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Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/1 15:50

Planning to watch the hanabi on the 25th of this month.
Got the accommodation in Morioka, and would like to seek advice if taking the shinkansen on the day would be a real issue, also would we still be able to purchase tickets on the day? Any advice is much appreciated.
By the way, would this hanabi be as big as the one is Nagaoka?
by shinji (guest)  

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/4 07:32
Many local trains are operated besides the Shinkansen.

Reserved seat tickets are already sold out, and no sale on the day.
So, like a hitchhike, catch a person who has a ticket on the day but has more seats.
If you are super lucky, you may find one at your hotel or Morioka station.
There is free "free viewing area", but many people are already waiting in the morning
and it becomes hard to see because it becomes angularly toward the edge.

This fireworks is not a show, most important "competition" for creaters about top 30 companies in Japan.
"Prime Minister Prize" is also prepared.
It begins shortly before the evening and ends after 21 o'clock, "day time" and "night" parts.

If you are watching until the end, there is a possibility that you will return to Morioka beyond midnight.
The peak is a title called "Taikai-teikyo(means "competition offering")" starts around 20:40 for 10 mins.
(Many trains and most bus tour costomers often watch until this time.)

No 3-jaku-dama(3尺玉) ball hanabi in Nagaoka,
but it is always here that people can see the evolution of fireworks.
The competition method is simple,
two regular balls(1 x 2 times) first then creative performance for some mins.

I have experienced many times Omagari by own car(also sleep in),
and also biggest in the world "4-shaku-dama(4尺玉) ball" in Katakakai, Ojiya, Niigata.
Omagari is close so more exciting than others, "close" is most important for best watching.

4) Other notes :
Toilet waiting line is terrible. If you are not lucky you will have to wait for more than 30 people,
and no lights into toilet container, so need a small LED/flash light and toilet papers.
Don't too much drink, if you drink too much you will get stabbed easily by mosquitoes,
and it is more likely to get lost than anything else. (gate lost, ticket lost, money lost...)

I do not know if you can catch a good seat best seat or not,
but also need something like a cushion to lay under the butt.
You can understand well at Google images and YouTube vids.

Smartphone radio waves often become difficult to connect.
Batteries(also camera, video) can not be charged on the site, and no free Wi-fi.
I was listening to the local radio because I am a Japanese,
but if you do not understand Japanese well it may be noisy.
The FM radio plays the live commentary(explanations) while competitions.

I do not know the weather yet,
but there is no cancellation unless it seems that river beds will not be usable with increased water.
It was held even in a rain with lightning. (also I was there wearing rain wear, no umbrella.)

Enjoyed Nagaoka this year? (I watched internet live program.)
by Misato (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/4 11:54

@ Misato

Thank you for your detailed response, much appreciated.
I have Just found out that shinkansens from Tokyo to Omagari are all fully booked that day.
Need to rearrange my itinerary.

I had been searching online for the reserved seat tickets, just about to give up, and by chance yesterday, I saw someone from Omagari advertised limited tickets for sale. Secured 2 tickets, hopefully, no issue.

I watched the Nagaoka's fireworks last year and was very impressed. I even came back for the second day. Interestingly, no issue with reserved seat tickets, they were still available on the day.

Again , thank you for the many tips, and assurance of a good show.

by shinji (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/5 14:03
In such a short distance between Omagari and Morioka, there is no huge difference in the times needed between Shinkansen and local trains. Also, there is no limit on the number of tickets for local trains. Or, JR just determines the number of special services based on past situations. You don't have to worry about that.

This is a list of the special services on that day for three directions, to Akita, Innai, and Morioka. The capacity seems like the most in the Innai direction. The least in Morioka, the farthest.

This is the resulting timetable on that day, also with regular services. There are 22 trains from Tazawako to Omagari with the arrival time from 11:14 to 19:16. Of which 18 from Morioka, Of which 13 are Shinkansen and the remaining 5 are local trains. There are 13 return trains from Omagari to Tazawako with the departing time from 20:48 to 24:39. Of which 11 to Morioka. Of which 6 are Shinkansen and the remaining 5 are local trains.

Katakai states 4-shaku while Nagaoka 3-shaku for the maximum size of firework balls. But the masses of gunpowder are the same.

Here is another comparison between Omagari and Nagaoka. The number of visitors and fireworks. Omagari is held in only a day, more intense than Nagaoka.
Omagari: 0.74 million / 1 day, 18000 / 1 day
Nagaoka: 1.03 million / 2 days, 20000 / 2 day

I have checked the accommodation availability on that day with Google Maps. There is a huge hole centered at Omagari. JR allows the following destinations on that day.
Omagari 21:53-(Akita)-(Oiwake)-23:39 Oga
Omagari 23:21-(Yokote)-25:43 Ichinoseki
Omagari 24:31-(Yokote)-(Innai)-26:16 Shinjo
Omagari 24:31-(Yokote)-26:12 Kitakami
Omagari 24:37-(Akita)-(Oiwake)-(Hachirogata)-(Higashi-Noshiro)-27:04 Odata
Omagari 24:39-26:06 Morioka
Omagari 25:11-25:43 Akita

Morioka still has hotels available. You just need to get to Morioka. There is an overnight bus from Tokyo to Morioka, but I would try a non-reserved seat on Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko (Hayabusa, Komachi, and Hayate are reserved seats only).

But, according to JR cyberstation, I found many Tohoku Shinkansen still have seats on the 25th. Only two has no seats, Komachi #1 and Komachi #7. There are so many Shinkansens. If you want, just reserve one.

OK, ok. I have confirmed Komachi Shinkansen trains between Morioka and Omagari are booked out. But there are local trains. So you could reserve a Shinkansen to Morioka, check-in there, get on a local train to Omagari, enjoy the fireworks at the Sajiki-seki, and get back to the hotel at Morioka by a local train. That would be a way to go.
by Luisjp rate this post as useful

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/5 14:28
Here is what I would do.

Hayabusa #7: Tokyo 8:40-10:59 Morioka
Hotel check-in or a coin-locker
Lunch (Morioka Reimen)
Niagara #7: Morioka 12:48-15:30 Omagari
Picking snacks
Daytime fireworks: 17:30-18:15
Night fireworks: 18:50-21:30
Niagara #6: Omagari 22:30-24:19 Morioka

by Luisjp rate this post as useful

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/5 16:42

@ Luisjp

Thank you very much! I really appreciate all the information. I am sure your time was well spent, for such a detailed report will benefit not only me but many others who seek such information in the future.
I have taken your advice and reserved the Hayabusa train to Morioka. Ramen? Why not. Just across the station, I recall a spicy ramen shop where the noodle is rinsed in ice water before getting to your table. I must try that again!
Your advice has made everything so much easier, I just "cut and paste" and voila an instance itinerary!
Luisjp, again どうもありがとうございました!
by shinji (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Omagari-hanabi 2018/8/6 18:43
Not at all. I enjoyed myself. The itinerary is just an idea. For example, you may add Tazawako dropping Reimen and take a long break in a festive mood after fireworks in Omagari. Anyway, you would have another chance for Reimen on the next day. Still, you have to add the return part. Jalan nominates Ryusendo Cave, Chusonji Temple, and Jodohahama Beach as the top three sites in Iwate in August. I may think of Gyutan in Sendai.
by Luisjp rate this post as useful

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