Nagaoka Fireworks Festival 2016 (Japan)

Japan's #1 most beautiful, plus one of the three largest firework festivals, featuring 10" to 36" shells, 650m Niagara Falls and a 2km wide "Phoenix Fireworks" firework show!

Nagaoka Fireworks Festival 2016 (Japan)

The Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (official website) began in 1946 as a war-damage reconstruction festival. After the first festival day with tōrō nagashi, there are 2 more festival days with fireworks. Tōrō nagashi is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns down a river. The whole city is closed, except the shops near the festival area. In the last two nights over more than 1 million people will watch the fireworks.

All shell sizes what will be launched A cut open 36 inch shell

All shell sizes what will be launched, including an open 36 inch shell

Short promotion video of the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival

A total of 20.000 shells are launched during the two nights. The distance between the shooting area with 10 inch shells and the audience is 200 meters. When the siren goes off for one of the highlights of the festival, a 650 meter long Niagara Falls will be launched. At the same time a couple of 36 inch firework shells will be launched in the distances. These shells are called Shô-Sanjakudama (正三尺玉), meaning 3-foot-diameter firework shell.

The Niagara Falls prepared on the bridge

The Niagara Falls prepared on the bridge

Shooting area overview Shooting area where the pyrotechnicians are preparing the firework shells

One of the 6 shooting areas: 5 at the main area and one further away for the 36 inch shells

After the great Chūetsu Earthquake in 2004, a special part has been added to the festival by the name of Phoenix Fireworks. This is to encourage to move forward despite the hardship during the disaster. The Phoenix Fireworks is a 2 kilometer wide show, contains music and is also one of the highlights of the festival.

For a complete overview with more details and other stories, read the official guide book of the festival here in English.
If you want to see the complete show, go to the official livestream website of this festival and replay the videos.

You can buy a lot of interesting goodies! Saké fireworks

You can buy a lot of interesting goodies!

Fireworks in the rainbow colors Hello Kitty fireworks Too much fireworks and I am not even zoomed in! Phoenix Fireworks

I was really impressed and still get goosebumps thinking about it...

First day of the fireworks

Second and last day of the fireworks