The Matsuri Manual : 8 types of fireworks you need to know

One of the highlights of Japanese summer are the fireworks. There is just something about going to a fireworks festival (hanabi taikai) and seeing the summer night sky being lit up with breathtaking patterns that makes your summer experience in Japan feel complete. And these fireworks will definitely not disappoint! Here we will introduce the types of fireworks that you can look forward to in seeing. See if you can find your favorite!

Chrysanthemum・ 菊先


A spherical explosion of coloured stars with a short burn time, followed by crackling.

HANABI SHAPE-chrysanthemum2_R

fuji2_6ff0ea5f9a557adf58d5d5399b9d58cf_m_R



Willow・ 柳


Similar to the chrysanthemum but the flame trails extinguish gradually, creating a willow tree-like effect.

fuji2_838916adbba39216c2c271859a7994d3_m_R

HANABI SHAPE-willow_R



Bee・ 蜂


Emits a high-pitched sound while twirling in random directions for a truly attention-grabbing display.

HANABI SHAPE-bee2_R



Thousand Wheel・ 千輪


An explosion comprising many small spherical fireworks bursting into a collage of colours and hues.

HANABI SHAPE-thousand wheel_R

fuji2_276e74dfcb6d34c103047f28d7d89456_m_R



UFO / Saturn・ 土星


A combination of hanabi that form the shape of planet Saturn before slowly dissipating.

fuji2_d3a60e0b7867a677eaaa880866d0a457_m_R

HANABI SHAPE-UFO-Jupiter_R



Smile・ スマイル


A combination of fireworks that form a smiley face - always a great hit with children!

fuji2_2cacdacedfeb4836a017cb7015854d5c_m_R

HANABI SHAPE-smile_R



Niagara・ ナイアガラ


Long, flowing, brilliantly illuminated fireworks that resemble the Niagara Falls in America.

HANABI SHAPE-NIAGARA_R

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Starmine・ スターマイン


A continuous firing of hanabi in a collage of shapes and colours to create patterns.

HANABI SHAPE-star mine_R

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Have you read the other articles in this series?
The Matsuri Manual : Festival Style Guide
The Matsuri Manual : Festival Food Guide
The Matsuri Manual : Matsuri Games

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