Wow! Look at all the fun events happening on Okinawa!
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Sept. 17)
EXPLORE THE CAVE IN THE SOUTHERN ISLAND: Through Sept. 30; Sept. 1-30, Mon-Fri at 10 a.m.; Sat., Sun., holidays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Caving in the Cave Gyoku Sendo; 3,000 yen fees and 1,000 yen for caving gear rental; Children below 4th grade must be accompanied by a guardian; 3,000 yen for a married couple on July, Aug., Sept. 22; reservation required; parking available; 098-949-7421; www.gyokusendo.co.jp/okinawaworld/okinawacave/exploration.html.
AUGUST'S DANCE: Sept. 17-19, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tarama Island harvest festival that takes place Aug. 8-10 in the Lunar calendar; several dances with over 400 years of history; at Ntabaru Ugan and Pitumata Ugan; free admisssion; parking available; 098-079-2260; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/, www.taramajima.net/odori.php.
TUBARA-MA: Sept. 22, 6:50-9:30 p.m.; Music competition of traditional folk song-Turaba-ma; takes place on Lunar calendar's Aug. 13; at Shinei Park (Ishigaki City Public Hall in case of rain); free admission; no parking lots available; 098-082-1515.
HARVEST FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 3-7 p.m., 23, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; March from Minami Daito-son Village Office to Daito Jingu with Mikoshi and Dashi; On the 23rd, dedicatory sumo and other entertainment; free admission; 098-022-2037; www.vill.minamidaito.okinawa.jp/event.html.
33RD KITANAKAGUSUKU SHIOSAI FESTIVAL & 2018 Young Man EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 22-23, 2-9 p.m.; at Nakagusuku-son Shiosai Park; free parking lot available; 098-935-2233; www.kitapo.jp.e.abl.hp.transer.com/events/event/kitanaka_fes2018/.
DAITOGU FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 3 p.m., 23, 9 a.m.; Biggest event on Kita Daito Island; on the 22nd, Mikoshi parade and fireworks; on the 23rd, harvest prayer ceremony and dedicatory sumo, and other entertaining performances; at Daitogu Shrine; free admission; parking available up to 50 spots; 098-023-4001; www.vill.kitadaito.okinawa.jp/top_html.html.
29TH NAGO CITY YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 23, 5-9 p.m.; at 21st Century Forest Park; 098-053-5429.
KANEGUSUKU SHISHIMAI: Sept. 24; Event with over 200 years of history to exorcize and pray for bumper crops; in Kanegusuku Village on Kume Island; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
CHIBANA USUDE-KU: Sept. 24, 3-5 p.m.; Event with over 300 years of history-women wearing traditional crafts, "Chibana Hanaori" dance to exorcize and pray for bumper crops; at Chibana Kamiya and Chibana Public Hall second floor; free admission; parking available up to 6 spots; 098-937-4516.
ITOMAN GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Parade starts at 2 p.m.; at between Itoman Rotary (Itoman Elementary School) and Hakugindo; parking lots available; 098-840-8135; www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/.
KUME ISLAND HAWAIIAN FESTIVAL 2018: Sept. 28-29, 7-9 p.m.; at Cypress Resort Kumejima on the 28th and Resort Hotel Kume Island on the 29th; 098-985-3260.
KAJIMAYA: Sept. 29, 7 p.m.; Performance Show by powerful Okinawan elders; Advance tickets-2,000 yen for adults, 2,500 yen at the door; 1,000 yen for children for both advance and at the door; at Music Town Otoichiba; 098-932-1949; www.facebook.com/Kajimaya97/.
4TH ONNA VILLAGE CHURAUMI FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 6; 5,000 fireworks display at Moon Beach Special Site, along with live performances; 098-966-2893; 10-minute ride from Ishikawa I.C. on Okinawa Express; www.onnanavi.com/.
38TH NOGUNI SOUKAN FESTIVAL: Oct. 6-7; Festivities to pay tribute Soukan Noguni, who started sweet potato cultivation about 400 years ago; calling sweet potato "Noguni Potato" during the festival and promote Kadena, birthplace of Japanese sweet potato; events include live music performance, potato field, sumo, etc.; free admission; no parking available; 098-956-1111.
