28 May 2019 in Have Fun
Head to coastal Atami for a firework extravaganza – and plenty of kid-friendly beach activities.
The Japanese love their fireworks displays. Every summer, hundreds of shows light up the skies all over the country, featuring thousands of fireworks culminating in a pyrotechnic crescendo of eye-popping proportions.
The biggest displays, such as the Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo, attract a million spectators, and the most extravagant last up to two hours.
One of the most famed fireworks venues is the coastal city of Atami, less than an hour south-west of Tokyo by train. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the bay forms a natural stadium where the sound reverberates across the city and the skylines are reflected in the ocean below.
Stay at hilltop Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Atami and you’ll have the perfect vantage point to admire the spectacle in all its glory while sipping a cocktail in the top-floor beach café or simply lying back in your room.
As a bonus, Atami makes for a welcome coastal break from the summer heat of Tokyo, offering activities aplenty for all the family.
Atami Fireworks Fair on the Sea
Atami is best-known as an ocean getaway for Tokyoites and a thriving geisha city – and its spectacular fireworks displays are also a major pull. The tradition dates back over 60 years and, unlike most cities, shows are held a dozen times a year, during every season. In late July and August, there’s a show every few days.
Each display features a continuous stream of some 5000 fireworks. And the grand finale, known as “Sky Niagara Falls”, combines countless simultaneous fireworks to create a mesmerizing curtain of light reflected in the flickering waters of Sagami bay.
Rooms with a view
At Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Atami, every room has an ocean view, offering a panoramic perspective on the fireworks. And with no room smaller than 65 square meters, you’ll have plenty of space to enjoy the show.
Thanks to its hilltop setting, the hotel has no shortage of sweeping vistas. The main lounge is encircled by expansive windows, allowing you to contemplate the vast Pacific Ocean with the peninsulas of Boso and Miura on the horizon.
One of the best places to enjoy the fireworks is the 11th-floor SORANO Beach Books & Café. You’re guaranteed first-rate views thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and the chilled atmosphere is perfect for kicking back and gazing skywards.
The entire café floor is covered with white sand and decked out with boardwalks and recliners to resemble a beach. Make sure you arrive early to order yourself an Atami speciality, such as a smoothie of local citrus fruit or a green tea latte.
If you reserve in advance, you may be lucky enough to get the two chairs on the café’s private balcony – perhaps the best seats in town for the show!
There’s just one place that can claim to be a more relaxing vantage point: the hotel’s semi-outdoor hot spring baths.
Here, you can immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of Atami’s hot spring waters while gazing out onto the ethereal beauty of what the locals call hanabi (literally “fire flowers”).
If you’re visiting with children, Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Atami offers plenty of extras like a giant climbing wall in the entrance and an acrobranch course in the garden. And the region of Atami is equally well-suited to kids and adults alike.
Within the city, Atami Sun Beach is the locals’ place of choice for sunbathing and taking an ocean dip.
Down at the port, how about a spot of ocean fishing?
Rods and lifejackets can be rented – and the staff are happy to offer up angling tips. Depending on the season, you might hook rockfish, horse mackerel or blackfish. If you do land a big catch, you can eat it for dinner: many local restaurants will cook your fish for you!
Beyond the city
If surfing is your thing, head to Yugawara beach. Just 10 minutes north of Atami, it’s renowned as a top spot for surf debutants, with its gentle swell ideal for building up your confidence.
Or how about diving among shoals of colorful cherry bass, chicken grunt and cardinalfish? Beginners can sign up for a trip to nearby Hatsushima Island, while experienced divers can explore the 130-foot long Kosaga cave or swim inside the wreckage of a nearby sunken gravel transport ship.
In the summer months, the thrills of Atami are as much under the ocean as they are in the sky!