Of all the giant fireworks festivals in Kansai, PL in Tondabayashi on Monday Aug 1st is the undisputed summer centerpiece. Having an estimated 70,000 rockets on display, and more is possible, it will attract between 600,000 and 800,000 people depending on the weather!
Yodogawa and Kobe Minato could be considered tied. Taking place on the same night, Saturday Aug 6, it is a deliberate attempt by city authorities to separate the nearly one million people in attendance. And this is for everyone’s good. Kobe Minato will have the usual 10,000 rockets and 270,000 revelers while Yodogawa will show 20,000 to a draw of at least 410,000.
Biwako on Monday Aug 8 is expected to display 10000 pyros to a whopping 350000 humans. This could be considered the largest congestion. The unfortunate cancelation of the Ujigawa Festival by the city of Uji highlights how a crowd this size could be a problem so great care and patience are necessary.
For the sake of safety, scout the area and try not to go where most people are expected to congregate. Arrive very early if and only if you intend to leave last. If you have a need to get home on time, I strongly recommend arriving last and leaving two minutes before the climax has finished to get ahead of the crowd. Always make sure you have enough water to stave off dehydration and have a snack for your drained energy, and definitely avoid coming anywhere within 10 kms by car! Walk if you can, which is what my wife and I did last night to and from Ashiya! We walked 9.5 kilometers last night. For Yodogawa, arrive from Route 2 at the Hanshin end. Enjoy and be safe!
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School of English 月謝制 Kotoen Real Monthly Tuition English Conversation School