Header images from the 2023-2024 AJET Photo Contest.

Kashiwazaki Fireworks 
Photo By: Penny Woznicki

Summer in Japan is synonymous with festivals, and with that comes fireworks! You’ll no doubt have heard of fireworks going on all over the prefecture, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best displays around.

Gion Kashiwazaki Matsuri

Launched over the ocean, these unique fireworks glisten off the sea in one of the larger displays in the south end of the prefecture.

Date: Wednesday, July 26th
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:10 pm
Location: Minato Tomachi Beach Park Area

Nagaoka Fireworks
These fireworks memorialize the war efforts during WWII and are a massive display that attracts people from all over the country. Truly a must-see while you’re here!

Date: Wednesday, August 2nd and Thursday, August 3rd
Time: 7:20 pm – 9:15 pm
Location: Chosei Bashiro (along the Shinano River)

Niigata Matsuri
Niigata Matsuri runs for three days and has many events, including two nights of spectacular fireworks launched over the Bandai Bridge, creating an unforgettable nighttime view.

Date: Saturday August 5th and Sunday, August 6th
Time: 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Bandai Bridge, Shinano Riverside

Ogi Port Matsuri
Traditionally this festival was held to wish for ships’ safe return to the harbor. These fireworks are the final fireworks of Sado’s summer festivals, and they definitely save the best for last!

Date: Saturday, August 26th
Time: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Ogi Port, Sado

Katagai Matsuri (Ojiya)
Located in the Yukiguni area, the Guiness World Record-holding aerial shell, Yonshakudama, is launched at 10pm on both days.

Date: Saturday, September 9th and Sunday, September 10th
Time: 10:00 pm
Location: Katagai (behind Asahara shrine)


This list is not exhaustive; there are plenty of other displays around, but these are our recommendations. Check out this link for information on all the events across the prefecture.

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I am looking forward to Katagai Fireworks a teacher recommended it saying “It’s so big it will make children cry, usually the embers disappear but here they will land on you. You WILL be scared”