Summertime in Japan can be hot and humid and this year temperatures soared to extreme highs making it nearly unbearable to live in. As well as the extreme heatwave Japan was hit by strong typhoons with the eye of the typhoon being Kobe, the city I live in. There’s also been strong earthquakes and torrential rainfall throughout the Kansai area, causing some anxious times over the Summer.
What makes the summer so great in Japan though are the festivals and there is no better summer festival in Osaka than the Yodogawa fireworks festival.
Yodogawa Fireworks festival
The Yodogawa Fireworks festival was started in 1989 by a group of volunteers who wanted to revitalize the city of Osaka. Now almost 30 years later it has become the most dynamic festival in Osaka with around 500,000 people from all over Japan attend.
The festival is held on the banks of the Yodogawa river on the first Saturday of August. There are many viewing points but most are jammed packed full of people. If you want to be assured of a spectacular view though, there is a roped off area for standing room from 2500 yen and seating with a meal and drinks for 8000 yen. I had the pleasure of watching from a friend’s apartment some kilometres away which still offered outstanding views.
Fireworks in Australia usually last no more than 5-10 minutes but these festivals last an hour with the local fireworks craftsmen setting the night sky ablaze with various illuminated patterns lighting the sky, each one a different colour of red, blue and green. The climatic end comes with sounds of the crackling of the fireworks as they explode into dramatic fashion to the roaring applause of the crowd. Soon afterwards the crowd begin to dispurse as they slowly walk back to the train only to return the following year for the festival.
2019 Yodogawa Festival
The festival next year will be on Saturday, August 3rd.