Every summer sees a flurry of fireworks festivals across Japan. There are actually fewer this year, as many of the larger displays have been cancelled due to the earthquake and damage to the power grid. Luckily for Gunma, the Tamamura display went ahead as planned.
Several friends came to visit over this past three day weekend, and we launched things with the hour long display. Traffic was pretty rough on the way over, and the area was super crowded, far more than last year. However, we still managed to snag a choice location, almost as close to the display as you could go. When the wind shifted we were sometimes hit with hot ash from the explosions almost directly overhead! It was by far the closest I have ever been to a fireworks display.
I brought along my tripod, and had a lot of fun playing with shutter speed settings for different effects. Fireworks are tricky to photograph, but the end result can be a lot of fun.