Officially the “Kobe Port Marine Fireworks Festival”, this event is rated as one the top fireworks festivals in the Kansai region. In past years, approximately a quarter of a million people have gathered to see 15,000 explosive projectiles shot into the night sky. Meriken Park is the main free spot for viewing the fireworks, but expect huge crowds. The fireworks are launched from barges located between Kobe Harborland and Port Island.
Meriken Park is a few minute’s walk from the Minatomotomachi and Motomachi Stations on the Kaigan Subway line. This station, along with the nearby Hanakuma Station on the Kobekosoku Tetsudo line, will no doubt get incredibly busy, so we suggest taking the 15 minute walk from Kobe station instead (if that’s where you’re travelling from).
Guesthouse Kobe Nadeshikoya is located close to Motomachi and has dorms, private family and group rooms. The hostel dorms are capsule-style allowing a decent amount of privacy with wifi and lockers included. Nearby is Hostel Anchorage, offering similar dorms and private bunks albeit a little simpler – rates are cheapoer though, with single rooms available. Hotel-wise, you can stay at the impressive Hotel Okura – a fancy hotel to say the least – and right in the grounds of Meriken Park. Alternatively,there’s the more affordable Hotel Meet Me Kobe Motomachi, which has an impressive facade and more basic but still good rooms. If you’re looking to stay closer Kobe station – the Centurion Hotel Grand is right by the station and offers spacious rooms with options for kids under six staying for free.
While the event is usually held in summer, due to the Olympics and the effects of COVID-19, it has been shifted to late October.