[2016] It’s Not Summer Till You See Fireworks! Five of Yamaguchi’s Amazingly Elegant Firework Displays!

The hot season we’ve been waiting for is just around the corner! And that’s why… We’ve gathered together information on Yamaguchi firework events that you just can’t miss this summer! We have a carefully selected variety including Yamaguchi’s representative spots such as Kintaikyo Bridge, Hofu Tenmangu Shrine, and the Kanmon Straits! They’re so elegant you’ll forget the heat.

① A Beautiful Sandy Beach Turns into the Best Seats! Hikari Fireworks (Hikari City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

The venue is the Nijigahama Beach with its beautiful 3km shoreline that has been selected among Japan’s top 100 swimming beaches, as well as Japan’s top 100 beaches with white sands and green pines.

As the fireworks are launched about 300 meters off the coast, they can be seen at any spot on the beach! The highlights of the event are the submerged fireworks and the skyrocket fireworks! Their beauty just makes you sigh in awe!! Take a seat on the sand and be intoxicated by this Seto Inland Sea summer night’s dream!

Hikari Fireworks

Date: July 30 (Sat) 2016 *Canceled only in case of heavy rain or a storm
Venue: Nijigahama Beach (2-Chome Nijigahama, Hikari city, Yamaguchi prefecture)
Time: fireworks 20:00-20:50
Total fireworks: Around 3,300
Parking capacity: Around 2000 vehicles in 16 locations around the city *There are traffic limitations around the venue on the date of the event (17:00-23:00)
Access: 5-minutes walk from JR Sanyo Main Line Hikari station / 20-minutes drive from Sanyo expressway from the Kumage interchange
Inquiries: Hikari CIty Tourism Association TEL: 0833-48-8686
https://www.hikari-kanko.org/event/%E5%85%89%E8%8A%B1%E7%81%AB%E5%A4%A7%E4%BC%9A/ (Japanese)

② Collaboration with Magical Lights! Hofu Tenmangu Shrine’s Gotanshin Festival (Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

ofu Tenmangu shrine is dedicated to the god of study, Sugawara no Michizane. During the night at the Hofu Tenmangu Gotanshin Festival, which is held annually from August 3rd through August 5th, the way leading to the shrine is lit up by over 1000 candles. You might feel satisfied just by this, but on the last day of the festival…

Colorful fireworks rise up and illuminate the sky above the shrine, which was constructed in 904! Captivating music and a laser light show add to the summer night sky magic.

Hofu Tenmangu Shrine
Date: August 5 (Fri) 2016 *Canceled only in case of heavy rain or a storm
Venue: Hofu Tenmangu Shrine (14-1 Matsuzaki-cho, Hofu city, Yamaguchi prefecture)
Time: fireworks 20:30-21:10
Total fireworks: Around 4000
Parking area capacity:  Around 500 vehicles in the event venue’s surroundings
Access: 15-minutes walk from JR Sanyo Main Line Hofu station / 15-minutes drive from Sanyo expressway Hofu west interchange / 10-minutes drive from Sanyo expressway Hofu east interchange
Inquiries: Hofu Tenmangu Shrine TEL:0835-23-7700
http://www.hofutenmangu.or.jp/kongetunogiyouji/tansinsai.html (Japanese)

③ An Elegant Collaboration with Kintaikyo Bridge! Nishiki River Festival (Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Kintaikyo Bridge is one of Japan’s three most famous bridges. If you think it would be truly elegant to see fireworks rise up and illuminate the sky behind it, I have some good news for you!

The Nishiki River Festival!!

The festival starts at noon and is packed with events such as a treasure hunt, and an Iwakuni taiko drum performance, etc. When the street stalls light up their lights and Kintaikyo Bridge is lit up, it’s finally time for the long-awaited fireworks! The sight of some 6000 fireworks shot up behind the beautiful bridge is truly a masterpiece!

Nishiki River Festival

Date: August 6 (Sat) * Only canceled in case of heavy rain. In this case, rescheduled on August 27 (Sun)
Venue: Kintaikyo Bridge’s surroundings (Iwakuni, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture)
Time: fireworks 20:00-21:30
Total fireworks: Around 6000
Parking area: 3 locations around the venue
Access: Take a bus from JR Iwakuni station in the Kintaikyo Bridge direction, ride for 20 minutes and get off at the Kintaikyo Bridge bus center, 2-minutes walk from the bus center  *A shuttle bus is planned from JR Iwakuni station (Adults one-way ticket JPY250)
Inquiries: Nishiki River Festival Executive Committee (General Incorporate Association) Iwakuni City Tourism Association
http://www.iwakuni-kanko.jp (Japanese)

④ Decorating Summer at Kanmon! Kanmon Straits Fireworks (Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

One of Japan’s foremost fireworks events where, almost as if competing, fireworks shoot up from both sides of the Kanmon Straits: from Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi prefecture) and Moji (Fukuoka prefecture). At this event that attracts over 1 million guests every year, you can witness a total of over 13 thousand fireworks with the lit up Kanmon Bridge in the background. The amazing collaboration of Kita-Kyushu’s million dollar night view and the fireworks can be witnessed only at Shimonoseki!!

Kanmon Straits Fireworks
Date: August 13 (Sat) 2016 *Canceled only during heavy rain or a storm (event will not be rescheduled)
Venue: Kanmon Straits shoreline area (Arukapoto, Shimonoseki city, Yamaguchi prefecture)
Time: fireworks 19:50-20:40
Total fireworks: Around 13,000
Parking area: Not available *Arriving by car is not possible (Strict traffic restrictions in the event area)
Paid seating: Charity Area / Adults (middle school students & older) JPY1000, Children (Elementary school students & older) JPY500
Special Viewing Area: Pre-sale JPY1300, On the day JPY1500, Seats with a chair JPY2000
Access: 20-minutes walk from JR Sanyo Main Line Shimonoseki station
Inquiries: (Incorporated foundation) Shimonoseki 21st Century Association
http://www.shimonoseki21c.jp/firework/index.shtml (Japanese)

⑤ Lanterns Float as Suo-Oshima Island Fireworks Illuminate the Skies (Suo-Oshima, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

On Suo-Oshima Island, floating in the Seto Inland Sea, one of the biggest events of summer is the one pictured above, the Suo-Oshima Island fireworks.

Lantern floating, which happens during the Obon season, is done at the same time! While around 2000 lanterns float towards the sea, around 5000 fireworks decorate the night sky. There’s also bon odori dancing and you can enjoy views with a summery atmosphere all at once.

Suo-Oshima Island Fireworks

Date: August 16 (Tues) *Canceled only in the case of heavy rain or a storm. In this case, rescheduled on August 17 (Wed)
Venue: Higashiagenosho area (Agenosho, Suo-Oshima, Oshima district, Yamaguchi prefecture)
Time: fireworks 20:15-20:50
Total fireworks: Around 5000
Parking area capacity: Around 1,300 vehicles in the areas surrounding the venue
Access: 50 minutes by bus from JR Sanyo Main Line Obatake station / 50-minutes drive from Sanyo expressway Kuga interchange
Inquiries: Suo-Oshima Fireworks Executive Committee (within Suo-Oshima Commerce & Industry Association)
TEL: 0820-77-0242
http://www.suouoshima.com/event0709.html (Japanese)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masafumi Fujimoto

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Masafumi Fujimoto

Masafumi Fujimoto

Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.


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