All About Japan

Akagawa Festival Lights Up The Night

Festivals Summer Festivals Summer Yamagata Tohoku

Hanabi taikai, or fireworks festivals, are the summertime experience in Japan. The biggest summertime fireworks draw hundreds of thousands of spectators, and with so many people in attendance, a fleeting flash of color in the sky isn’t going to cut it. Japan’s pyrotechnicians want to give them a show to remember!

This video from Twitter user @takoyakiok shows us just how epically awesome these balls of fire against the dark sky can be.

After the initial pop, a ring of contrasting color makes its way across and around the sphere of sparks, almost making them look like they’re being projection mapped as they light up the summer night. The most impressive ones show up at the video’s 20-second mark, with a secondary core that lights up before dissipating just as new colors flash along the outer edge of the explosion.

@takoyakioko shot the video at the Akagawa Fireworks Festival, which was held last Saturday in Tsuruoka, in Yamagata Prefecture. The jaw-dropping fireworks come from Yamanashi Prefecture, home of fireworks manufacturer Marugo. The company specializes in staggered luminescence-style fireworks (jikansa hakkou shiki hanabi), and while it’s mum on the exact materials and shell-packing techniques used to produce the animated visual effect, the video has won Marugo plenty of new fans who’ve quickly given the brief clip nearly two million views.

Also taking part in the festival was Tamuraenka, a fireworks producer from Chino, in Nagano Prefecture. They showed off an incredible creation of their own called the "Moving Star."

Sadly, with summer winding down most of Japan’s fireworks festivals are done, but there’s always next year to look forward to. In the meantime you can rewatch this video of the 2018 Akagawa festival on repeat.

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