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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Nagaoka Fireworks



As the Joestsu Line made its way through the backbone of southern Uonuma Valley I could sense the festival mood growing on the train.  People, mainly backpackers, were drinking beer and getting carried away in drunken revelry.   I didn't let that spoil the view of rural Japan.   Well.  I was a little tipsy too.

So I finally made it up to see the greatest fireworks display on planet earth.    How do you judge a fireworks show?   Some people only judge the technical merits, or how well the bursts were executed.
Another way would be how well music is choreographed with the bursts.    Location is another way of how to judge the total performance, but this is my own opinion.




Of course over a river or a dry bed is the best place, but how about along the Shinano River in an amphitheater like surrounding where you can enjoy 180 degree views of bomb shells going off in the night sky.


From left to right you could see fireworks being shot up into the night sky.   It was beautiful.




These were huge shells 36"!  The sky lit up the night sky in dazzling white with Ayumi Hamasaki blaring from the speakers which sent echoes through out the whole park.    It was magical.   Then Vivaldi was next up on musical choices which elevated this fireworks show to the stars.



My drinking buddies had a blast.   I loved these electric Japanese fans that they were carrying.


This last video was the finale and it was amazing!   You haven't seen a fireworks show until you've seen the one in Nagaoka.



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