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Kawasaki Fireworks Display

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The summer night sky is lit with impressive fireworks such as colorful star mines, and powerful 'nishakudama' which has an exploded diameter of ~500m! Keep an eye on the river too 🎆

Details for 2023

When: August 16th

Where: the Town of Kawasaki (Ichinoseki), along the bank of the Kitakami River, beside Kitakami Ohashi (bridge). Address: 岩手県一関市川崎町 北上川薄衣堤防付近  Start time (for fireworks) : 7pm , finishes ~9pm

Cost: free (event parking costs 1000yen) Access: temporary buses will be operating and cost 500yen; To event: Ichinoseki Train Station West Entrance (10): 17:00~17:45 (a maximum of 10 buses will be in operation) and arrive at Kawasaki at 17:28 to 18:13. Coming back: Kawasaki 21:00~21:30 (max 10 buses will be in operation) and arrive at Ichinoseki West Entrance at 21:28 to 21:58

Link: ***people come from ALL over for this event, so it gets pretty busy! Suggest getting there early to enjoy the festival and also to secure a good spot!

My experience

Every year on August 16th, the Town of Kawasaki throws a huge fireworks display along the Kitakami River.

My coworkers had been mentioning this event for a while so I was really looking forward to it. On the day of the event, there were heavy rains all morning and at about 12pm, a huge downpour - even a landslide warning so I expected that the event would be canceled. Luckily, the weather cleared up in the afternoon and the event was a go.

My friends and I arrived at around 5pm to get a parking spot, there was no free parking left so we opted for one of many paid parking areas (all 1000yen). We set up our picnic sheet along the river bank and went to the food stalls. Yakitori, yakisoba, fried gyoza, crepes, shaved ice, beers...we're all set. The rains brought cooler weather and the clouds made for some amazing sunset shots!

At around 7pm, the countdown began. The program set for about 10000 fireworks to be launched over two hours. The biggest draw of the event is the 'nishakudama' which is a gigantic firework that is rarely launched at fireworks events in the prefecture (and you can view them at a really close proximity). Unfortunately I was unable to take a good picture of a ’nishakudama’, but for reference the one in the picture below is a 'shakudama' which is a smaller scale.

At this event, I was able to appreciate the beauty and intensity of each firework. I am more used to seeing multiple fireworks blowing up at once along the horizon. I love both styles, but this gave me a chance to savor the glory of each firework. One of the programs had announcements of each name/style of firework before they were launched. Fireworks sponsored by family or friends had stories attached to them, some in the form of congratulatory messages and some as a dedication to loved ones who had passed on.

I thoroughly enjoyed the local and intimate feel of the event, the intensity of the fireworks, the fantastic backdrop of the Kawasaki Bridge and the reflection in the river.


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