Lots 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 Aug. 21)
SHIOYA BAY UNGAMI (SEA GOD FESTIVAL): Aug. 18-19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; festival for bumper crops and sound health; one of nation's designated significant intangible folklore cultural assets; at 7 different locations of Shioya Bay; free to watch; free parking lot available; 0980-44-2453; www.kanko.vill.ogimi.okinawa.jp/village/ungami/index.html.
NIGHT ZOO SATUR-ZOO NIGHT: Okinawa Zoo & Museum will be open until 9 p.m. every Saturday from late July and throughout summer break; 098-933-4190; admissions: adults-500 yen, junior high-high school students-200 yen, K-6-100 yen, 3 years old and younger-free; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/.
64TH OKINAWA ZENTO EISA Matsuri: Aug. 23-25; Biggest Eisa events for 3 days-Eisa Parade on Goya Crossroad on 23rd, 6:30-9 p.m.; Okinawa City Youth Festival at Okinawa City Koza Sports Park on 24th, 3-9 p.m.; Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri at Okinawa City Koza Sports Park on 25th, 3-9 p.m.; free admission, fees (1,200-2,500 yen advance, 300-500 yen more at the door) apply for box seats; 098-937-3986; www.zentoeisa.com/.
ZAMAMI ISLAND FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 6-9 p.m.; Eisa, Ryukyu dance, Hawaiian Hula dance, band performances, fireworks, various food stands at the Zamami Port Terminal Square; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-4321; www.vill.zamami.okinawa.jp/.
36TH YOMITAN-SON YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m., 25, 6 p.m.; at Yomitan Heiwanomori Ballpark; free to watch; freee parking available; 098-982-9200; www.facebook.com/yomiseikyou/.
ORION BEER FEST 2019 IN KOZA: Aug. 24, 5-9 p.m.; Aug. 25, 4:30-9 p.m.; enjoy factory-fresh beer and live music performance at Goza Athletic Park Sub Ground; free admission; no parking lot available; 098-877-5050; www.orionbeer.co.jp/event/beerfest/koza.html.
NISHIME WHOLE ISLAND SUMO, NISHIME EISA: Aug. 25, 2-9 p.m.; at the old Nishime Bullring; register on the day of the event to participate sumo; free admission; no pakring lot available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
KAJIMAYA: Aug. 31, 3 p.m.; Performance Show by powerful Okinawan elders; Advance tickets-2,000 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for children; at the door: 2,500 yen for adults and 1,500 yen for children; at Music Town Otoichiba, 3rd floor hall; 098-932-1949; www.facebook.com/Kajimaya97/.
14TH URUMA CITY EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 5-9 p.m.; eve Friday - Aug. 30, 6:50-9 p.m.; at Uruma City Multi-purpose Park Athletics Field; free to watch; temporary parking lots available (must take shuttle to the venue); no parking on Friday; 098-978-9404; www.city.uruma.lg.jp.e.up.hp.transer.com/culture/1249/9113/8746.
23RD GINOWAN CITY YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, 5-9 p.m.; more than 10 youth groups perform Eisa; all the participants will dance Kachashi at the end of each day; at Ginowan Citizen Square; free to watch; limited numbers of free parking available (using public transportation recommended); 098-893-4434; www.instagram.com/giseiren/.
PINKDOT OKINAWA 2019: Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; event supoorting the freedom to love, better understanding for sexual minorities; at Ryukyu Shimpo Entrance Square; free admission; no parking available; 080-4733-7044; www.pinkdot-okinawa.com/.
CHURAUMI NIGHT AQUARIUM: Unitil Sept. 1, 6-9 p.m.; special sets of lighting with extended operation hours; saxophone and violin live performances on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays; tickets: adults-1,850 yen, high school students-1,230, junior high school and elementary school students-610; from 4 p.m. tickets: adults-1,290 yen, high school-860, junior high-elementary-430; free parking available (please use lot P7 if going to the night aquarium); 0980-48-3748; www.churaumi.okinawa/topics/1558414076/.
