Fireworks and Farewells

On my last night in Taki I went out to the Furusato Matsuri (ふるさと祭り、Homecoming Festival) in Seiwa, which is the western half of Taki. There were tons of locals out, I must have shaken hands and greeted at least 20-30 people just in the first hour or so, starting from the mayor and former vice mayor down to the preschool kids I teach each month. Kids were running all over the place and there were performances going on for most of the night. After meeting up with some friends we grabbed some food and took in the atmosphere. I didn’t take many pictures of the actual festival because I wanted to just soak it in one last time. Who knows when I’ll be back next!

At the end of the night there was an awesome fireworks display. It was right in front of us, making for an unforgettable ending to a great night out with some of my closest friends here in Japan. Thank you Taki, thank you everyone, take care – I hope to see you again in the future.

Festival pavilion

This lighted stand was in the middle of the grounds. The sun had just set, leaving the sky tinged slightly pink.


Close-up of the one of the lanterns.

Kids' taiko group performance

A group of kids performs on the taiko drums.

Group shot 1

Left to right: Sayaka, Ai, Kazuyo, Mamiko


Front: Momoko, Sakurako, Mamiko; Back: Ms. Nishimura (forgot her first name!), Kazuyo, Ai, Sayaka

Group shot 2

I've taught the two girls since they were in preschool. Now they're in 2nd and 4th grade! Crazy how time flies.

Designer hair!

A close up of Kazuyo's hair. Macro to the rescue!

And on to the main event!


A few seconds exposure time really makes the burst come alive.

The color changes were pretty outstanding.

Patterns started to change here…!


A vertical crop.


Looks like an elephant...?

Watching the show

Crowd is enjoying the great display of artistry!

More of the crowd.


Rain of light.

Sky painting

"Sky Painting". My favorite picture of the fireworks. Simple, elegant, and the smoke taking on the colors is a great touch.

You had to be there 😀 I left the remote on shutter lock and let it fire away while I soaked it all in.

These were nice, with several bursts each round.


Headed to the end.


This 2.5 second shot really captured all the different types of shots that were going up simultaneously.


Finale! A showering cascade of beautiful light.

Eikaiwa group shot

Left to right: Me, Kazuyo, Masanori, Ai, Sayaka, Iefan. The Eikiawa (English Convo) gang! Took this on my tripod. A final farewell after a great show. Miss all you guys!

And that’s a wrap. A monster post, thanks for reading! If you are interested in more fireworks pictures (and great people shots as well) check out Mike’s Blog in the near future; he should have the scoop from the recent Yokohama Port fireworks show!

One more thank you to all my friends, especially those that made my last few weeks so special (you know who you are). I wouldn’t have been able to go out the way I did without you all. Love you, miss you, see you around.

– Brian


4 thoughts on “Fireworks and Farewells

  1. The first time I went over the post and glanced over the pics, I thought the first two pics were of a hot-air balloon!! Haha, couldn’t have been further from the truth, but the perspective of the 2nd shot makes the lantern look much better than it actually is.

    Great shots man, it’s sweet that you get to see them go up right in front of you. We were a couple clicks away from the actual site, so there’s no way I could’ve gotten cool shots like you did where you can see both the start and end of a single firework. I also like the asymmetry of your framing and the fireworks themselves – most of the ones I got are totally symmetrical, with any unbalance only coming from a different firework in the same exposure.

    Fireworks totally make the heat of Japanese summers bearable – I might hit up another one before this summer’s over, it’d give me an excuse to get up off my butt and go out shooting, haha. Fireworks require very minimal post work too, and I enjoyed the hassle-free experience for once =P

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