Hanabi season (fireworks season) in or around Tokyo. What hanabi event do you recommend and why?
Would like to reserve a nice spot for viewing (best time to arrive?), do a little sightseeing, take some photos, and see one-of-a-kind fireworks!
We always watch the Arakawa one because you can get a good view of the fireworks without having to deal with impossible crowds. While there are many people who watch the Arakawa fireworks display, the river bank is long and wide and so people are more spread out. Bring a picnic mat and your own snacks and drinks!
The Sumida River fireworks and the Jingu Gaien fireworks are the two biggest fireworks festivals in Tokyo but make sure to reserve a spot before they start (maybe from around early afternoon or even earlier) because it gets really crowded!
Jessica, this recommendation isn't exactly for the Tokyo region but Sendai is only an hour or so away on the shinkansen from Tokyo Station and we had a great time at their fireworks festival. It coincides with their Tanabata Festival to, which is absolutely worth seeing, so you get two events out of the trip.
Hanabi season takes place during summer, but there is one event during winter that offers Hanabi as well. During the winter festival, one of the 5 lakes around Mt Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi offers a display of fireworks from the surface of the lake itself. This usually occurs from mid January to 20ish February, on saturday and sunday nights from 8:00pm to around 8:20pm. There will also be an extra day of fireworks on Fuji day, which is 23rd February. Fireworks during winter, especially snow covered Lake Kawaguchi, is an experience thats quite refreshing and unique.