This year Yoko and I are expecting an increase in the number of festivals available, and traffic to the festival sites is likely to be an increasingly troublesome issue. To help with this, we have decided to offer the best information we can by grouping festivals into three categories, those requiring access by car, those accessible by train and those which offer other significant events making them a choice for entire day trips or overnights.
A normal fireworks-only event is usually no more than about 45minutes. The vast amount of time and effort is spent getting to and from the site!
Access By Train:
This means don’t attempt to arrive by car, whatever you do! For easy rail access and maybe a kilo or two of walking, check out Ashiya Summer Festival, Kobe Minato Hanabi Taikai, Uji, Otsu Biwako, Takarazuka, PL, Inagawa, Itami and Yodogawa. If you’re really into crowds, you can take in Tenjin Matsuri too, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. This one is a real throng, like even compared to all the other ones which are, too! Watch out for Uji as well, and plan your getaway in advance.
Access By Car:
This means you need a car. Check out Fukuchiyama, Maizuru, Miyazu, Nagahama in Shiga Prefecture, Kameoka, Nantan, Nara Tokae and the greatest of all, Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture.
Festivals Offering Local Variety:
When you have wheels, you can check out some genuine cultural spirit in the small and mid-sized cities around Kyoto Prefecture, Nara and Fukui, and of course farther out in the Hokuriku region. The most widespread cultural events involving fireworks are the Tohrohnagashi festivals which celebrate candle-lit boats on local rivers by night in addition to the fireworks. Nara City has the famous annual Tokae event where up to a million candles are collected in the park during the 8-9-night-long celebration. These events are very atmospheric.
For the Tohrohnagashi festivals, go to Fukuchiyama which also has an extensive night market going on, Miyazu and Maizuru, and of course Tsuruga which Yoko and I consider to be the king of Kansai summer festivals.
More details to follow! Take care!
Owner of Smith’s School in Kotoen