With a long list of firework festivals competing for top billing every summer in Tokyo, the Sumida River Fireworks reigns supreme as the largest and longest-run fireworks show in the capital. The first recorded show was in 1732 – a ceremony to pray for victims of a terrible famine. This year will feature over 200,000 fireworks blazing above a crowd of about a million spectators. Get there early to grab a good picnic spot. And don’t worry about bringing too much food or drink – the river will be lined with a huge ensemble of food stalls selling delicious Japanese street food like yakisoba and takoyaki and serving up cold beers.
July 29, 7:05pm-8:30pm. Free. Sumida River (two sites: Sakura-bashi bridge and Kototoi-bashi bridge). Station: Asakusa. www.http://sumidagawa-hanabi.com/