2008 July 22 Tuesday thru July 24 Thursday.

Just one more day of classes until the start of my summer vacation.

On Thursday July 24, Ikuko and I went to the annual Biei Fire Festival 美瑛火まつり for the first time.

Every year on July 24, they hold this powerful event.

Why has it taken me so long to get there and see it for the first time?

Lack of planning. For years, I have been driving thru Biei on my way to the Mt.
Tokachi Observation Area 十勝岳 望岳台 and FukiAge Outdoor Spa 吹上温 泉露天の湯, and I have seen the posters for this event many times. Finally this year, I made the smart decision to go and see it.

It was awesome. The contrast between WATER and FIRE has never been more obvious.

Charles Hamel and family were at the event as well, and Charlie has a new digital camera,
Canon EOS Kiss F 10.1 Megapixel DSLR which takes awesome photos! CLICK HERE to see one of his best.

A photo good enough to be published in
National Geographic Magazine.
I also took a lot of photos on that night, with the very first digital camera I ever bought.

CASIO QV-3000EX. This camera has the largest diameter glass lens, of all my digi cams. Perfect for night time photos.

With a digital camera it is cheap and easy to take a massive amount of photos.
Among those many photos, there are always some really good ones.

Once and a while, a really great photo.

You can see a slideshow of the best photos I took at this event by clicking here.

The origin of this festival in Biei, has a lot to do with the repeated eruptions of Mt. Tokachi in the years; 1857, 1887, 1926, 1962 and most recently in 1988.

That is very active volcano, if ever there was one.

As you can well imagine, having a volcano blew it's top in a place that is close to where you live, is a big disaster for human beings.

The main purpose of this festival which began exactly 20 years ago in 1988, is to beg the mountain to remain quiet, and not blow up again.

It seems to have worked so far. I think that I will make this one of my yearly traditions, and go every year from now on.

After all, I have had the experience of driving from Seattle Washington to

It was a scary experience that I will never forget.

There is nothing humans can physically do to prevent a volcanic eruption.

Spiritually, we may have a chance, if we show our respect for the power of MOTHER EARTH.

That is the real reason why this festival is so important.