Spectacular Summer Fireworks Festival Cloaks the Sky and Earth In Colorful Lights

Fireworks in Japan

For the first time in three years, a spectacular fireworks show took place in Japan—and it didn't disappoint. Due to the pandemic, the Kihoku Lantern Festival hadn't taken place since 2019. It returned in 2022, and photographer Luu Hasegawa was on hand to document this enchating festival.

Taking place in the port town of Nagashima in Kihoku, Mie Prefecture, the festival is a summer event that typically draws large crowds. Spectators come out in droves to watch the large cloth lanterns set afloat in the port and they remain until it gets dark to take in the incredible fireworks display.

This display, called the Saiun Kujaku (Rainbow Peacock), takes advantage of the town's geography by causing colorful reflections in the water. Hasegawa has attended the event for many years and has become skilled at documenting the dazzling visual display as it appears in the sky and in the water. Technical skill is necessary because the entire sky lights up in just a seven-second span.

Thanks to his images, we are transported into the Kihoku Lantern Festival and get to experience its magic. Hasegawa even posted a short video showing the different fireworks at the festival over the past four editions. If you're as mesmerized as we are, circle late July on your calendar and get ready to take a trip to Nagashima in 2023 to see what other tricks they have up their sleeves.

For the first time in three years, Japan's Kihoku Lantern Festival took place.

Fireworks in Japan

The festival ends with the Saiun Kujaku (Rainbow Peacock)—a brilliant fireworks display.

2022 Kihoku Lantern Festival

2022 Kihoku Lantern Festival

See how the fireworks have evolved over the past four editions.


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A post shared by 路 るう(23) (@lll_photo_)

Luu Hasegawa: Instagram | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Luu Hasegawa.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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