Summer in Japan is all about matsuri, or festivals. Young people dressed in yukata walking through streets lined with food stalls and game booths, the rowdy, drunken group of local men carrying a giant mikoshi shrine through the crowd while yelling “Washoi! Washoi!” and, of course, the fireworks.
The Japanese take fireworks very seriously, which is why Japan is home to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the world. To see what we mean, the fireworks show at this year’s Nagaoka Matsuri in Niigata prefecture has been generating buzz on the net thanks to some amazing video footage posted to YouTube. Check it out below!
The Nagaoka Matsuri is held every year during the two nights of August 2 and 3. Both nights end with a stunning 2 hour fireworks display (see below for more) that is famous throughout Japan for the sanjakudama, a huge 90 centimeter round shell and one of the largest in the country.
The video, titled “Nagaoka Firewords ‘The Flowers of this Sky’ August 3, 2012,” shows the 3 minute finale, which covers nearly 2 kilometers of the Shinano River riverbank and is the widest span of fireworks in the world.
The video description reads: “This year’s fireworks show commemorated the release of ‘The Flowers of This Sky－The Nagaoka Fireworks Story,’ a film directed by Nobihiko Oohashi based on the Nagaoka fireworks. The music playing in the background is an edited version of the film’s theme song, which was composed by Joe Hisaishi. The show was coordinated by composer Nobuhiro Ikehata, who also produced the “Tenchi-jin Hanabi” portion of the show. The musical arrangement has become a new Nagaoka Fireworks tradition.”
As beautiful as the video is, nothing compares to seeing a fireworks show like this in person and while the Nagaoka Fireworks may be over this year, there are still plenty of shows planned across the country for the remainder of August. What better way to finish your summer holiday than in Japan with a clear night sky illuminated by explosions of color?
▼ Watch in HD and full screen to really be blown away!
▼ The “Tenchi-jin Hanabi”, before the finale
▼ The “Pray for Recovery Pheonix Fireworks” show, August 2
[ Read in Japanese ]