One of the major highlights of summer in Miyajima is the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival held on August 14 every year in the offing of Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, one of Japan’s Three Finest Views. More than 100 water fireworks are shot up into the air from the fireworks boats offshore and burst with a bang.
It is famous as a unique fireworks display, and spectators enjoy this fantastic night view from more then 500 boats offshore. Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage Site, is famous for its Otorii (Grand Gate) standing in the Seto Inland Sea. A lot of photographers, both professionals and amateurs, are eager to take pictures of the vermillion torii gate and shrine buildings fantastically lit up in the night sky.
Wakakusayama in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is the 33 ha. hill rising 342 m above sea level. As three round hills stand in a row, it is also called “Mikasayama (three sedge hats mountain). On the top of Wakakusayama lies the Uguisuzuka Kofun (an ancient Imperial tomb). Built in around the 5th century, it is one of the largest kofuns in Japan. The whole mountain is covered with beautiful grass and it is closed for the greater part of the year to protect the grass except the certain periods of time in spring and fall. The view from the top of the hill can command wonderfully a whole view of a Nara City. It is one of the Newly Selected Japan’s Three Finest Night Views. The Yamayaki festival (the turf fire festival) held on the day before Adults Day is dynamic and nationally famous.
The firework that colors the night of a summer is made using gunpowder and metal powder. The various metal powders are mixed in to produce color.
Evidence of the use of firecrackers have been found in China that date back to about the 3rd century BC. During the 6th century, firecrackers evolved with the use of gunpowder. In the beginning, they were like rocket fireworks and were not used as official weaponry.
Fireworks were first manufactured in Japan in the 16th century after the introduction of guns. According to the 'Kyu-chu Hisaku', it is recorded that Tokugawa Ieyasu viewed fireworks in 1613 within the premises of Edo castle. This is also the oldest record of the Japanese word for firework: 'hanabi'.
The Ogiyama Fire Festival is one of the 'Eight Beppu Hot-spring Festivals' held in early April in Beppu, Oita Prefecture.
During the festival, local citizens set alight the dried grass on Mt Ogiyama (792m high), until the mountainside is a blaze of flames. The glow of the burning fires light up the mountain in the night sky.
The festival started in 1976, following a proposal for a nighttime fire event as part of the hot-spring festivals. The city's fire department is enlisted to provide relevant safety precautions by setting aside fire-free areas.
The fire festival is the main event of the Eight Beppu Hot-spring Festivals, and its strength and beauty draws tourists from all over the nation.
Teahouses with red-brown lattices line a narrow stone road. The road is next to the Asano and Onna rivers that run down through Kanagawa from Mt. Asano. This is Higashi Teahouse Street.
In the third year of the Bunsei period (1820), the Kaga Domain established this street. Nishi Teahouse Street was built at the same time, and in the second year of the Meiji period (1869), Kazue-machi Teahouse Street was also built.
Higashi Teahouse Street is the most prestigious and grandest of the three streets. In olden times, after nightfall, men went drinking in this town and appreciated artistic accomplishment.
Most teahouses used to refuse first-time customers but now there are many cafes renovated from the old teahouses, and anybody can drop in casually. Even now, after dark, with the lights under the eaves aglow, the sounds of the shamisen and drums can be heard. This is a time when the street looks very attractive.
The street is described in Hiroyuki Itsuki's novel 'Suzaku Grave'. In 2001, the street was designated as a site of Important Traditional Japanese Architecture.
Mount Bizan has an altitude of 290m and is located in Tokushima district, Tokushima prefecture. The name 'Bizan' derives from its eyebrow-like appearance.
It is a symbol for Tokushima district and it appears in many local school songs. The mountain is also famous for cherry-blossoms. The crest is known as the place where Man'yō songs were sung from by the Man'yō singer Fune no ou.
From here, there is a panoramic view of Tokushima. When the weather is fine, Awaji Island and Kii mountain range in Wakayama prefecture can also be seen. It is also famous for its night view.
Haruni Shrine and Yakushi Temple are situated at the foot of the mountain. At the summit is a nature interaction facility, a monument to the Meiji Emperor, a memorial pagoda ((Myanmar tower) to the war dead, and the Toyohiko Kagawa literary monument. The whole area is set aside as parkland and is a hidden landmark.