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Akagawa Fireworks Festival

Yamagata Prefecture

One of the top 10 firework shows in all of Japan, in Yamagata prefecture. 

By far the largest attraction in terms of numbers for Tsuruoka City, the annual Akagawa Firework Festival first started in 1991 and has since become known as one of the top 10 firework shows in all of Japan. 
Over the course of an hour and a half, tens of thousands of fireworks are fired along the Mogami River where they create dazzling displays that sync with music that is played from large speakers across the large festival grounds.

Sitting up close to the spectacle, you will see your entire field of vision filled with vibrant displays and feel the sheer awe send shivers through you even on the warm summer nights of August.
Unlike the other major firework festivals in Japan, The Akagawa Firework Festival is one of the easiest festivals to see and this event has not been plagued by ticket scalpers who cause events to sell out immediately when tickets go on sale.

This festival now sells out nearly instantly upon going live as it has become well know on tourist blogs and social media.
Visitors should also be sure to book their hotels well in advance and not just buy tickets as you will be stranded in this city with nowhere to stay

The Sakata Firework Festival August 3rd 2024

The neighboring port city of Sakata has held a sort of friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) rivalry with Tsuruoka for centuries ever since the port town merchants of Sakata sparred with the castle town residents of Tsuruoka.  Part of this rivalry has come in the form of Sakata City’s answer to the wildly successful Akagawa Festival with the creation of the Sakata Firework Festival.  

Equally as grand in scale as this festival which is now sold out, this festival represents an excellent alternative for travelers hoping to see a grand firework festival in Japan during their summer travels. 

The 2024 festival will take place on August 3rd 2024.

See more about this festival on our page here.

The river trail where you can watch the show.

Quick Info


Tickets must be purchased in advance; ranging from 3000-5000 yen. 

You can contact us to reserve tickets, but keep in mind that we may not be able to book them if they are sold out.

You can however see this for free by watching it from the rice fields of Mt. Haguro or the surrounding fields around Tsuruoka City.


Summer, around August (varies each year)

Average Duration

2-3 hours



Other tips

  • This small city is heavily strained by the massive influx of over 70,000 people each year. 
  • Getting tickets to this event has become progressively harder each year as it skyrockets in popularity.  Be sure to purchase your tickets and lodging well in advance!  
  • Parking is usually located a 20-30 minute walk from the actual firework grounds.  

Other Yamagata Firework Festivals

There are many other fireworks held in Yamagata throughout the year which are also well worth the visit.  This includes the Sakata Firework FestivalOishida Festival, and Yamagata Snow Festival.