Japan’s most historic fireworks display lights up the Sumida River in Tokyo.
The Sumida River Festival is the oldest and one of the most impressive hanabi (fireworks) displays in Japan. After the great famine of 1732, the Shogun decided to hold a water ceremony on the Sumida River to pray for the souls of the victim. Restaurants located along the river were invited to light fireworks.
Today, rival fireworks gangs compete to set off the loudest, brightest and most impressive fireworks. The surrounding streets are closed to traffic and lined with street vendors selling cold drinks and tasty snacks.
The festival attracts around 1,000,000 people annually, and many of the spectators come dressed in their yukata (summer kimono).
When to go: This annual festival takes place on the last Saturday in July between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m.