、New Chitose Airport Status
3、Information for those considering cancelling their travel plans

1. Kansai International Airport Status

Status Notes Last updated
Kansai International Airport 【KIX homepage】https://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en 2018/9/7
Nissan Rent a Car Closed until 10/8 2018/10/4
Toyota Rent a Car Reopens for business on 10/12. 2018/10/12
Times Car Rental Resuming Operations 2018/10/10
Nippon Rent a Car Closed until 10/6. Reopens for business at 8:00 AM on 10/7. 2018/10/5


2. New Chitose Airport Status
Note: If you already have a reservation during the following closure dates, your rental car reservation will be carried out as usual.

Status Remarks Last updated
New Chitose Airport Normal operation 【CTS homepage】http://www.new-chitose-airport.jp/en/ 2018/9/10
Nissan Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Nippon Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Toyota Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Budget Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Times Car Rental Normal operation 2018/9/10
Hokkaido Travel Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Car Rental Hokkaido Normal operation 2018/9/10
Honda Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Nikku Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Samurai Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
NICONICO Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Family Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
World Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Karaoke Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10


3. Information for those considering cancelling their travel plans

※If you cancel your trip, please cancel your rental car reservation as well.
Cancellation form → https://www2.tocoo.jp/en/member/login
If you can’t cancel your reservation from the website, please contact ToCoo!
【Contact】 rc-cs@coo.ne.jp


<Caution> Although we try to post the latest and accurate information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, or usefulness. Please check the website of each company for accurate information.

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Top 20 Best Fireworks Festivals in Japan 2018

There are many fireworks displays every year taking place all over Japan.
Are you longing to wear a cute yukata or going to the summer festival with your special someone? When the fireworks are launched into the night sky, the clock stops moving, and it seems that only two people are left in the world. If you travel to Japan in the summer, definitely don’t miss seeing a spectacular fireworks display.

◎ Hokkaido(Sapporo)
◎ Tohoku (Akita)
◎ Hokuriku · Koushin’etsu(Ishikawa,Yamanashi,Nagano)
◎ Kanto(Tokyo,Chiba,Ibaraki,Tochigi)
◎ Tokai・Kinki(Osaka,Shizuoka)
◎ Kyushu(Nagasaki)
◎ Nationwide Fireworks Display List

1. UHB Fireworks Festival
This fireworks display is held in Toyohira River in Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido. Approximately 4,000 fireworks, such as the creative Wide Star Mine, dye the night skies over Sapporo. This year marks the 63rd time that the festivities color the night during Sapporo’s short summer.


