Fireworks are a seasonal tradition of Japan. The light, color and sound fascinate many people, and there are various kinds ranging from those that can be casually enjoyed by families and friends to dynamic and impressive ones seen at major events. The majority of large-scale fireworks events are held in July and August and have become embedded as a seasonal feature of summer. Moreover there are many regional fireworks events which are held in requiem or in honor of the war dead or ancestral souls, in which the fireworks serve as ceremonial bonfires. There are various kinds of fireworks in different regions, such as gimmick or set-piece fireworks, in which different shapes like hearts and characters emerge. So, while being awed by their beauty, why not give some thought to the ideas involved in them and how they're displayed.
Types of fireworks (1) Skyrocket Fireworks

'Skyrocket fireworks are the main attraction of fireworks events. This is the general name given to fireworks which rise high in the sky and open up widely. Cylinders filled with explosive gunpowder are launched into the sky, opening up to release brilliant sounds and light from high above. It is common to enjoy the light, sound and smoke after they are set off. Moreover, skyrocket fireworks are largely categorized into four groups--warimono (these open up roundly), pokamono (these literally crack open in the sky), katamono (shaped fireworks) and shikakehanabi (gimmick or set-piece fireworks). If divided into even finer categories there would be a vast number of types of fireworks.

Types of fireworks (2) Underwater and Water Fireworks

Both are kinds of gimmick or set-piece fireworks. In contrast to skyrocket fireworks, they open up in a radial shape on the water surface, not in the sky. Underwater fireworks are ignited at the shore or on a boat and set off into the water to explode. On the other hand, water fireworks are set up on a boat or raft beforehand and then remotely ignited. As the name implies, they literally explode on the water so they exhibit a beautiful radial shape without the resistance of water.

Types of fireworks (3) Toy Fireworks

Typified by sparklers, these are enjoyed by families and children in front of their homes and in open spaces where fireworks can be set off primarily in summer. There are many hand-held types which are good for taking photos because they emit less smoke. Toy fireworks can be casually enjoyed, but certain precautionary rules must be observed since some of them, like rocket fireworks, contain powerful gunpowder.

If you come to Japan in the summer, enjoy hand-held fireworks!

Fireworks are said to be a summer tradition, but in Japan, you can hold hand-held fireworks in designated parks and banks. Fireworks are not permitted in some places, so be sure to check the website of your municipality in advance.

What to bring with you when you use handheld fireworks
1. Lighter for ignition, Chukkaman

Good to have for lighting fireworks, candles, etc.

2. Candle

If you have a candle, it is safe to light the fireworks, and it is convenient to have it because you don't have to use a lighter to light each one.

3. Bucket with water

This is very important and should be prepared. Fireworks that have finished playing must be placed in a bucket of water once to extinguish them completely. Also, in case of emergency, you can put out the fire with water, so let's put water in it.

4. Bug spray

In the summer, there are many mosquitoes and insects, so it is convenient to bring an insect repellent spray.

5. Garbage bag

Put it in the water to extinguish the fire, and prepare a garbage bag to take home the used fireworks.
If you leave the used fireworks on the embankment and go home, the hand-held fireworks may be canceled. Let's follow the rules and have fun with the fireworks!

Japanese culture "Sparkler"

Have you ever heard the word sparkler? It is said that these fireworks, which start from the time they are lit, represent the life of a human being.
This sparkler, which was born in the Edo period, is still popular with many people as a handheld fireworks.

1. First, when the fire is lit, a round fireball is formed at the tip of the fireworks. (Hold the fireball facing down)
2. When the fireball is formed, it will make a crackling sound and produce fine sparks.
3. The crackling sound becomes quieter and the spark becomes thinner and softer.
4. The fireball becomes smaller, the sparks dance smaller, and eventually fall and disappear.

You can also enjoy playing a game where everyone lights the fireworks all at once and the person who has the last fire left wins.
One of the attractions of sparklers is that the size of the ball varies when lit. Some balls are large and fall off quickly, while others are small and sticky for a long time. You can really feel that the various lives of people are expressed there.
Please enjoy the delicate and skillful technique of Japanese people.

Fireworks festival in Japan

As I mentioned at the beginning, most of the fireworks festivals in Japan are held in July and August, and are crowded with people every year. As a feature, first of all, there are many stalls. Yakisoba, takoyaki, baby castella, apple candy, cotton candy, and potato butter are all sold here. Next, there are many people wearing yukata. Perhaps there are people who have seen it in Japanese animation. The fireworks display and the yukata are a great match, and just wearing them will change your mood. Also, since many people will be taking seats before the show starts, you may not be able to sit and watch the show if you go at the start time, so it might be a good idea to go a little earlier.

Additional note

There are some local regions which hold fireworks events in seasons other than summer, so you need to check about them on tourist information websites.