The bathers at Shirara Beach, in Shirahama, turn their gaze away from the white sands and up to the night sky for frequent pyrotechnic displays during summer. The biggest and most dazzling of them is at the very peak of summer on August 10.
- One of the biggest firework displays in Wakayama
- Trying Japanese festival food
- Locals dressed in colorful summer kimono
- 3,500 fireworks are launched during the biggest display
- Nearly 140,000 people cram onto the sands to watch the August 10 event
While the August 10 show is the largest event of the season, the sky is full of fizz, bang and pop for pretty much the whole summer. The beach hosts a shorter, 40-minute firework show on July 30 firing off some 3,000 rockets, and smaller yet equally colorful displays of 100 fireworks or so, almost every evening through July and most of August.
Great falls of fire
The climax of the hour-long event on August 10 is known as the Niagara Falls. Paying homage to the almighty falls on the American-Canadian border, a 1,000 meter-long cascade of fireworks plummets into the ocean to a rapturous reception from the gathered throng of onlookers feeling the heat from the beach.
As with many Japanese festivals, the pyrotechnic events at the beach are accompanied by a host of food stalls, unmissable with their brightly-colored awnings. You can pick up an array of Japanese snack foods from yakitori and yakisoba to chocolate-coated bananas, sudsy beers and fluorescent colored sodas.