UHB Fireworks Display
July 27, 2018 (Friday)
Time: 19:40~20:30
※If the weather is bad, it will be postponed to August 10 (Friday)
Venue: Sapporo · Toyohira River Minami-Ohashi Bridge ~ Horobaira Bridge (Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku South 13-west West 1-chome)
Number of fireworks: 4,000
Map Code: 9 463 497*68
Official Website https://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/hanabi2018/sapporo/

~~~Valuable Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hokkaido Kyushu Expressway Pass Plan
Speaking of summer in Hokkaido, sightseeing spots such as lavender fields of Furano, sunflower fields in Hokuryu, patchwork hills of Biei, and the beautiful Unkai Terrace of Tomamu are all wonderful. If you want to enjoy Hokkaido’s summer, ToCoo recommends the HEP + rental car plan. If you rent a car with the HEP plan, you can get unlimited use of the expressways at a fixed price, so you don’t have to worry about toll charges even if you travel all over the gorgeous Hokkaido countryside.
For more information on HEP plan, please check here.

■Tohoku (North Japan)
2. Omagari National Fireworks Competition
This one is actually a fireworks competition, so its official name is the National Fireworks Display Competition. One of the nation’s largest fireworks compilations featuring competing first-class fireworks selected from across Japan. It is viewed as the most prestigious competition in Japan, and numerous awards (including the Prime Minister Prize!) are awarded at this event. The attraction of the tournament is not only the size but also the number of highlights. The fireworks competition is divided into day and night divisions, and the only daytime fireworks in the whole country can be seen here. Creative fireworks shown during the night portion of this event, display themes in a comprehensive manner, such as form, color, and rhythm feeling. The fireworks are excellent every year with innovative themes and the night sky is always full of color. Only this competition and Tsuchiura in Ibaraki prefecture have the Prime Minister Prize. The Omagari Fireworks, with tradition and formality, are now leading the nation with experts bringing in the latest fireworks, competing with each other, and gathering over 700,000 spectators.


Omagari National Fireworks Competition
August 25, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 17:30~18:15 (daytime portion), 18:50~21:30 (evening portion)
Venue: Akita Prefecture, Daisen City, Omagari Bridge, on the bank of the river Yamago facing downstream
Number of fireworks: about 18,000
Map Code: 138 154 744*54
Official Website http://www.oomagari-hanabi.com/

■Hokuriku · Koushin’etsu
3. Hokuriku Fireworks 2018 Kanazawa Festival
Many visitors come every year to see the “Hokuriku Fireworks Kanazawa Festival” held at the Prefectural Mameda Public Ground, which is about 1.5 km from Kanazawa Station. A variety of fireworks will be launched, such as the “Star Mine” and work-in-progress fireworks, which have a variety of designs, but among all of them, the “Fireworks Department of Art” where the fireworks from inside and outside the prefecture compete with each other is the most amazing. It’s a masterpiece of the 1000 turbulence in the series that makes the finale and the large waterfall of the Star Mine. A large number of visitors come from inside and outside the prefecture every year.


Hokuriku Fireworks 2018 Kanazawa Festival
July 28, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:45~21:00 (expected)
Venue: Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa City, Soya-gumoto-cho, Sashigawa surrounding green area (near the Ishikawa Prefectural Mameda Public Ground)
Number of fireworks: about 12,000
Map Code: 41 556 158*15
Official Website http://hk-event.jp/hanabi/kanazawa/index.html


4. Ichikawa Misato Local Summer Festival 「30th Annual Shinmei Fireworks Festival」
Every year, it is held on August 7, and this year marks the 30th anniversary. The scale is the largest in Yamanashi Prefecture, and features a story-structured program. It gives the impression of harmony of music and fireworks to those who see it. The colorful flowers bloom one after another in the night sky, which makes you feel like you are wrapped in fireworks.


Ichikawa Misato Local Summer Festival 30th Annual Shinmei Fireworks Festival
August 7, 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 19:15~21:00 (expected)
Venue: Yamanashi Prefecture Ichikawa Misato Town, Nishi-Yachiyo-gun Bridge, Sanshigashi stream beside the Fuefukugawa River
Number of fireworks: about 20,000
Map Code: 312 793 792*25
Official Site http://www.town.ichikawamisato.yamanashi.jp/shinmei/index.html

5. 70th Annual Lake Suwa Festival Higashi Fireworks Festival
One of the best fireworks display in Japan is in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. The program consists of two parts. The first part is the sports fireworks in which the Shinku ball’s fast-forward and Star Mine appear, and in the second part the Water Star Star Mine and the extraordinary Lake Suwa unique 2 km “Large Niagara” are displayed. This fireworks festival is one of the most prestigious nationwide for both number of fireworks and scale. Over 40,000 fireworks are launched from the on the lake and color the summer night sky. In the confusion after the end of the Showa, it was the hope that the citizens have a bright hope and be able to recover as soon as possible, that on August 15 (the 1st Showa 24), they held the Suwako Suwaki Fireworks Festival for the first time at the Lake Suwa. It is organized by the Suwa City Tourist Association, and sponsored by the city, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Nanshin Daily Newspaper Company, and more. Numerous fireworks are launched over an hour and a half, which usually attracts 50,000 spectators. On the day after (August 16), a competition is held. Huge fireworks appear side by side, and the development of this art continues. Lake Suwa is surrounded by mountains, so the sound of the fireworks is echoed powerfully. It is recommended to look closely at the lakeside.


70th Annual Lake Suwa Festival Higashi Fireworks Festival
August 15, 2018 (Wednesday)
Time; 19:00~21:00 (expected)
Venue: Nagano Prefecture Lakeside Park, in front of Lake Suwa
Number of fireworks: about 40,000
Map Code: 75 147 556*74
Official Website http://www.suwako-hanabi.com/

~~~Valuable Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tocoo! Expressway pass Plan

There are still many sightseeing spots that are perfect during summer in Japan. Izu in Shizuoka prefecture with white sandy beaches, Kyoto-style poetry, Nanki Shirahama white beach in Wakayama prefecture, Kanazawa Kenrokuen in Ishikawa prefecture, and Yakushima, a World Heritage site in Kagoshima prefecture. Summer in Japan is fun, no matter how you choose to spend it. If you want to get the best out of your summer trip to Japan, ToCoo recommends renting our original TEP plan with the ToCoo! ETC Unlimited Pass. It is a good service that you can drive all you want on all Japanese highways at a fixed price.
For more information on the TEP plan, please click here.

