Kyoto Geijutsu Hanabi Fireworks Festival｜京都芸術花火
There’s nothing quite like a Japanese fireworks festival in summer. The bursts of colors in the night sky, the colorful yukata, the round uchiwa fans, the brief relief from the heat… It’s no wonder so many people turn out for a good old hanabi taikai! Unfortunately, Kyoto City has been without an established fireworks festival for some time, and with neighboring Uji City suspending theirs a few years back, locals and tourists alike have had to travel to Osaka, Shiga, or Kameoka to enjoy summer fireworks.
But not anymore! Due to the efforts of the Kyoto Prefecture and Kyoto City governments, the Kyoto City Tourism Association, the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a fireworks choreographer Oya Ryo, and sixteen firework producing companies across the country, Kyoto Geijutsu Hanabi kicked off on May 30th, 2018, and seems likely to become an annual event.
Unlike some fireworks festivals that take place in public parks and along rivers or lakes, Kyoto Geijutsu Hanabi takes place at the Kyoto Racecourse in Yodo. This does mean that it costs money to attend (¥3,500 for open seating by the track and ¥7,000 for assigned seating in the stands), but in exchange you get to avoid the scramble to try and find a patch of open space amongst blankets and sheets spread out by people who may have been camping out for good seats hours before you arrive.
Lasting about an hour, the 2018 firework show put on by Kyoto Geijutsu Hanabi was synched with famous songs such as Queen’s “I Was Born to Love You”, The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”, Beyonce’s “Hello”, and Radwimps’ “Zenzenzense” from the recent animated movie hit Your Name. Over the course of the performance an astonishing 13,000 fireworks hit the skies in a dazzling variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Narrators even dedicated the first volleys to a short educational explanation of firework types that made the rest of the show even more impressive.
If you visit Japan in the summer, you won’t want to miss a fireworks show! Save yourself the trouble of camping out for hours in the heat for a good viewing spot and instead procure some tickets for Kyoto Geijutsu Hanabi!
Things to See/Do
May 29th, 19:50 (entry from 17:00)
In case of rain, the event will be postponed to May 30th.