Little by little, the scent of summer is getting thicker in the air these days.
For me, who grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture, the fireworks at the Yokohama Port Opening Festival mark the beginning of summer every year.
It was still a little early to call it summer, but I looked up at the sky in my yukata and felt excited about the arrival of summer. Now that I'm an adult, I don't have a summer vacation that lasts forever, and I'm busy working under the scorching sun and in a room that's too cold with an air conditioner, and summer is no longer just fun. Even so, I still dance with concepts unique to summer, such as "fireworks," "the voice of cicadas," and "smell of sunscreen."
Many fireworks festivals have been canceled in the past few years due to the coronavirus, but this year, events where you can enjoy fireworks in Kanagawa Prefecture are gradually reviving. In this article, we will introduce some notable events where you can enjoy fireworks in the prefecture in the summer of 2022.
●Yugawara Onsen Fireworks Festival
Date (tentative): 8/3 (Wed), 8/6 (Sat) in case of rain
The "Yugawara Onsen Fireworks Festival" is the finale of the "Yugawara Yassa Matsuri", a festival that makes the summer of Yugawara very exciting. After the colorful flower carts cheer up the ground, the stage is moved to the sky on the night of the second day, and about 6,000 fireworks end the festival. The fireworks that are set off against Sagami Bay illuminate not only the night sky but also the surface of the sea in vivid colors, creating a mystical atmosphere. Underwater star mines unique to the sea are also one of the popular productions. This fireworks display is a popular event that attracts many people from inside and outside the prefecture.
●Izu Yugawara Onsen Fireworks Festival
Date (tentative): 7/23 (Sat), 8/27 (Sat) if postponed
Also from Yugawara, this "Izu Yugawara Onsen Noryo Fireworks Festival" is popular as "the closest fireworks display in Japan." Held at Izumi Park in the center of the Yugawara hot spring town, you can enjoy the co-starring of about 2,000 fireworks and the "Enshu Tezutsu Fireworks," which are rarely seen in ordinary fireworks displays. In the Tezutsu Hanabi, the pyrotechnician actually holds the tubes in their hands and launches fireworks into the sky from about 100 tubes. Fireworks have a strong image of being beautiful and ephemeral, but here you can enjoy a powerful and powerful impression. The fireworks that follow are set off in the park, so the distance to the fireworks is very close, and you can enjoy it with all five senses, such as the sound of the fireworks and the smell of gunpowder. It is a fireworks display where you can enjoy a wide variety of fireworks up close, such as the popular star mines and music fireworks that are set off with music.
● Hakone Gora Onsen Daimonji-yaki
Date (planned): 8/16 (Tue)
Next, we will introduce Hakone's summer tradition that you can enjoy with fireworks. The 101st Hakone Gora Onsen Daimonji Yaki this year is counted as one of the three major festivals in Hakone. The character "大" made using about 200 to 300 torches boasts a size of 108 meters for the first stroke, 162 meters for the second stroke, and 81 meters for the third stroke. As fireworks are launched to signal the ignition, the appearance of the character "Dai" slowly emerging from Mt. Fireworks that shine as brightly as Daimonji-yaki are rich in variety, such as the popular "Star Mine" and "Niagara no Otaki", and vividly illuminate the night sky.
●Shonan Hiratsuka Fireworks Festival
Date (tentative): 8/26 (Fri), 8/28 (Sun) in case of rain
Photo courtesy of Hiratsuka Tourism Association
At the end of August, the Shonan Hiratsuka Fireworks Festival colors the Shonan sky. This fireworks festival is held at the seaside, which can be said to be a symbol of Shonan in summer. It was canceled for two years due to the corona crisis, but this year it will be revived for the first time in three years. At this event, held in Shonan Itako (at the mouth of the Sagami River), the event begins with a taiko drum performance, followed by about 3,000 fireworks every year. Originating in 1951, the "Suga Noryo Fireworks Festival" was started by the local residents of the Suga area, and since then it has become a popular event that is indispensable in the summer of Shonan under the sponsorship of the tourist association. A wide variety of fireworks, such as shakudama and star mines, are in full bloom, and the "Hanabi Illusion", in which the star mines rise to the music, is a must-see, especially at the end.
We hope that you will visit these places and feel the Japanese summer first-hand.