6. 41st Annual Sumida River Fireworks Festival
THE iconic fireworks display of Tokyo. There are 2 venues you can enjoy this fireworks festival from. At the first venue, a fireworks competition is held and you can enjoy various works of art. Creative fireworks and Star Mine can be viewed from the second venue. The fireworks competition features traders who work with fireworks from both different countries, and competitors who have achieved excellent results at the domestic fireworks competition. Let’s make sure to use our good manners for viewing and cooperate in alleviating congestion, including as preparing return tickets ahead if time when you arrive.


41st Annual Sumida River Fireworks Festival
July 28, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:00~20:30
First venue: Tokyo, Taito-ku, Sumida-ku Sumida River Sakurabashi Bridge downstream~Jyobashi Bridge upstream
Second venue: Komatabashi Bridge downstream~Umayabashi Bridge upstream
Number of fireworks: about 20,000 (total)
Map Code: 771 443*66
Official Website https://www.sumidagawa-hanabi.com/

7. Sakura Fireworks Festival
About 150,000 spectators crowd the the annual fireworks display held every year in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture. A wide variety of gorgeous fireworks will be launched, including water fireworks on the lake surface, rare hand-made fireworks. This year will be a big challenge! The premium Star Mine is also the biggest in the prefecture!  Please enjoy the power of some of the biggest collaboration of music and fireworks.


Sakura Fireworks Festival
August 4, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:00~20:30
Venue: Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, Shikinuma lakeside
Number of fireworks: about 18,000
Map Code: 533 040 458*43
Official Website  https://www.city.sakura.lg.jp/sakura/hanabi/

8. Makuhari Beach Fireworks Festival 2018 (40th Memorial Chiba Citizen Firework Display)
You can experience the maritime fireworks full of power that you can only see in Makuhari in Chiba City. The theme of the event is “Call out to the world! Makuhari Sea Fireworks “. The fireworks show, which will launch 20,000 fireworks in one hour from the opening to the finale, will begin with about 3000 music star mines, with about 4,400 fireworks for the main program commemorating the 40th anniversary, including ocean fireworks and scion balls etc. “THE MAKUHARI HANABI” will be launched and the grand finale will deliver an impression that cannot be forgotten, with about 7,500 fireworks in which the silver-colored Niagara Falls fireworks appears in the full moon night sky.


Makuhari Beach Fireworks Festival 2018 (40th Memorial Chiba Citizen Firework Display)
July 27, 2018 (Friday)
Time: 19:30~20:30
Venue: Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, Mihama-ku / Makuhari Seaside Park
Number of fireworks: about 20,000
Map Code: 6 200 786*75
Official Website http://chiba-hanabi.jp/

9. 87th Annual Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition
This one is a nationwide fireworks competition, combined with a traditional fireworks display event which is said to be one of the three biggest fireworks displays in Japan. Hundreds of fireworks are lit with exquisite timing and diverse changes. In late 1925 (Taisho 14th year), the late lord Akimoto Umezumi who was a priest of Shinshuji started to hold on private lake Kasumigaura lake along with private property as a memorial for aircraft fighters. About 700,000 people gather around the lake every year to watch it.


The 87th Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition
October 6, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 18:00-20:30
Venue: Ibaraki prefecture, Tsuchiura-shi, Sanoko, near the Sakuragawa River school garden bridge
Number of fireworks: about 20,000
Map Code: 65 876 868*57
Official Website http://www.tsuchiura-hanabi.jp/kantan/?photoDetails&cat=37

10. 33rd Annual Tone River Fireworks Festival
Prime Minister Prize Winner 3. This is a dreamlike display co-starring a fireworks master. About 22,800 fireworks featuring both delicate and powerful ones, such as synchronized fireworks and music, dynamic Star Mine which you can see up close, dynamic scale which goes up right in front of the viewers, and the color will fill the summer night sky .


33rd Annual Tone River Fireworks Festival
July 14, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:30~21:00
Venue: Sakai Riverside Park (Tone River riverbed) in Sarushima gun, Ibaraki prefecture
Number of fireworks: about 22,800
Map Code: 45 630 497*20
Official Website http://www.town.sakai.ibaraki.jp/page/page001593.html

11. 13th Annual Furukawa Fireworks Festival
Furukawa’s summer fireworks festival will be held again this year. The greatest feature of the Furukawa fireworks display is the three-scale blooming fireworks. Blooming at a magnificent scale with a weight of about 300 Kg, flowering altitude of about 600 m, diameter of about 650 m, it is simply overwhelming. The total number of fireworks is also about 20,000, and it’s the largest in the Kanto region. The show is full of voluminous fireworks appearing one after another and it is definitely worth seeing.


