The Chunichi Nagara Gawa Fireworks Festival is held yearly on the last Saturday of July from 7:15 p.m.-8:45 p.m. This year, the festival falls on Saturday, July 31st-this weekend! This is one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan. It is a part of the All-Japan Fireworks Competition, which I know nothing about, but it sounds cool, right? I have personally been to this festival 4 times, and it is always worth the trip. Prepare for crowds, but the selection of food and drink locations is great, and there are plenty of spots to watch from. Highly recommend!
This event is located on the banks of the Nagara River in Gifu, in between the Nagara and Kinka bridges. The event begins around 4:30 p.m, but if you want a decent spot you should show up much earlier. Like I said, this is a big festival though, so you will find a spot no matter when you come somewhere.
Special buses run from JR Gifu Station and Meitetsu Gifu Station, but the lines are long, and I usually just walk. It takes about 30 minutes, but you can follow the crowds and not get lost at all. The buses you are looking for should be pretty obvious; just look for the long line of older folks.
Hope you enjoy the show!
” Oiden” is taken from the local Mikawa dialect. It means “Come on,” as in come on and dance! This festival brings hundreds of dance teams to the center of Toyota City to dance to the “Oiden song.” I am not entirely sure what that entails, but there are apparently two versions of the dance that goes along with it: “traditional and disco.” You can find official versions of these dances below.
The costumes and decorations are bright and interesting, and the dance styles range between the very traditional and the bizarre-much like most of Japan seems to on a regular basis. Keep an eye out, and you may even see some disco, but I am hoping not!
The dancing begins on Saturday at 16:00 and continues until 20:30. An interesting side note, there are “little dancers” from 18:15-18:45 (6:15pm). This is apparently kindergarten kids and such all decked out in cute costumes and doing their thing-highly recommended!
The festival concludes on July 26th from 19:10-21:00 (7:10-9:00), Sunday evening, with a bang. Almost two hours of fireworks will be set off to much applause and merriment. Not really much more that needs explaining about a fireworks festival. Japan does them well, and they do them often.