48TH NAHA OTSUNAHIKI: Oct. 6-8; parade, tug-of-war, fireworks, live stage performances, etc.; no parking available; at Kokusaidori; 098-962-1442; www.naha-otsunahiki.org/.
12TH YAESE-CHO YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Oct. 7; free admission; temporary parking lot available; at Kochinda Sports Park; 080-3221-9503
NARIYAMAAYAGU MATSURI: Oct. 7, 7-9 p.m.; Nariyamaayagu is a folk song on Miyako Island; free to view the competition; at Tomori Imgya; parking available up to 400 lots; www.nariyamaayagu.com/.
WORLD BEER FEST OKINAWA OCTOBERFEST 2018: Oct. 13, 3-9 p.m., Oct. 14, 2-8 p.m.; taste craft beer, and varieties of beer from around the world, along with gourmet food by local farmers; Chatan Fisherina; free admission; 098-911-2278.
39TH KIN-CHO FESTIVAL: Oct. 13-14, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; featuring Okinawa traditional sumo, live performances, character mascots and more, also fireworks display starts at 8:45 p.m.; Kin Reginal Park and Kin Chuo Kominkan (community center); 60-minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-968-2111; www.town.kin.okinawa.jp/.
THE OKINAWAN UTAHAI: Oct. 14, 1:30 p.m.; Performing arts about Okinawan history and culture, expressing by music, dance and images; Advance ticket: 3,500 yean for adults, 1,500 yen for high schoolers or yonger, 500 yen extra cost at the door; parking available; 090-1344-7498; www.utahai.wixsite.com/utahai.
24TH IHEYA MOONLIGHT MARATHON: Oct. 20, Full Marathon at 3 p.m. and Half Marathon at 5 p.m.; start/finish at Yuai to Kenko no Hiroba on Iheya Island; 098-046-2867; www.iheya-moonlight.jp/.
42ST OKINAWA SANGYO FESTIVAL: Oct. 19-21, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; introducing agricultural, marine, woodcraft and pottery products made on Okinawa, along with live music and eisa performances at Onoyama Park and Okinawa Budokan, free admission; 5-minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-859-6191; www.okikouren.or.jp/.
9TH ZAKIMIGUSUDORI FUREAI MATSURI: Oct. 21, stage performances, charity auction, food stands, at Zakimi Community Center, Zakimigusudori, Zakimi Castle; shuttle bus from parking lot available; free admission; 098-958-2228.
33RD GOZA KEASHIBI CONCERT: Oct. 24; 6-9 p.m.; tickets: 1,500 yen for advance tickets and 1,800 yen at the door; at Okinawa Zoo & Museum; 098-933-4190.
7TH VOICE HEARING IN ITOMAN: Oct. 27; 20 singers who qualified for the event, sing Tubara-ma, a lyrical song in Yaeyama; event was founded to deepen exchanges between Itoman and Yaeyama in 2005 and is held every other year; at Michinoeki Itoman; free admission; free parking lot available; 098-851-8752.
44TH YOMITAN MATSURI: Oct. 27-28, featuring children’s plays, dance performances, concerts, fireworks at Yomitanson Athletic Park; free admission; parking available; 098-982-9201; www.vill.yomitan.okinawa.jp/.
GREAT EARTH 11TH ISHIGAKI ISLAND RIDE 125KM: Oct. 27-Sunset cruising party, Oct. 28, Long course-125K, Middle-95K, Short-60; start/finish at Funakura Park; 070-3622-0001.
26TH GINOZA-SON (VIILLAGE) FESTIVAL & 3RD GINOZA-SON CHURA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 27-28; featuring traditional live stages, children’s dance, youth eisa-dance, Okinawa sumo, haunted house and 1,000 fireworks display at Ginoza-son Rural Park; free admission; 098-968-5125; www.vill.ginoza.okinawa.jp/.
41ST UREASOE TEDAKO FESTIVAL: Oct. 27-28; Teda-meaning sun in Okinawan dialect and Ko-meaning child; Urasoe used to be Ryukyu's capital and the king's father was believed to be the sun in the Okinawa legend; hence, this is to celebrate ancient king; events include youth Eisa, Tedako Ha-ri-, fireworks, etc.; at Urasoe Athletic Park; free admission; 098-876-1234; www.city.urasoe.lg.jp/.
