Of the dozens of incredible and wonderful Kansai summer fireworks festivals we have to tolerate, the centerpiece is definitely PL in Tondabayashi. This event is held every year on Aug 1st. Japan living can really be a lot of fun, especially during the hot summer months. With 70,000 rockets and probably more on display, it promised to attract an enormous crowd. Officials counted 700,000 people this year.
The Four Runner-Up Japan Living Events
Osaka Yodogawa and Kobe Minato are tied for Saturday, Aug 5th, and they will draw nearly one million people out of their homes and cars for this night. Lucky the two festivals are thirty-five kilometers apart! Japan living is great in the summer, but some care is also required during these events. Bring water!
The Biwako Festival on Tuesday, Aug 8th promises to be another top event as usual. Expect about 350,000 people to gather around Otsu’s nice beaches. If you’re in the area on Aug 4th, Nagahama on the north end of the lake also has 10,000 rockets on display. It attracts a crowd of only 115,000, a mere fraction of the more central events.
There are other celebrations I attend when not working at my franchise English school. I can offer a long list for those of you interested!
The Cancelations to Watch For Next Year
Japan living has its concerns as well. A few years ago a fatal accident occured at an event. Not surprisingly, this prompted officials to do risk assessments at several locations and festivals were suspended. These events resume when necessary infrastructure to accomodate large crowds is ready. Uji-gawa, Kameoka, Fukuchiyama and many smaller locations are on hold but could return as early as next year. Stay tuned and meanwhile, enjoy the ones that we have this year. There is much to be proud of!
Martin Werner Zander