13th Annual Furukawa Fireworks Festival
August 4, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:20~20:30
Venue: Furukawa-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Koga Golf Links
Number of fireworks: about 20,000
Map Code: 45 698 734*33
Official Website https://www.kogakanko.jp/hanabi

12. 17th Annual Konosu Fireworks Festival
This fireworks show is famous for launching the world’s heaviest 4-scale fireworks ball, which was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014. Other than that, it is famous for the “Phoenix Dance” and “Last Star Mine in Japan” fireworks. The show is packed with flashy programs and boasts overwhelming intensity.


17th Annual Konosu Fireworks Festival
October 13, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 18:00~20:00 (expected)
Venue: Playground and Arakawa dry riverbed, Nukata, Konosu-shi, Saitama
Number of fireworks: 20,000
Map Code: 14 523 110*58
Official Website http://kounosuhanabi.com/

13. Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival 2018
This fireworks festival is something you can enjoy with through unique displays that you can only see here, such as the Star Mine “Sparkle×2 ☆ Gyoza,” which, yes, is named after the popular dumplings. The theme for 2018 is “Hope – a Flower that Illuminates the Future.” Even though this festival is operated completely by volunteers, the powerful, intense fireworks are of professional quality. The show illuminates the “hope” of each person looking up at the night sky in Utsunomiya.


Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival 2018
August 11, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 18:30~20:30
主会場: Utsunomiya City, Tochigi, Odajyado green area (Kinugawa riverbed)
Number of fireworks: 30,000
Map Code:39 521 114*68
Official Website  http://www.utsunomiya-hanabi.jp/

14. 49th Annual Moka City Summer Festival Great Fireworks Festival
Fireworks will be launched after the “mikoshi” is completed, which means a group of men carrying a portable shrine over the Gogyo river. Fireworks are launched one after another in sync with powerful music and laser lights. The plaza where the fireworks will take place also hosts many other spiritual events, traditional music shows, and many other different kinds of “mikoshi.”


Moka City Summer Festival Great Fireworks Festival
July 28, 2018 (Saturday)
Venue Tochigi Prefecture Moka City Hall, east side of the Gogyo River
Number of fireworks: 20,000
Map Code:39 076 594*15
Official Website  https://www.tochigiji.or.jp/event/7656/

15. Oyama Summer Festival 2018 – The 67th Annual Oyama Fireworks
One of the biggest displays in the Kanto region will be held at the Shima Ikawa in Oyama city, Tochigi Prefecture. The fireworks are launched near the spectator seating, and about 20,000 fireworks are shot into the night sky, such as the attractive Niagara Falls display. On July 28 (Saturday), the day before the fireworks, various events are held around the parking lot of the city hall as an opening carnival. The venue is very crowded and the located near the station, so we recommend visiting by train.


Oyama Summer Festival 2018 – The 67th Annual Oyama Fireworks
July 29, 2018 (Sunday)
Venue: Oyama City, Tochigi, Mitsuaki Hashigashi stream on the banks of the Mikawa River
Number of fireworks: 20,000
Map Code:74 216 337*77
Official Website  https://www.oyamanohanabi.com/fireworks

16. 104th Annual Ashikaga Fireworks Festival
This fireworks display concludes the Ashikaga Summer Festival held in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture. In the historic convention that was founded in 1903, the venue is crowded with more than 400,000 visitors each year. The show will exhibit a spectacular light and sound combination to show off the famous fireworks made by Japanese craftmenship.


104th Annual Ashikaga Fireworks Festival
August 4, 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 19:00~20:45
Venue: Ashikaga City, Tochigi, Watarasegawa Tanaka bridge, downstream riverbed
Number of fireworks: 20,000
Map Code:34 565 788*68
Official Website  http://ashikaga.info/

17. 30th Annual Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Display
Tourists who go to Kansai can see fireworks at the Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Display. The overwhelming powerful fireworks span an hour, and the sight is very beautiful. What started in 1989 as a handmade fireworks display by citizen volunteers is now the largest scale and most popular fireworks display in the summer traditions of Osaka.


