Lots of fun things happening on Okinawa!
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Feb. 21)
SHURI CASTLE PARK - RYUKYU NO HANAMIGUI: Through Feb. 25; The park will be decorated with 30,000 flowers-hibisbus, bougainvillea, etc.; 098-886-2020; www.oki-park.jp/shurijo/
YOMITAN YAMUCHIN MARKET: Feb. 24-25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Yamuchin-meaning pottery in Okinawa dialect, over 30 Yomitan Village potteries will be present at the Yomittan Famers' Market; charity auction; free admission; 098-958-2939/1020; www.kyouhan-y.com/yachimunichi.html.
OKINAWA ECO SPIRIT RIDE & WALK IN NANJO CITY: Feb. 25, 7:30 a.m.; 3 bicycle ride courses (20K, 30K and 50K), 5 walk & nordic courses (two 7Ks, two 14Ks and 20K); start and finish at Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo; 098-960-3573, 098-948-7110; www.ecospiritridewalk.jp/index.html.
13TH OCEAN EXPO PARK CHURAUMI FLOWER FESTIVAL: Through Feb. 25; In theme of Flower Island Okinawa, approximately 400,000 flowers decorate the park; there will a number of 3D flowerbeds such as octopus, sharks, dolphins, etc.; free admission; 098-048-2741; www.oki-park.jp/hanamatsuri/.
26TH KUROSHIMA BEEF FESTIVAL: Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; A day full of cows: Tug-of-war with cows; milking, live stage perfomances, several beef food concessions; 098-085-4129; www.facebook.com/ushimatsuri/.
OKINAWA ZOO & MUSEUM FLOWER FESTIVAL 2018: Through Mar. 17; Spring is coming to Japan's southernmost interactive zoo and museum; a number of workshops and events throughout the festival month; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/; www.okzm.jp/themes/okinawa_kodomo/pdf/english.pdf; www.hanamaturi.wixsite.com/2018.
31TH DAIKIN ORCHID LADIES GOLD TOURNAMENT: Mar. 1-4, 1,500 yen per advance ticket; at the door: 2,000 yen on 1st & 2nd day, 3,000 yen on 3rd & 4th day; free admission for all females, 70 years and older, and high school students and younger; 098-988-5000; www.rbc.co.jp/event_information/31thdaikin/.
36TH HIGASHISON AZALEA FESTIVAL: Mar. 2-21, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., viewing period lasts until Mar. 25; 50,000 azaleas blooming at the Higashison Village Azalea Garden to signal the coming of spring; entrance fee: 300 yen, free for junior high school students and younger; 098-043-2265; www.vill.higashi.okinawa.jp/index.jsp.
19TH FUREAI PARK GOLF GAMES: Mar. 3-4, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; In the theme of "Ichariba-chode," an Okinawan saying and approach to life, meaning "once we meet, we become brothers and sisters," participants enjoy playing golf and buliling friendship; 5,000 yen to participate; at Kuina Park Golf Course & Kunigami Kagamiji Park Golf Course; 098-041-5306; www.vill.kunigami.okinawa.jp/.
MOMOSOOMO NO MAIRI: Mar. 3-4, noon-1 p.m., 3-4 p.m.; This event is to make a pilgrimage to the Shuri Castle and the sacred surrounding area. The ritual prayed the king's longevity, prosperity of descendants, safe voyage, safety of the country, and bumper crops; 098-886-2020; www.oki-park.jp/shurijo/en/.
26TH YUKARU-HI, MASARU-HI, SANSHIN NO HI: Mar. 4, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; "Yukaru-hi" means an auspicious day; "Masaru-hi" means a better day; and "Sanshin" is a pun on 3 and 4 in Japanese on March 4th; This is an event full of Okinawan culture and performing arts, including folk songs, traditional music, dances, etc.; at Yomitan Culture Center; 098-860-2069; www.rbc.co.jp/34day/.
16TH OKINAWA CITY CRAFT FAIR: Mar. 8-11, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; One of the biggest craft exhibitions in Okinawa; 71 Okinawan craft shops are expected to participate this year; auction; experience booths; at Plaza House Shopping Center; 098-934-2213; www.facebook.com/okinawasi.kougeifea.
14TH KATSUYAMA SHEQUASAR FLOWER FRAGRANCE FESTIVAL: Mar. 10-11, 8: 30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Enjoy the shequasar (citrus depressa) flower fragrance and stage performances at the Nago City Katsuyama Public Hall; 098-053-8336.
RYUKYU LANTERN FESTIVAL: Through Feb. 25, 6-10 p.m.; illumination themed of fantasy world created by old houses along the streets on Ryukyu Dynasty (1429-1879) decorated with Chinese lanterns at Murasaki Mura, also to experience to make lantern object for the contest; Murasaki Mura, Yomitan Village; 10-minute ride from Naha Airport; 600 yen adult, 500 yen senior high and middle school students, 400 yen children; 098-958-6494.
OKUMA ILLUMINATION 2017: Through Feb. 28, sunsets-dawn; enjoy illumination at the front rotary, along with walkways at JAL Private Resort Okuma; free; 0980-41-2222; www.okura-nikko.com/japan/okuma/okuma-private-beach-resort/.
KANUCHA RESORT STARDUST FANTASIA: Through Feb. 28, 7-11 p.m.; commemorating 20th anniversary of starting Kanucha Resort, illumination, 1,000,000 LED lights decorated with the theme of “Alegria” collaborated with music will bring you into fantasy world; 1,000 yen per person (advanced ticket), 1,500 yen per person (at doors), 3,000 yen for group pass (4 persons, advanced ticket), free elementary school students and for a stay or a dinner; 80 minute ride from Naha Airport; 0980-55-8880; www.kanucha.jp/en/.