Sumida River Fireworks Festival to Return after 4 Years

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Fireworks light up the night sky during the Sumida River Fireworks Festival in July 2019, the most recent time the event was held.

The Sumida River Fireworks Festival, a midsummer tradition in Tokyo, is expected to be held for the first time in four years after having been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The organizing committee, which consists of Taito and Sumida wards in the capital and other entities, is making arrangements to hold the event on July 29. Its formal decision is expected to be announced soon.

The festival, which started in 1978, is one of the most famous fireworks events in Japan, with about 20,000 fireworks set off along the Sumida River. The event attracted nearly 1 million spectators every year, but has been canceled due to the pandemic since 2020.

According to sources close to the event, the organizing committee has been discussing possible plans to hold the festival this year with the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Metropolitan Police Department and other relevant parties since last November. As the central government has decided to downgrade the status of COVID-19 under the Infectious Diseases Control Law to Category V from the current “equivalent to Category II” on May 8, event restrictions will be abolished. In light of this, the organizing committee has deemed it possible to hold the festival on the same scale as before.

The organizing committee intends to make every possible effort to prevent infections, such as by calling on spectators to wear masks.