Tochigi Hot Air Balloon International Championships

Are they afraid of collision with the other team's balloon???  
Oh no, don't get any closer to ours, or we will be re-launching!!!

It took place November 19 to 23 in Tochigi Prefecture. We went there on Nov. 21. There were three places where the balloons took off from. The rule is that each team decides their own destination (empty rice field) and tries to land as close to the destination as possible. Or they drop something as close to the destination as possible. Depending on the direction of winds, the jury members decide as to which place is best-suited for all teams.

We were at one of the places, expecting that this is the starting point. Murphy's law!!! We were betrayed and ended up jumping in the car and driving toward the alternative starting place. When we got there, almost all the balloons were swollen with hot air and launched one after another... 

What we did next was, again, jump in the car and start to chase them, without knowing their destinations... We managed to take some photos of them but they are unsatisfactory...

Did we enjoy it?

Answer is "Yes". Seeing and chasing a lot of colorful balloons in the air was sort of exciting! If we have a chance, we will definitely go there next year.

We posted another pictures, here, there, article and video of this competition.

This is a Ruby Tuesday and That's My World entries.



  1. You found the most beautifully lighted balloon moment here. So many exquisite details sprinkled all over the photo.

  2. Oh, how fun!! I've gone for a balloon flight and I loved it! Of course, we weren't in a race of any kind, but it was fun and exciting! Great post for the day and a truly superb capture!! Hope your week goes well! Enjoy!


  3. A beautiful sun-lit balloons!
    That the burner flame and help it.

  4. i love the backlight of this photo..great shot! My RT is here.

  5. I, too, LOVE hot air balloon festival! I went to the New Mexico (Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on October 2 of this year...what a sensational time we had!!! I have many photos on my blog in the October section of the archives. I love this photo! It's truly a beautiful perspective and great excitement.

  6. What a glorious shot and fun event. Thanks for following.

  7. amazing shot! the light at the background is beautiful. we have a hot air balloon festival, too, every February. it's exciting!

  8. Instead of being a stormchaser, you're a balloonchaser! Terrific lighting in this one!

  9. This looks like fun!


  10. This looks like a very exciting event! I wish I could have been there.

  11. What a fun day that must have been. Twice, I've been up in a hot air balloon in California's lovely Napa Valley. It's so beautiful sailing over the vineyards and seeing all the other balloons floating in the sky. We came down in a clearing near a schoolyard and had a morning picnic with champagne while some cows stopped by to visit.

  12. Not only do I love the light, but I really like that you can see and get a sense of motion or the air around the flame and the people on the ground. This image tells a great story. Beautiful!


  13. Wow. You could have worked with shadows though.

  14. love the mood! Happy Holidays Yoshi!


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