Fires are set by local communities and families who work on the rice fields in the hope of a good harvest for the coming year. They stack up large bamboo bonfires for a few days before lighting them and roasting sweet potato, rice mochi and drinking hot drinks or beer in the cold winter air to keep warm.
This sculpture is standing in a car park at over 2 metres tall and amazingly made from wood, bamboo, pine cones and mussel shells! (I think the eyes are made from saucepans)
Fireflies (or is it glow worms? I'm never sure of the difference) are active between now and June in Japan and are known as hotaru (ホタル 蛍) and tend to come out just after sunset. I walked past a river spot where they flying about only to realise I had just used my last shot in a roll of film. By the time I had returned with my DSLR most of the fireflies had already paid up for the night and turned the lights off. It's times like that you realise how convenient digital can be! I didn't get any good shots as only one firefly was left that flew around me desolately looking for a chick to pick up and take out for a kebab, but I wasn't his type.