30th Annual Naniwa Yodo River Fireworks Display
August 4, 2018
Time: 19:40~20:40
Venue: Yodogawa River Park in Osaka Prefecture
Number of fireworks: undisclosed
Map Code 1 497 806*07
Official Website  http://www.yodohanabi.com/

18. Senshu Light and Sound Dream Fireworks Display
The large flowers will be revived in Sennan for the first time in 13 years will again color the Senshu night sky. A state-of-the-art show with fully synchronized music and fireworks flowing from high-quality speakers. Creating memories of summer while watching one of the best sunsets in Japan at the beautiful sandy Tarui Southern Beach. When songs full of memories and fireworks merge, your feelings will enjoy the ride.

出典:泉州 光と音の夢花火公式サイト

Senshu Light and Sound Dream Fireworks Display
September 1-2, 2018
Time: 20:00~21:00 (expected)
Venue: Sennan City Osaka Prefecture Rinku-Namahama Park Planned Area
Number of fireworks: 20,000
Map Code: 107 369 589*01
Official Website  http://senshuhanabi.com/

19. National Fireworks Master Competition Fukuroi Senshu Fireworks 2018
The fireworks masters selected out of the whole country will compete for the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology prize in the Nationwide Fireworks Master Competition. Including displays like “Japan’s Melody Star Mine,” which combines fireworks and music with computer controls, and “Flying the Atlantic Niagara Fuji Falls” expressing Mt. Fuji by changing the color of the fireworks. A spectacular, versatile program can be enjoyed in this fireworks display boasting one of the most magnificent artistic fireworks in Japan.


National Fireworks Master Competition Fukuroi Senshu Fireworks 2018
August 11, 2018 (Saturday)
Time:19:00~21:00 (expected)
Venue: Shizuoka prefecture Fukuroi City Aino 1682-1 Haranoya River Park
Number of fireworks:25,000
Map Code: 169 278 189*86
Official Website  https://www.fukuroi-hanabi.jp/category/outline

■ Kyushu

20. Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks (World Fireworks Competition)
The annual popular event, the World Fireworks Competition, is held at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Prefecture. In this year’s competition, the world’s leading fireworks teams such as Mexico, Canada, Russia, and the UK will visit Japan and will attract audiences with displays and music expressing the characteristics of each country. The largest fireworks festival in Kyushu is also held on September 22. Everyone who purchases a special exhibition ticket can appreciate the powerful fireworks at close range. In addition, there is the Power of Summer Fireworks on July 21, and the Special Theme Fireworks in August.


Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks (World Fireworks Competition)
July 21, 2018 (Saturday) 20:00~21:30
August 11, 2018 (Tuesday)-12(Sunday), 25 (Saturday) 20:40~21:00
September 22, 2018 (Saturday) 18:45~21:00
Number of fireworks: 22,000
Venue: Huis Ten Bosch
Map Code: 307 289 712*74
Official Website https://www.huistenbosch.co.jp/event/fireworks/