KITA NAKAGUSUKU-SON YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 1, 3-9 p.m.; one of the big 3 Kita Nakagusuku-son festivals; fireworks; at Wakamatsu Park; free admission; 098-935-2233; www.vill.kitanakagusuku.lg.jp/.
NAKACHI WHOLE ISLAND SUMO: Sept. 3, 2-9 p.m.; at Nakachi Nouson Park; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
6TH KANDO NO MACHI URUURU URUMA CITY BUSSAN TEN: Sept. 6-8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; exhibition of Uruma City's local food and art work; at AEON Mall Rycom (2nd floor Earth Court); free admission; free parking available; 098-972-0077.
STUDIO GHIBLI EXPOSITION: Until Sept. 8; From Nausicaä to Marnie, 30 years of Studio Ghibli history is in this expo; at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum; admission: adults-1,400-yen, high school and college students-1,000-yen, junior high school students-700 yen, elementary school students and younger-free; free parking available; 098-988-5000; www.rbc.co.jp/event_information/ghibli-okinawa/.
AUGUST'S DANCE: Sept. 6-9, 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; no parking available; 0980-79-2664; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/, www.taramajima.net/odori.php.
53TH OKINAWA YOUTH FURUSATO EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 8; Eisa and other folk arts performances at Chatan Park Athletic Field; free admission; no parking available; 098-868-1756; www.furusatoeisa.com/.
TUBARA-MA: Sept. 11, 6:20-9:30 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.
ITOMAN GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., at between Itoman Rotary (Itoman Elementary School) and Hakugindo; free to watch; parking lots available; 098-840-8135; www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/.
CHIBANA USUDE-KU: Sept. 13, 3-6 p.m.; Event with over 300 years of history-women wearing traditional crafts, "Chibana Hanaori" dance to exorcize and pray for bumper crops; in Chibana, Okinawa City; free admission; no parking available; 098-937-4516.
KANEGUSUKU SHISHIMAI: Sept. 13; 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/.
CHUSHU NO UTAGE: Sept. 14-15, 6:30-9 p.m.; Ryukyu classical dance, Shuri Castle Festival King and Queen contests; free to watch (fees apply to enter the castle); toll parking available; 098-886-2020; www.oki-park.jp/shurijo/.
MAEZATO GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: Sept. 15, 11 a.m.; at Maezato Me-michi Square; free to watch; no parking available; 098-994-4468.
14TH SEINEN GEINOU FESTA IN NANJO: Sept. 15, time TBD; Eisa performances by Nanjo City's youth groups; at Nanjo City Tamagusuku Gusuku Road Park; free admission; free parking available; 098-917-5351; www.nanjoseiren.info/.
10TH KUME ISLAND KOTEN MINYO: Sept. 21, 6-9 p.m.; classical folk song competitions; elementary school, middle school studetns category and adults (high school and older) category; at Kume Island Fureai Park foutdoor stage; free admission; free parking available; 098-985-5221; www.kanko-kumejima.com/archives/22716.
RYUKYU YO MATSURI -NATSU NO YOMITAN YOAKARI-: Aug. 2-Sept. 22, 6-10 p.m. only on Fri, Sat, Sun (park opens at 9 a.m. every day); bamboo art, lanterns, projection mapping, etc.; at Murasaki Mura in Yomitan; admission: adults-600 yen, middle, high school students-500 yen; elementary school studetns-400 yen; free parking lot available; 098-958-1111; www.murasakimura.com/.
30TH NAGO CITY YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m.; at 21 Seiki no Mori Park; free admission; no parking available; 0980-53-5429.
HONEN SAI (HARVEST FESTIVAL): Sept. 22, 3-7 p.m., 23, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; on the 22nd, march from Minami Daito-son Village Office to Daito Jingu with Mikoshi and Dashi; on the 23rd, dedicatory sumo and other entertainment; free admission; no parking available; 0980-22-2001; www.vill.minamidaito.okinawa.jp/.
DAITOGU FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 3-9 p.m., 23, 9 a.m.-10 p.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; 0980-23-4001; www.vill.kitadaito.okinawa.jp/top_html.html.
