I was at Kevin's place yesterday while Kathy went to Omiya to visit Joanne. The first part of the adventure started around 6:30 when Kevin, Mark and I heard what we thought was a thunderstorm. By 7:00 I had checked outside twice and decided that it was a storm - except that it was a perfectly clear night. At one point I actually felt the wall rattle a little with the noise. It turns out it was a fireworks display. By 7:30 had found out (through various sources) that it was in Ota and (we thought) nearby. So the three of us piled into my little car and drove madly around the city trying to find the show. Heads out the windows, both to see and hear, we followed the light (they say you should always walk towards the light) and finally arrived in a farmer's field for the last 20 minutes worth. They do fireworks right in this country - over 1-1/2 hours and hugely amazing! Certainly no Virgil Stampede.