Hey! Get off base and check out these festivities on Okinawa!
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up , so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Feb. 25)
YOMITAN YACHIMUN POTTERY FESTIVAL: Feb. 26, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; the event takes place at Yomitan Village Kyodo Hanbai Center. New potteries produced in the past year by 50 local potters in Yomitan village are on display and on sale; 30-minute ride from Okinawa Kita (north) I.C. on Okinawa Express; 098-958-1020.
CORAL REEF WEEK 2017: Feb. 25-March 12; a great chance to reconsider and conserve coral reefs for the next generations. Coral reef is the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with one quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. The event features talk show, symposium, workshops and more at Art Studio, Kid’s Studio, Atrium, Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum and others; www.museums.pref.okinawa.jp/index.jsp.
KUROSHIMA CATTLE FESTIVAL: Feb. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Kuroshima is known as cattle producing island, breeding thousands of cattles in 200 population town and events include tug-of-war between local residents and cattles, live performance, a chance to win an award of receiving a cattle by lottery and more; 30-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Port; 0980-82-5445.
THE 30TH LPGA DAIKIN ORCHID LADIES GOLF TOURNAMENT: March 2-5, at Ryukyu Golf Club in Tamagusuku Village, Shimajiri, Okinawa. Japan Ladies’ Professional Golf’s 2017 season opening tournament. Buses No. 39 and No. 41 from Naha Bus Terminal, get off at Kirabaru; 2,000 yen for one-day ticket on 1st & 2nd rounds, 3,000 yen for final round; 098-860-2055.
HIGASHI-SON (VILLAGE) AZALEA FESTIVAL: March 3-20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., at Higashi-son Sonmin-no Mori; 50,000 azaleas are in full bloom and auto-camp/bungalow w/500 car parking are available neighboring at Eco Park, illuminated between 6-8 p.m. on March 11, 18 & 19; 30-minute ride from Nago city; adult 300 yen, children free; 098-43-2265.
YAEYAMA BEACH OPENING 2017: March 18, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; beach-opening of the season is a great chance to swim. There will be many attractions, such as traditional local entertainments, announcement of Miss Yaeyama, treasure hunt on the beach, live performance and etc.; Tsukigahama Beach, Iriomote Islands, five-minute drive from Uehara Port of Iriomote Islands; 0980-87-6252.
ZAMAMI VILLAGE WHALE WATCHING FESTIVAL 2017: Through early April, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Zamami Village, 50-minute express boat from Naha Port; 5,400 yen adults, 2,700 yen children; 098-896-4141; www.vill.zamami.okinawa.jp/whale/english/englishtoppage2.html.
OKINAWA FLOWER CARNIVAL 2017: Through May 7; at Shuri Castle Park, Okinawa Commemorative Government Park, Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan, Nakijin Castle Park and Yaedake Cherry Park; Okinawa Sightseeing Convention Bureau 098-859-6129.