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Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

Tokyo, Japan
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Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

I'm back from the Sumida River Grand Fireworks event.

That was one of the most amazing sight I've ever seen in my life. It was beyond words. That was no fireworks, but true art of hana-bi (flower-fire). It moved me, so as tens of thousands of people around me. I truly respect the craftsmen who have preserved and upgraded the technique for centuries. They desereved an ovation. Oh, it was magnifique !!

There must have been close to million people watching literally, as in previous years. As roads are mostly closed to cars and partly to pedestrians to avoid accidents, I only managed to see over the buildings, but I caught most of the hanabi right on spot at the second launching area in my neighborhood. I thought I was scorching from fire and smoke of gunpowder was all around me. I had thought I'd just peek for while, but I had stayed from the beginning to the end.

Between Kuramae and Asakusa on Edo Street, there is a small Suwa shrine and Bandai's (the toymaker) office. In front of the Bandai office, people were already spreading sheets and with bottle of booze and cups of beer, having a good time. The lady at the diner that I frequent told me I should be able to see the hanabi, and she was right.

For people going to the next year's Sumida River Grand Hanabi, and who couldn't reserve in advace some nice terrace restaurant for the view, you don't have to be disappointed or cope with all the hundred thousands of crowds to get a complete view from the bridges. Take my advice and see from near the Bandai office, Komagata 2-chome crossing. Some of the view will be blocked by the buildings, but you'll have enough view as they will be launched higher up.

Edited: 28 July 2012, 13:19
6 replies to this topic
Tokyo, Japan
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for Hakone-machi, Minato
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1. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

I was there as well! (Not same place) I heard from firework diehards that the fireworks at Tokyo Bay on Aug. 11 will be bigger and grander! The fireworks will be launched from the Bay, away from homes and "civilization," so they can send larger "balls" up.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2267.html

asiarooms.com/en/…tokyo-bay-fireworks.html

Enjoy!

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

Mamajelli-san, I recognized that the launching area of the two spots along the Sumida River last night was quite limited. It was so close to the buildings and the smell of gunpowder and noise was awesome (I was taking a nap in my apartment and was suddenly woken up by the noise of test-firing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsmdfW6VPQQ

I will list the schedules of firework events around Tokyo (events in suburban towns and outside Tokyo Prefecture are ommitted):

-August 1 (Wed): Koto Hanabi Taikai: 19:40-20:30; 4,000 shots; Arakawa River Sunamachi Park (Metro Minami-Sunamachi)

-August 4 (Sat): Edogawa-ku Hanabi Taikai: 19:15-20:30; 14,000 shots;

Edogawa River between Shinozaki and Ichikawa

-August 4 (Sat): Itabashi Hanabi Taikai: 19:00-20:45; 5,500 shots; Todabashi Bridge on Arakawa River (JR Ukima Funado or Toda Koen)

-August 10 (Fri): Nikkan Sports Earthquake Charity Fireworks; 19:30-20:30; 10,000 shots; Jingu Baseball park; (JR Sendagaya etc)

-August 11 (Sat) Tokyo Bay Grand Fireworks; 19:00-20:20; 12,000 shots; between Tokyo Bay Harumi Pier and Rainbow Bridge (Metro Tsukishima)

-October 13 (Sat) Adachi Fireworks; 18:00-19:00; 15,000 shots; Arakawa River near Senju Shinbashi Bridge (JR/Metro Kitasenju)

Edited: 29 July 2012, 10:20
Tokyo, Japan
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for Hakone-machi, Minato
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3. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

Yobekool,

Fun!

Disney has fireworks EVERY DAY (weather permitting). Not fabulously "grand", but the fireworks are magical and perfect for the Magical Kingdom!

:-)

Orange, California
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4. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

I am interested in seeing the Sumida River Fireworks in the near future. It looks crowded however, and I don’t think that I can get close but I would like to try to view from the area near the Komagata 2 chome Bandai Office like you recommended. You said that people were spreading sheets? Do we need to secure our spot using this ‘spread-sheet’ technique in order to see the fireworks, or can we just stroll around the street and watch?

I have seen Fireworks at Tokyo Bay as well as in Kameoka (Kyoto) in the past. Both occasions were spectacular. The Kameoka Fireworks in Kyoto were especially impressive. They were big, they were loud and the explosions even seemed to shake the ground. The Tokyo Bay Fireworks were good because of the pleasant night view and the nice location.

Tokyo, Japan
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5. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

Yes, it is reported that Sumida River Firework gets close to a million viewers (literally), so it was crowded. Very. Even my street which is usually very quiet for central Tokyo had astonishingly large number of people roaming on that day. However, the crowd kept order. Armed with large cold bottle of tea and ice cream, it wasn't bad. The street vendors were selling iced drinks and beer at elevated prices (even an Indian restaurant was selling samosa, kebabs, and curry for takeaway), so bring your own or buy at a convenience store located away from Asakusa/Kuramae area. A guy next to me brought a large cooler box full of canned beer.

The police and volunteers were already closing roads few hours earlier to keep the cars out and maintain order of the growing crowds; they were using loudspeakers to insist people to walk around the second launching area in circles and keep the line for the view from the Kuramaebashi and Umayabashi bridges and let the newcomers to follow.

I was only hoping to catch a glimpse of the hanabi when I got the location tip from a lady at the diner (one nice hamburg steak, one large shrimp fry, and a croquette, with cabbage salad and ketchup spaghetti, plus rice, miso soup, and pickles for 1,000 yen, btw). I was lucky enough to see the test launches and confirm a good viewing spot.

The people were spreading sheets for the best position (and I must state that the buildings between the Edo-dori street and the Sumida River blocks the lower view even from the Bandai office; you need to find a spot on National Route 6 where the buildings are low enough to permit a clear view of the main Hanabi, ie the main flower part but not the root or craftsmen launching).

When the Hanabi started at 19:30 this year, there were still some empty space for people to stand or sit and watch at the place mentioned. I stood comfortably as there was a tree next to me and bars separating the road and pedestrian lane to sit on. People in front of me (local residents) were sitting on the ground on the road side. The Police nearby were calling people on the road to keep on walking in circles, but they did not insist strongly or attempt to move people already safely securing positions.

Of course, you'd find a more relaxing fireworks event elsewhere, and you can book a seat at Asahi Beer, for instance. You might also inquire bout the view and book a room at Hotel Richmond, Asakusa View Hotel, Hotel Keihan, Dormy Inn facing the riverside), but for me this was for free and easy to do as I live in the neighborhood.

The police were informing people that if they wanted to go home early, they should leave before the final blasts. People were walking or taking a taxi to Akihabara, Okachimachi, Ueno, Ryogoku stations to avoid lining up at Asakusa and Kuramae after the event.

The situation might change if a tall building springs up in front of the Bandai office, but it seems unlikely in the upcoming years.

Edited: 29 July 2012, 17:52
Tokyo, Japan
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6. Re: Sumida River Hanabi Viewspot

In short, you are supposed to stroll around the streets, but that means sore feet and that you won't be able to see the event in full.

Edited: 29 July 2012, 17:55
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