Just like ramen and Communism (with a captial C), the Chinese invented gunpowder. Instead of using it for the constitutionally correct purpose of slaughtering millions with firearms like the Europeans and Asians and Americans and Africans and Australians, they used it to make fireworks, those things that make a big boom and a brilliant flash of pretty colors.
As with everything else they borrowed from overseas, the Japanese improved perfected the art of making fireworks in their own infinitely meticulous fashion. They even categorized differents types of fireworks by the kind of shape and color they make. For the real “wa” experience, print multiple copies of this out and give them to your friends:
The traditional kind are warimono, similar to what you probably think of when someone says “fireworks”. When they explode, they somewhat resemble a chrysanthemum, Japan’s national flower. Some people will tell you the sakura cherry blossom is Japan’s actual national flower, but you can ignore them. Banzai!
The other traditional type is pokamono. They explode in a much more random pattern, looking like comets or lasters. They are smaller than warimono.
Here’s the fuggin schedule. The number following the festival name is the number of fireworks fired at that particular event:
The 64th Osu Summer Festival Fireworks
(Sat. August 2 and 3, 100)
This is part of the Osu Natsu Matsuri, which is a lot of fun. 100 fireworks might not sound like a lot, but Osu makes up for quantity with quality. Go to either Kamimaezu or Osukannon Stn. and follow the crowds.
The 66th Okazaki Castle Summer Festival Fireworks Display (Sat. August 2, 20,000)
Okazaki is basically known for this fireworks display and being the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu (in that order). Join 48,000 other punters and let your eyes feast on the pretty colors. It’s a short walk from Okazaki Station, and we doubt you will get lost.
The 45th Tokai Matsuri Fireworks
(Sat. August 9, 4000)
This is one of the larger fireworks displays in Aichi. The spot you’ll want to be is Oike Park, a 15 minute walk from either Meitetsu Otagawa or Shinnittetsu-mae stations. The festivities start at 6pm.
The 35th Evening Fireworks in Inuyama
(Sun August 10, 3000)
It’s pretty easy to get to Inuyama from Nagoya. Go and watch some stuff blow up! Go to Inuyamayuen Station on the Meitetsu line and you’re there. Enjoy!
Mihama Big Bang 2014
(Sat August 16, 8000)
Mihama is fairly close to Utsumi beach, and this festival will probably live up to it’s monicker. Fireworks display? GTFO. Big Bang all the way, baby. For this one you’ll probably want to drive or take a taxi from Meitetsu Noma Station. It’s about a 3km walk.
Kariya Wansaka Matsuri 2014 Fireworks
(Sat August 16, 7000)
If you ever needed a reason to go to Kariya, this is probably it. It is being held at the Kariya Sports Park, and stuff starts getting purty at 7pm. Check here for shuttle bus information: www.kariya-guide.com/ufile/library/543_file.pdf
Japan is known for it’s many festivals and fun things to do, especially in August. Here are some of our choice picks for “cool things to check out in summer”:
The 64th Osu Summer Festival
(Sat August 2 and 3)
This festival takes all the fun Osu is known for and turns it up to 11. Don’t miss the World Cosplay Summit parade on the 3rd, unless you don’t like cosplay and games and stuff, in which case you can probably miss it without getting too upset.
Night Zoo at Higashiyama Zoo
(Sat August 3, 9, 16, Sun August 3, 10, 17)
It’s like the zoo! But at night! Take your kids, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, fiancee, mistress, mister (or all of the above) to have a fun time. Check here for specifics on the animals who will be making an appearance: www.higashiyama.city.nagoya.jp/upload_file/pdf/EVE00055_162802.pdf
Nagoya Castle Night Festival
It’s like the castle! but at night! The castle ground will be lit up and the open until 9pm. There are lots of different things happening, and the new Honmaru palace is worth a look. Wear a yukata for a Â¥100 discount.
The 63rd Hirokoji Matsuri
Between 5pm and 9pm, Hirokoji-dori will be blocked to non-foot traffic (“Pedestrian Heaven”) between Fushimi and Hisaya-odori. There will be lots of fun stalls where you can buy assorted fried foods and beer, together with dancing and general festivities. That’s why it’s called a festival. Recommended.
The 16th Nippon Domannaka Matsuri
This “right in the middle of Japan” festival is the big one. Full of energetic dancers, with 210 dance teams and 23,000 performers taking part yearly. Highlights include souodori, a mass dance joined by both performers and viewers alike, and the final dance contest. There are over 20 venues, so you’d better check the website.