About Us

We are a married couple who will be retiring in 2014 and moving to Thailand to experience life in another culture and experience adventures we could have only dreamed of a few years ago.

You are welcome to join us on our adventures through this blog. We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oda Fire Festival......Where they light the mountain on fire!

We arrived about two hours before dark to find a good spot to sit. It was lovely right next to the river looking out across huge rice fields waving in the breeze.

Of course we had to wander around taking pictures. 

There was a large stage in the rice field with several musicians performing throughout the evening. It didn't matter where you sat you could hear the music playing.

I looked up to see several people waiving at us from across the road. I waved back and raised my camera to take a close up. I laughed and gave them the thumbs up! It was really nice!

About an hour before dusk people started showing up in the fields and on the hillside to light the thousands of oil lamps.

We spread out our picnic dinner and opened our alcohol in a can called Chuhai which comes in Peach, Cherry, Apple and Watermelon. They taste like a fizzy fruit soda with a kick!

Steve and Lisa made this delicious picnic the night before.

Vince was fanning me because it was HOT!   What a sweetheart!

We stopped to watch these performers dancing in the street.

Thousands of people show up to this festival. It is quite an event with music, food, fireworks and families lounging on their tarps chatting, eating and drinking.

The fireworks were just as spectacular as the ones in Ikazaki, but because of the lack of wind the smoke hung in the air so thick at one point we couldn't see them except lighting up behind the smoke cloud. Vince opted not to take pictures and laid his head on my lap while we watched the fireworks. There were a couple that exploded too low and shot into the woods behind the field. So they really did light the mountain on fire! It was quickly extinguished and the fireworks continued. These shots are from my little camera, not nearly as good as Vince's!

We had such a wonderful time experiencing this traditional festival. The symbols on the mountain mean “God Of The Mountain” They added Mt. Fuji and the Shinkansen this year!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ikazaki Firework Festival

This festival is a quick one where people show up about an hour before the fireworks begin to stake their spot. We sat on a side road about 100 meters or 328 feet from the staging area where the fireworks were launched from. We have never been this close to fireworks before and did not have a clue what we were about to experience.

We took this from our spot.  The white boxes are the launching areas.

Every festival has food booths so we wandered to find some dinner. Fried chicken, fish shaped deserts filled with chocolate, red bean paste, vanilla cream and plain with salt and they were very delicious.

The weather cooperated nicely with a slight breeze to blow away the smoke so Vince had a clear sky to take his first ever fireworks shots and they turned out GREAT!

As darkness fell more and more people showed up and the air was alive with excitement. All of a sudden Steven said, “Ok, get ready!” I was not prepared for the loud explosion and shrieked aloud after which I was alternately Oooooing and giggling at the most spectacular light show just above my head.

Just as I would catch my breath another round of explosions and lights filled the sky with indescribable beauty. Keep in mind this was a show put on by a small area just outside of Uchiko. Ikazaki and Oda are part of Uchiko and the total population for all three is approximately 17,000.