Takayama Handheld Fireworks 飛騨高山手筒花火

Every year, in the depths of summer, is the Takayama Handheld Fireworks festival, or 飛騨高山手筒花火.

This happen in the middle of town over the Miyagawa River. A large scaffolding stage is extended over the river between the gate of Hachiman Shrine, and the bridge at the end of the Morning Markets. After sundown, the chief technician and the MC come to the stage to thank the town, the sponsors, and everyone involved with the festival.

Then they light 'em up.


Some of the fireworks are actually hand-held, but the more impressive ones are the larger, longer barrels that require two hands.


Each cannon fires a shower of sparks in the air that rains back down on the technician, and the platform. The barrel heats up, and the spark get more intense, until.. pop! It ends.

Rather than firing a shelled firework into the air, everything is contained inside of the cannon. There aren't any colors, or designs. It's really just what you see in the images above for about an hour or two. Tourists and townspeople are lined along the streets to watch the technicians do the same things over and over again.

It made for some nice photos, but the festival is somewhat boring otherwise.


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