JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.54

~Scenery of Japan~ Nagaoka Firework Festival

Nagaoka Firework Festival

Firework Festival is a special attraction of summer in Japan. Along with Oomagari Festival (Aomori prefecture) and Tsuchiura Festival (Ibaraki prefecture), the Nagaoka Festival (Niigata prefecture) is regarded as one of the three largest firework festivals in Japan. During the annual festival on August 2nd and 3rd, the sky over Niigata prefecture is beautifully colored by approx. no less than 20,000 gorgeous aerial shells prepared by skilled craftsmen.

Gigantic flower firework, almost 650m in diameter, blooms in the sky when the largest scale shell in Japan called “Sei-san-shaku-dama” sparks (90cm in diameter, 300kg in weight). A wide-scale star mine “Phoenix” is launched to wish and pray for a recovery from the past disasters that hit Niigata region. This year is particularly commemorative for locals, since it marks the 50th anniversary of the Niigata Earthquake. Also a decade has passed since the Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake in 2004 and Niigata Fukushima Heavy rain fall.

On this landmark year, Niigata Joint Disaster Drill was held on June 16th, the same day of the earthquake 50 years ago. The 30th Infantry Regiment, GSDF 12th Brigade, stationed at Camp Shibata participated in the drill with the aim of verifying the coordination procedure with relevant agencies in case of disaster relief operations.

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