KUME ISLAND HAWAIIAN FESTIVAL 2019: Sept. 27-28, 6-9 p.m.; at Resort Hotel Kume Island on the 27th, at Eef Beach Hotel on the 28th; free to watch; 1,500 yen to participate; free parking available; 098-985-7111; www.kume-hawaiian.com/.
42ND GINOWAN HAGOROMO MATSURI: Sept. 28 & 29; fireworksm, Eisa, live music and dance performances, Kachashi, etc. at Ginowan Kaihin Koen Tamokuteki Hiroba (multi-purpose square); free admission; no parking lots available; 098-897-2764; www.ginowan.info/.
OKINAWA WORLD EXPLORE THE CAVE IN THE SOUTHERN ISLAND: July 13-Sept. 30; July 14-Aug.31 Mon.-Fri. at 10 and 11 a.m.; Sat., Sun., holidays at 10, 11 a.m., & 2 p.m.; 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; reservation required (reserve by 5 p.m. the day before); free parking available; 098-949-7421; www.gyokusendo.co.jp/okinawaworld/okinawacave/exploration.html.
TARAMA JIMA PINDA A-SU: Oct. 5 (subject to change); Pinda A-su is the island's dialect meaning (Pinda-local breed) goat fighting; a biannual event for the island's tourism promotion; at the Tarama Son Multi-purpose Square; free admission; free parking available; 0980-79-2828; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/.
5TH ONNA-SON CHURAUMI FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 5, 5-8:15 p.m. (fireworks from 8 p.m.); 5,000 fireworks display at Onna-son Community Center, along with live performances; 098-966-2893; 10-minute ride from Ishikawa I.C. on Okinawa Express; free parking available at Akama Sports Park (take a shuttle bus from there); www.onnanavi.com/.
25TH IHEYA MOONLIGHT MARATHON: Oct. 12, Full Marathon at 3 p.m. and Half Marathon at 5 p.m.; registration until July 31; start/finish at Yuai to Kenko no Hiroba on Iheya Island; 0980-46-2867; www.iheya-moonlight.jp/.
WORLD BEER FEST OKINAWA OCTOBERFEST X OKINAWA FOOD FLEA: Oct. 12, 3-9 p.m., Oct. 13, noon-7 p.m.; taste craft beer, and varieties of beer from around the world, along with gourmet food by local farmers; at Ginowan Port Marina, Ginowan Seaside Park; free admission; free parking available; 080-5004-0990; www.facebook.com/okinawaoctoberfest/.
34TH ALL OF OKINAWA ISLANDS LION DANCE FESTIVAL: Oct. 13, 6 p.m.; lion dance teams throughout Okinawa get together at Uruma City Agena Bullring; free admission; free shuttle bus from Uruma Shimin Geijyutsu Gekijo (Citiznes' Art Teatre); 098-923-7182; www.city.uruma.lg.jp/index.php.
40TH KIN-CHO FESTIVAL: Oct. 12-13, 5-9 p.m.; featuring Okinawa traditional sumo, live performances, fireworks and more; at Kin Reginal Park; free admission; free temporary parking lot available at Kin Fishing Port (must take a shuttle bus to the venue); 098-968-2111; www.town.kin.okinawa.jp/.
34TH KITANAKAGUSUKU SHIOSAI FESTIVAL: Oct. 13, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; at Nakagusuku-son Shiosai Park; traditional performing arts; dance; fireworks, etc.; free admission; 098-935-2233; www.vill.kitanakagusuku.lg.jp/.
HONEN FES!!! -KUNIGAMI-: Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; festival to cherish Kunigami Village's rich nature and the local culture; at Kunigami Fishing Port Special Event Space; free admission; free parking up to 100 spots available; 090-3413-3413.
NARIYAMAAYAGU MATSURI: Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-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; 080-6480-1877; www.nariyamaayagu.com/.
49TH NAHA OTSUNAHIKI: Oct. 12-14; parade, tug-of-war, fireworks, live stage performances, etc.; no parking available; at Kokusaidori; 098-962-1442/098-866-4858; www.naha-otsunahiki.org/; www.naha-navi.or.jp/magazine/2248/.
