Keep your eyes on the sky for a surprise fireworks display

Keep your eyes on the sky for an “impromptu” nationwide fireworks display to cheer up the nation.

As the temperatures start to rise, Japan would normally looking forward to the start of summer fireworks displays (hanabi-taikai). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, this year’s displays, which always attract large crowds, have all been cancelled. The “Cheer Up Hanabi” project aims to give everyone a boost, by hosting 200 mini fireworks displays simultaneously around the country. The date, time and locations are being withheld to prevent crowds gathering at a time when we are still meant to be keeping travel to a minimum and maintaining a level of social distancing.

Organizers say they were inspired by Japan’s first ever large-scale fireworks display held in Tokyo in 1733. The display was held on the Sumida Rovera year after a devastating outbreak of cholera took many lives around Japan, as way of memorializing the dead and praying for the eradication of the disease. It’s a feeling that we can identify with all too well right now.

There are rumors online that the display will be tonight, June 1 at 8pm for approximately 3 minutes. We can’t verify this information, nor where in Hiroshima you’ll be able to view the fireworks, but maybe set your watch to look upward at 8pm. If not tonight, the display is likely to held sometime in the first half of this month.