Hanabi, or fireworks, are a seasonal tradition in Japan. Every summer, many cities host beautiful fireworks festivals each year, and it has long been a tradition that Japanese people have loved for centuries.
With so many fireworks festivals, it may be difficult to decide on which one to go to. My recommendation is the Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival held right near the harbor of Yokohama. There are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful festival—below are 4 extra unique ways to get the best out of the event.
Kabacchi on Flickr
Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
Date: August 2nd, 2016 (Tues.) In case of bad weather, it will be held on August 3rd (announced by noon, Aug. 2).
The fireworks will be set off right above Yokohama Harbor.
1. Have a Drink at a Beer Garden
Karl Baron on FlickrWhat beats the temptation of watching beautiful fireworks and drinking beer at the same time? In Japan, summer is also the season for beer—every summer, numerous beer gardens emerge in the metropolitan area, and Yokohama is no exception. Manage to find the right beer garden with an ocean-view terrace, and you shall not be disappointed.
Here are a few recommended beer gardens near the harbor area.viva la FARM!! Red Brick Paradise (@Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse)
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse hosts many seasonal events throughout the year, and each year they come up with creative themes to entertain the visitors. This summer, the event theme is centered on the Central/Southern Americas. With cheerful Latin music, tacos, and mojitos, this special event is sure to bring you up. The Red Brick Warehouse is a great place to watch the fireworks as well. Open 11AM~11PM.
The Ocean’s Bar (@The Grand Oriental Minato-Mirai)
The Grand Oriental is originally a wedding facility with nice restaurants and cafes. In the summer, it opens a rooftop bar called “The Ocean’s Bar”. This year The Ocean’s Bar runs under the theme: “Asian Breeze”. Asian cuisines from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and other Asian countries will be served, in addition to 13 different types of beer from various countries, original cocktails, and wine. Open 6PM~11PM.
Sogo Rooftop Beer Garden (@Sogo Department Store)
A little off from the bay area, but the beer garden at Sogo Department Store is nonetheless a decent option to enjoy the fireworks. Sogo’s beer garden provides an all-you-can-eat/drink menu for ¥4300—with no limit on time (they also provide a 3800 yen buffet course with a limit of 2 hours). It’s unfortunate that you probably will not be able to hear the music that goes with the fireworks, but if you are looking to have a good time in general, Sogo should be a tempting choice. Open 4PM~10PM.
2. Indulge in Hama-Yoga
Bär Baer on FlickrWhat in the world is Hama-Yoga? The annual Hama-Yoga event celebrates its 3rd anniversary this year, and has been attracting more and more visitors each time. The concept of Hama-Yoga is to enjoy Yoga above the big bridge over the bay of Yokohama. It is held from 3PM~8PM with 6 different sessions, where the last two sessions (7PM~7:50PM and 7:50PM~8PM) are designed to enjoy yoga and fireworks at the same time. Fees are ¥4500 per person, with a rental yoga mat for ¥500. Seats must be reserved. Hama-Yoga official site. Hama-Yoga official Facebook page.
3. Go Sky Cruising
skasamatsu on FlickrIf you are looking to go overboard with your fireworks experience, going sky cruising may be an excellent option. During the hour of the fireworks festival, you can charter a helicopter for 15~60minutes depending on your course to enjoy the beautiful fireworks. It’s pricy of course, but you can have the rare experience of “looking down” —instead of looking up—at the fireworks. Official Website.
4. Ride the Cosmo-Clock 21
aotaro on FlickrCosmo-Clock 21 is one of Yokohama’s symbols; it is the giant Ferris wheel located near the bay. It is part of the attraction of Yokohama Cosmo World, a small theme park located near the harbor. One ride is approximately 15 minutes, and the line can be around 30-40 minutes long around the fireworks festival, but if you can get the timing right, the view from Cosmo-Clock is amazing. One ride is 800 yen.
Hope you enjoy!