■ Nationwide Fireworks Display List

Hokkaido 7/7 (Sat) Makomanai Fireworks Festival 8,000 Sapporo
Normal year: August 1 Hakodate Harbor Festival Doshin Fireworks Display Undisclosed Hakodate
8/13 (Mon) Obihiro Kachimai Fireworks Festival 20,000 Obihiro
7/27 (Fri) UHB Fireworks Festival 4,000 Chuo-ku, Sapporo
9/8 (Sat) Kushiro Big Catch Fireworks Festival 8,000 Kushiro City Port Town
Tohoku 7/21 (Sat) Minato Festival Noshiro Fireworks Festival 15,000 Noshiro City, Akita
8/4 (Sat) Sakata Fireworks Show 12,000 Sakata City, Yamagata
Normal year: August 14 Yamagata Fireworks Festival 15,000~20,000 Yamagata City, Yamagata
8/18 (Sat) Akagawa Fireworks Festival 12,000 Tsuruoka City, Yamagata
8/25 (Sat) Omagari National Fireworks Competition 18,000 Daisen City, Akita
Normal year: in early November Aizu National Fireworks Competition 10,000 Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima
Hokuriku · Koshinetsu 7/26 (Thurs) Gion Kashiwazaki Ocean Fireworks Festival 15,000 Kashiwazaki City, Niigata
Mid  July-mid September Hokkoku Fireworks Festival 12,000 Kanazawa
8/2 (Thurs), 8/3 (Fri) Nagaoka Festival Fireworks Display 20,000 (total) Nagaoka City, Niigata
8/7 (Tue) Ichikawa Misato Local Summer Festival: Shinmei Fireworks Festival 20,000 Ichikawa Misato Town, Nishiyachiro-gun, Yamanashi
8/15 (Wed) Lake Suwa Festival Fireworks Display 40,000 Suwa City, Nagano
8/16 (Thurs) Tororo Nagashi Fireworks Festival 13,000 Tsuruga City, Fukui
late August Izawa Hot Springs Fireworks Festival 10,000 Fuefuki City, Yamanashi
9/1 (Sat) Lake Suwa New Fireworks Festival 18,000 Suwa City, Nagano
9/9 (Sun), 9/10 (Sun) Katakai Fireworks Festival 1,5000 (total) Ojiya City, Niigata
Normal year: November 23 Nagano Ebisu Fireworks Festival 15,000 Nagano City
Kanto 7/14 (Sat) Tone River Fireworks Display 22,800  Sakaimachi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki
7/28 (Sat) Sumida River Fireworks Festival 20,000 Sumida-ku, Tokyo
7/27 (Fri) Makuhari Beach Fireworks Festival 20,000 Chiba City, Mihama-ku / Makuhari Seaside Park
7/28 (Sat) Moka City Summer Festival Great Fireworks Festival 20,000 Tochigi Prefecture Moka City, Moka City Hall, east side of Gogyo River
7/29 (Sun) Oyama Summer Festival 2018 20,000 Oyama City, Tochigi / Kanako Hashigashi Stream Sankawa River
Normal year: late July – early August Lake Ashinoko Summer Festival Week Water Festival Fireworks Display 18,500 (total) Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
8/4 (Sat) Sakura Fireworks Festival 18,000  Sakura City, Chiba
8/4 (Sat) Ashikaga Fireworks Festival 20,000 Ashikaga City, Tochigi, Watarasegawa Tanaka bridge downstream riverbed
8/4 (Sat) Furukawa Fireworks Festival 20,000 Koga City, Ibaraki, Furukawa Golf Links
8/11 (Sat) Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival 2018 20,000 Utsunomiya City, Tochigi
First Saturday of October Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition 20,000 Sanoko, Tsuchiura-shi, Ibaraki
Early October Konosu Fireworks Festival 15,000 Konosu City, Saitama
Tokai · Kinki 7/14 (Sat) Ise Shrine National Fireworks Festival 10,000 Ise City, Mie
7/21 (Sat) Toyohashi Handgun Fireworks Special Exhibition Undecided Toyohashi City, Aichi
7/22 (Sun) Toyohashi Gion Fireworks Display 12,000 Toyohashi City, Aichi
Normal year: late July Toyota Oiden Festival Fireworks Display 13,000 Toyota City, Aichi
8/4 (Sat) Nagara River National Fireworks Festival Undisclosed Gifu City, Gifu
8/4 (Sat) Minato Kobe Maritime Fireworks Display 10,000 Kobe, Hyogo
8/4 (Sat) Naniwa Yodo River Fireworks Display Undisclosed Osaka prefecture Odori Yodogawa-ku / Shin Midosuji Yodogawa River Bridge downstream, Yodogawa River River from National Route 2
Early August Lake Biwa Fireworks Festival 10,000 Otsu City, Shiga
8/11(Sat) Fukuroi Senshu Fireworks Display 25,000 Fukuroi City, Shizuoka
8/17(Fri) Kumano Fireworks Display 10,000 Kumano City, Mie
9/1 (Sat)~9/2 (Sun) Senshu Light and Sound Dream Fireworks Display 20,000 Sennan City, Osaka Prefecture / Rinku-Namahama Park Planned Area
9/8 (Sat) Mikawa Handworks Fireworks “Festival of Flames” 870(including 220 handheld fireworks) Toyohashi City, Aichi
Sanin Sanyo · Kyushu · Okinawa area 3/21 (Wed), 4/29 (Sun), 5/3 (Thurs), 5/4 (Fri), 8/11 (Sat), 8/12 (Sun), 8/25 (Sat) Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks (World Fireworks Competition) 22,000 Sasebo, Nagasaki
8/4 (Sat) Matsue Suigo Festival Fireworks Festival On The Lake 10,000 Matsue City, Shimane
8/13 (Mon) Kanmon Straits Firework Display 15,000 Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi/Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
late August Kagoshima Bay Summer Night Firework Display 15,000 Kagoshima City
Normal year: late October Yatsujiro National Fireworks Competition 12,000 Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto

※Event information and the opening hours of facilities may change. Please confirm in advance when you visit.


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