Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Harumi, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0053, Japan
Photo by Jon Sheer
Blade Runner BouquetDuring the summer months, Tokyo (and the rest of Japan) puts on a veritable smorgasbord of spectacular fireworks shows, all of which are ensconced in a larger festival atmosphere replete with kimono-clad women, fluttering folding fans, and rows and rows of pop-up booths selling tasty snacks like yakitori and Japanese-style corn on the cob. And then, of course, there is the beer. Lots of it. In fact, possibly more beer than has ever been gathered in a single location on the planet (with the possible exception of Oktoberfest). No open container or public drunkenness laws in Japan mean that fireworks-goers, well, go for it—if a motto could be assigned to these rambunctious gunpowder gatherings, it might be, “Go hard or go home.” Yet no matter how hammered the participants get, there is (almost) always an air of polite, good-natured civility and orderliness that is simply inconceivable just about anywhere else.
In terms of the fireworks displays themselves, Tokyo offers some of the largest in the nation—the Sumida Fireworks alone fires off northward of 20,000 individual fireworks in the span of about an hour and a half. Definitely a spectacle to behold and well worth the massive crowds if you happen to be in town during the summer, you may have to show up a couple of days in advance, though, and put down your tarp to reserve a viewing spot!