In summer, fireworks displays paint the night skies of Japan with radiant light. Among them, the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival is renowned for the gorgeous splendor of its fireworks, which are launched from off the shore of Miyajima. Around 200 of the festival's approximately 5,000 fireworks are launched from the water.
These water fireworks fan out in the night sky as they rise above the water from which they were launched, casting brilliant reflections on the surface of the sea. The outline of Itsukushima Shrine's great torii gate standing in bold relief against a backdrop of the dazzling light of the fireworks is truly an unforgettable sight with an indescribable magnificence.
The extra-large fireworks, which whizz higher and higher up into the sky before bursting into enormous blooming flowers with a massive boom, are met with boisterous cheers from the audience as they gaze upward. There are also fireworks launched in successive bursts, those that change shape or color in midair, those that transform into popular characters, those that enchant us with glittering streamers resembling a weeping willow and many other types of fireworks that are launched in keeping with each year's theme.
At the end of the fireworks festival, as though not wanting to let the night end, the finale features a rapid succession of various types of fireworks both big and small for one last grand display, bringing the festival to a close with cheers and applause from the audience. Each year, around 40,000 people visit Miyajima to see the fireworks festival, and even more people, said to number around 200,000, gather on the opposite shores of the nearby cities of Hatsukaichi and Hiroshima to view the fireworks from a distance.
It is such a major event that extra ferries and streetcars are put into service and there are even sightseeing boats just for viewing the fireworks. A Hiroshima summer event that's not to be missed, the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival is the one night each year when Miyajima truly shines. Many of the people who come to enjoy the fireworks wear colorful and festive yukata (summer robes). The magnificent beauty of the fireworks launched from the sea into the night sky is sure to become a memory that you will never forget.