2018 KUMEJIMA MARATHON: Oct. 28, 7:30 a.m., cost: 4,000 yen-full/half marathon, 3,500-10K/5K, 2,000 for high schoolers at all levels; at Nakazato Ball Park (start & finish line), 098-985-7106. www.kumejima-marathon.com/.
31TH IZENA 88 TRIATHLON: Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; swim (2km), bicycle (66km) and marathon (20km) race held at Izena Beach, Izena Island, Okinawa; 0980-50-7220; www.izenatriathlon.jp/.
33RD ALL OF OKINAWA ISLANDS LION DANCE FESTIVAL: Oct. 28, 6 p.m.; lion dance teams throughout Okinawa get together at Uruma City Agena Bullring; free admission; free shuttle bus available between 4-9:30 p.m. from Uruma Shimin Geijyutsu Gekijo; 098-923-7182; www.city.uruma.lg.jp/index.php.
TAKETOMIJIMA TANADUI: in October, festival dedicated to sowing in the sacred land; at Yumuchion on Taketomijima; free admission; 098-082-5445; ta.taketomicho.jp/.
MINAMI DAITO-SON SANGYO MATSURI (BORONOJI FAIR): Mid-late Oct.; at Minami daito-son Fureai Park; free admission; no parking available; 098-022-2184.
26TH JAPAN’S WESTERNMOST YONAGUNIJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., after party following the closing ceremony at 5 p.m., 25K race followed by 10K; at Yonagunijima Junior High School Ground, 10K starts at Irisaki Lighthouse (the Westernmost point); 098-087-2241; www.welcome-yonaguni.jp/marathon/.
30TH TOUR DE OKINAWA BICYCLE RACE: Nov. 10-11; featuring touring events and races for more than 4,700 participants including men’s championship race (210 km), six cycling events and 14 road races for citizens; NPO Tour de Okinawa Office 098-054-3174; www.tour-de-okinawa.jp/.
21ST TARAMAJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 11, noon; 23.75K race followed by 10K, 5K, 3K, walking course; start and finish at Tarama-son Hall; at Tarama Jima Elementary School; 098-079-2260; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/.
47TH OKINAWA ARTS AND CULTURE FESTIVAL: Nov. 10-18, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (9 a.m.-8 p.m.), Winners and selected pictures, calligraphs, and art works by Okinawans on display to enhance Okinawan culture; free admission; at Okinawa Prefectural Musuam and Art Museum; 098-987-0926; www.okicul-pr.jp/kengeisai/.
8TH ANNUAL SUGAR RIDE KUMEJIMA 2018: Nov. 17, pottering at 3 p.m., brieifing at 2 and 4 p.m., Nov. 18, Athlete course (100K) begins at 8 a.m., Go round course (45K) & Easy Go round course (35K) at 9 a.m., cycling event enjoying Kumejima's beautiful sceneries; start/finish at Resort Hotel Kume Island; 090-8294-3255; www.sugar-ride.com/.
KUMEJIMA PRAWN FESTIVAL: Nov. 24, 11 a.m.; prawn cuisine at special prices, folk song, hula dance stage performances; free admission; at Kumejima Fisheries Processing Facility; parking available up to 50 spots; 098-985-8216; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
39TH TSUBOYA POTTERY FESTIVAL: Nov. 23-25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; masters exhibit their works, including jars and other goods, sold for more than 20 percent off the market price visit booths, including a pottery square, where people can make shisa (lion dog) masks and use the pottery wheel; free admission; at Naha Tsuboya Elementary School; 098-866-3284; www.tuboya.com/.
28TH CHUBU TRIM MARATHON: Nov. 25, 10K at 9 a.m., 3K (both individual & parent-child races) at 11 a.m.; start and finish at Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park; 098-932-5114; www.i-sam.co.jp/chubutrim-half-marathon/.
SHIP OF THE RYUKYU: Oct. 3 through Feb. 17, 2019; stage performance of Okinawan traditional performing arts, including Okinawa Karate and Eisa; at Tenbusu Hall and Palette Civic Theater; tickets: 2,500 yen for adults, 2,000 yen for high school students and younger; free for preschoolers; no parking available; 098-987-0926; www.magnetcontents.net/.