It's 10 minutes by train from Kyoto, the city of Otsu organizes the largest fireworks display in the Kyoto area, Biwako Dai-Hanabi Taikai びわ湖大花火大会. This is a small town east of Kyoto which annually launches from 2 places of its port 10000 fireworks in total. This year ( 2016) it was on August, 7. There is only few inhabitants in the city of Otsu and few visitors, but the day of the fireworks, nearly 300,000 people is found around Lake Biwa. 10000 Fireworks is an impressive number but in reality, it's even more amazing!
We left Kyoto in advance to go to the Zeze station (just one stop after Otsu station) as we had seen on the internet that there was a little less to walk compared to Otsu Station. There was already a lot of people on the platform of Kyoto Station :s Arriving at Zeze, you have to walk about 20 minutes to Nagisa Park (Parc 大津湖岸なぎさ公園) at Lake Biwa. In this fireworks, there are reserved places that you can pay and book (in kombini) but there are also free places in the park from which you can see the fireworks. We arrived in eastern Nagisa park where there are free places, shortly before 3 p.m. and there were already people who reserved their location by placing sheets. You can still find a nice location at that time. By cons, once the location found, my advice is that someone has to stay there because even if we are in Japan, the event is so popular that even the smallest space will be grabbed by someone. You will not believe me but I saw with my own eyes, some Japanese people took advantage that somebody's sheets is slightly raised by the wind to grab a location already reserved. The event is really impressive! 10000 fireworks are lauched from two platforms on one side and the other of the lake, so it covers almost the entire Bay of Otsu. In addition, the platforms are not very far from the bay so we feel very close to the blast of cannons and seen the fireworks also very closely. It was very windy that night, so with the proximity, we took a lot of ash and dust of fireworks in the face. It's true we were blown away by this great fireworks, literally and figuratively, but also by the ash and the dust ;p
If you are in the Kansai region in August, it is THE fireworks not to be missed ! It is really impressive, amazing and breathtaking. Besides, we had more than one reason to hold our breath :p