Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Lighting Up the Night Sky: the PL Art of Fireworks Festival

Photo: Kentaro Ohno

Lighting Up the Night Sky: the PL Art of Fireworks Festival

Victoria Ceneda

The town of Tondabayashi, Osaka is famous for a monumental and uniquely designed landmark. Know as the PL Peace Tower this 600 ft tall monument is dedicated to all the people who have died as a result of war, since the beginning of time. It was built in 1970 by the religious group PL Kyodan, the Church of Perfect Liberty (パーフェクト リバティー教団 Pāfekuto Ribatī Kyōdan).


This tower stands alone, away from any other tall buildings. It’s hard to miss when looking at the Tondabayashi skyline. Regardless of one’s personal feelings towards the tower, it is part of the very roots of Tondabayashi. PL Kyodan also created another integral part of Tondabayashi City – the famous PL fireworks display.

PL Art of Fireworks (教祖祭PL花火芸術 Kyōsosai PL hanabi geijutsu) is held by PL Kyodan every year on August 1. It draws thousands of spectators annually and is recognized as being one of the largest firework displays in the world! A minimum of 100,000 shells are fired in less than an hour, so it is no wonder you can see the fireworks from neighboring cities!


The festival begins in the afternoon when visitors take over the streets of Tondabayashi, tasting mouth-watering snacks and playing traditional festival games offered by the many yatai (food and game stalls). The atmosphere is that of a typical Japanese summer festival, relaxed but with a buzzing excitement that fills the air. Of course it is important to find the best spot to view the fireworks as early as possible! There is also the option of reserving a paid seat. You can spot many guests at the PL Art of Fireworks festival wearing traditional summer yukata, both young and old! The fireworks begin at approximately 7:45pm and last until 9:00pm.


The highlight of the night is the grand finale! More than 8,000 shells are launched into the air at once to create the gigantic Star Mine. The result is a jaw dropping sight. The night sky is completely transformed into a bright explosion of sound and colour. It truly needs to be seen to be believed!


If you are looking for an unforgettable fireworks experience this summer and you’re in Osaka, check out the PL Art of Fireworks festival!