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!