Annual Events Culture

Resurgence Spectacle: Tokyo Firework Festival Lights Up the Night After Four Years

Hi, how terribly scorching heat, isn’t it?  It was 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo today (July 29, 2023) and 39.8 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the hottest place in Japan, and the humidity was over 70 percent.

As the UN Secretary General, Mr.Antonio Guterres, has recently said, we have gone beyond global warming and entered the era of global boiling.

No wonder it is so hot. We live in a climate of high temperature and humidity. I think we are approaching the limit of survival for both animals and plants on the earth.

But lamenting won’t help. People all over the world must stand up against it with a strong awareness of the environment.

From now on, we are going to see the Tokyo fireworks display last night(July 29, 2023) to break the very uncomfortable heat that has been going on for more than a week and the weather report predicts we have almost the same or worse in another week or so!

What’s the Tokyo Fireworks Festival?

In the night sky of Tokyo’s downtown, colorful large fireworks bloomed again after a four-year hiatus.

The Sumida River Fireworks Festival, a summer tradition, took place on July 29th, spanning two venues in Taito Ward and Sumida Ward.

Amid the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event resumed with approximately 20,000 fireworks launched, evoking cheers from the spectators.

According to the organizing committee, around 1.03 million people attended the festival.


People dressed in yukata were capturing the collaboration between the Tokyo Skytree and the shining moon in the sky using their smartphones’ cameras.

As the area around the venue is filled with buildings and lacks significant open spaces, staff members were guiding visitors to keep moving and avoid stopping.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s “DJ Police” were also present, urging caution.

Ten-year-old Kazuto Ichinose, a fifth-grade pupil from Taito Ward’s Negishi Elementary School, who came with his family, expressed his delight, saying, “It’s my first time seeing fireworks up close.

I was amazed to see the colors changing and various types of fireworks.”

Seventeen-year-old Sakura Kobayashi, a high school studentgirl from Edogawa Ward, who visited with her friends from a residential area a little further away from the riverside, said, “It was a bit scary near the bridge because of the large crowd.

The fireworks were very beautiful, and it made me feel like it’s really summer”.

When did the festival begin and why?

Fireworks are said to have originated in Japan. The beginning of launching fireworks dates back to the Edo period, with its origin attributed to the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival held in 1733.

Fireworks during Edo period

During that time, both Kansai and Edo (present-day Tokyo) were suffering from famines and epidemic outbreaks, resulting in a significant number of deaths.

The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival was organized to console the souls of the deceased and to ward off the epidemic, and it was during this event that the first fireworks were launched.

Today, it has become one of Japan’s largest fireworks festivals, attracting approximately one million spectators every year.



About the author

古林 茂樹(Shigeki Furubayashi )