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Most summer festivals, firework displays to return after 3 years

NHK -- Jun 13
Many of the traditional festivals and firework displays that add color to the Japanese summer will be held for the first time in three years as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

NHK polled the organizers of 38 major events across Japan. The organizers of 26 events, or 68 percent, say they will be held this summer for the first time in three years.

The Aomori Nebuta Festival in Aomori, the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Hakata Gion Yamakasa in Fukuoka are among those that will be held on much the same scale as before the pandemic.

The Aomori festival features huge lantern floats and the Kyoto pageant has parades of tall, decorated floats. The Fukuoka event is known for lively processions of people carrying floats on their shoulders.

Major firework displays that attract huge crowds, such as the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival in Niigata Prefecture and the Omagari fireworks in Akita Prefecture, will also be back after three years.

The Sendai Tanabata Festival and the Awa Odori dance festival in Tokushima were among the five events held last year. The organizers say this year's festivals will be larger in scale.

Even though the pandemic has subsided and travel and other restrictions have been lifted, seven major firework events have been canceled for the third year in a row.

The organizers of the Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo and the Nagara River fireworks in Gifu say it is unavoidable that the event sites will be crowded.

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