The Anjin Festival held in Ito City has its origins in the early Edo period (around the year 1600) when an Englishman named William Adams drifted ashore in Japan and later became a diplomatic advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Using his knowledge, Adams completed Japan’s first Western-style sailing ship in Ito City, and in commemoration of this event, the festival was named the Anjin Festival.
The highlight of the Anjin Festival, which takes place every year on August 10th, is the fireworks display. Unlike the regular fireworks seen throughout the year in Ito City, this event features an extraordinary 10,000 fireworks launched from the right, left, and front of the coastline, filling the entire beach with dazzling colors (refer to the video).
Many visitors come from the city to witness this major event in Ito. Most of the locals eagerly await this day, not only to reminisce about Anjin, but also to create new memories with their families, recall their fond first loves, and cherish various other precious moments associated with these fireworks.
Even those who now work in the city often make a homecoming trip to Ito on this special day. Arriving around 5 o’clock in the evening, they set up blue sheets on the sandy beach, positioning themselves directly beneath the fireworks that burst almost overhead. Depending on the wind direction, the remnants of the fireworks might even fall as close as just above their heads—a truly breathtaking experience.
For those unable to secure a spot on the sandy beach, the two-lane road along the coast is also closed off, allowing people to enjoy the fireworks from there. Even from this vantage point, the view is still remarkably close.
To the people of Ito, these fireworks hold a special place in their hearts, making the Anjin Festival an event they deeply cherish and eagerly anticipate each year.