Koi Nobori: Carp shaped windsocks which are flown late April through early May in celebration of Children's Day in Japan (5 May). While these streamers are flown in the run up to Children's Day, they are flown to honor sons so they will be healthy and strong.
This past Saturday, Naoko and I both left the house at 4am to make the drive to Haneji Dam to catch this large display of Koi Nobori flying on top of the dam in time for sunrise. I really didn't want to go during the festival because I wanted to see it without people and also to catch it in the morning light. The dam is about an hour from our house so we arrived about 20 minutes before sunrise and given there were a lot of mountains around, I had a lot of time to photograph during what is known as blue hour (the hour or so after sunset and before sunrise). The actual sunrise was not very exciting, but I took some artistic license and gave a warmer feeling to the sky in the main photo above since I made the effort to get out there :). The second photo below was taken earlier during blue hour. One other note on the photo below is that I took this at 800 ISO because it was so dark and I wanted to have a fast enough shutter speed to capture the blowing flags fairly clearly. The noise, or lack of, in my new camera is quite capable at even higher ISOs. I'll have a post about this particular subject at a later date.