The oldest traditional festival in Fukuoka. Below is a quote from Wikipedia about the festival. It starts every year on the 15th of July at 4:59AM. I've really had problems shooting over the spectators with the viewfinder at eye-level - hands and heads were getting in the way. I ended up shooting a lot "blindly" with the camera up high, which resulted in a lot of shots with missed focus, or with a completely missed subject. Still, some of the shots were acceptable, and the whole event was fun to watch and photograph. Both the teams and the spectators were really passionate about the race. What I've learned from the experience: Many photographers brought small ladders to shoot over the crowd - I'll be bringing my own ladder next time I think. Also, RAW is really not useful for shooting action shots - the buffer gets filled up too fast. I ended up shooting mostly in JPEG. A quote about the festival from Wikipedia: "Yamakasa, held for two weeks each July, is Fukuoka's oldest festival with a history of over 700 years. Teams of men (no women, except small girls, are allowed), representing different districts in the city, race against the clock around a set course carrying on their shoulders floats weighing several thousand pounds. Participants all wear shimekomi (called fundoshi in other parts of Japan), which are traditional loincloths. Each day of the two-week festival period is marked by special events and practice runs, culminating in the official race that takes place the last morning before dawn. Tens of thousands line the streets to cheer on the teams. During the festival period, men can be seen walking around many parts Fukuoka in long happi coats bearing the distinctive mark of their team affiliation and traditional geta sandals. The costumes are worn with pride and are considered appropriate wear for even formal occasions, such as weddings and cocktail parties, during the festival period."