Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Rat King0
Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival News Update
UPDATE: The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival will not be rescheduled.
If you were one of the million people who attended the 36th annual Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival on Saturday then you already know it got rained out half way through. Before the unbelievable downpour, they still managed to shoot around 8,000 fireworks out of a total of 23,000. Everyone was hoping the event would be rescheduled with so many fireworks still waiting to fly, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen. We’re just going to have to wait until next year to see the full show. You have to wonder though, what’s going to happen to those 15,000 fireworks that weren’t shot off. Will they save them for next year or maybe donate them to Tokyo Disney?!
Even though the show ended early, the group I was with still had a ton of fun. We stopped in a Family Mart and picked up a bunch of Kirin and Asahi beers. Then we grabbed some Yakitori from a nearby festival stand. All the main streets were closed to traffic, so we had free reign to walk just about anywhere! We took the subway to Asakusabashi and then casually strolled from there to Asakusa with our beers popped open, right down the middle of a 4 lane road.
The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is the biggest in Japan and has a really cool history. As Wikipedia notes: It began as “an intense competition between rival pyrotechnic groups. Each group tries to out-do the last, and the result is an incredible variety of fireworks, not just in different colors and patterns, but forming shapes as complicated as Doraemon, Pikachu, or kanji.”
Nowadays the trick to enjoying the show is to line up in huge groups and march over one of many bridges that span across the Sumida River as the fireworks are going off. We made it to the foot of the bridge right before the rain let loose.
None of us had umbrellas! We managed to gather around a tree and keep our beers dry until making it back to the subway. It was awesome though because the tree became our hold out and we shared it with countless cute Japanese girls as they ran for cover. Some wore Yukatas, others wore dresses and short shorts. They were all young, beautiful, drunk, and easy to flirt with. With close to half a million Japanese girls on the scene, it was the biggest accidental wet t-shirt contest I’ve ever seen! Even being a professional with a camera though, I completely forgot to take ANY photos as the cuties ran by in a panic. We’ll have to blame that on the beer and the rain.
If you visit Japan at the end of July next year, be sure to check out the fireworks. You won’t regret it, even if it gets rained out!