34TH KOZA MOUASHIBI CONCERT: Oct. 14; 6-9 p.m.; Okinawan folk song concert; free awamori served; tickets: 1,800 yen each; at Okinawa Zoo & Museum; free parking available; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/.
30TH MINAMI DAITO-SON SANGYO MATSURI (BOROJINO FAIR): Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; a number of events, including Bon Odori, Sumo wrestling, fireworks, etc. at Minami daito-son Fureai Park; free admission; no parking available; will be postponed to Oct. 26 in case of severe weather; 0980-22-2184.
42ND URASOE TEDAKO MATSURI: Oct. 19-20, 8:30 p.m.; fireworks display at Urasoe Undo Koen; 10-minute ride from Furujima Station on Yui-monorail; 098-876-1234.
TAKETOMIJIMA TANADUI: Oct. 20-21, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., festival dedicated to sowing in the sacred land; at Yumuchion on Taketomijima, free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
BACARDI HALLOWEEN NIGHT 2019: Oct. 26, 6-9 p.m.; Halloween festivity at Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa; advance tickets: 5,000 yen; 6,000 yen at the door; free parking up to 90 lots available; 098-866-8888; www.premierhotel-group.com/okinawahyatt/.
43RD OKINAWA SANGYO FESTIVAL: Oct. 25-27, 10 a.m.-7 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 train ride from Naha Airport by Yui Rail; 098-859-6191; www.okikouren.or.jp/.
45TH YOMITAN MATSURI: Oct. 26-27, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; featuring children’s plays, dance performances, concerts, fireworks at Yomitanson Athletic Park; free admission; parking available; 098-982-9201; www.vill.yomitan.okinawa.jp/.
27TH GINOZA-SON FESTIVAL & 4TH GINOZA-SON CHURA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 26-27, noon-9 p.m.; featuring traditional arts live stages, children’s dance, youth eisa-dance, Okinawa sumo, and 1,000 fireworks display at Ginoza-son Rural Park; free admission; 098-968-5125; www.vill.ginoza.okinawa.jp/.
2019 KUMEJIMA MARATHON: Oct. 27, 7:30 a.m., cost: 4,500 yen-full/half marathon, 4,000 yen-10K/5K, 2,500 yen-for high schoolers at all levels; at Nakazato Ball Park (start & finish line), 098-985-7106. www.kumejima-marathon.com/.
IRIOMOTE SHICHI FESTIVAL: Oct. 29-31, noon-5 p.m.; Shichi is a festival for appreciating a good harvest and praying for good health and another harvest; Sonai and Hoshidate districts of Taketomijima; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
14TH YOMITAN YAMUCHIN AND CRAFTS MARKET: Nov. 2-3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Yamuchin-meaning pottery in Okinawan dialect, Yamuchin market from historical Ryukyu crafts to modern work; at Gala Aoi Umi in Yomitan Village; free admission; free parking available; 098-989-8186; www.gala-aoiumi.com/en/ivent/1821/.
18TH SHOUHASHI HALF MARATHON IN NANJO: Nov. 3, 9 a.m.; start and finish line at Nanjo City Cultural Center Sugar Hall; 098-947-6866; www.shouhashi.jp/.
10TH ECO ISLAND MIYAKOJIMA MARATHON: Nov. 3, 9 a.m.; at Miyakojima City Athletic Field (start & finish line); 0980-73-1881; www.miyakojima-marathon.jp/.
27TH JAPAN’S WESTERNMOST YONAGUNIJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 9, 1 p.m. for 25K race, 2 p.m. for 10K race; after party following the closing ceremony at 5 p.m.; at Yonagunijima Junior High School Ground, 10K starts at Irisaki Lighthouse (the Westernmost point); 0980-87-2241; www.welcome-yonaguni.jp/marathon/.
31ST TOUR DE OKINAWA BICYCLE RACE: Nov. 9-10; featuring touring events and races for more than 4,700 participants including men’s championship race (210 km), 14 road races for citizens and 6 cycling events; NPO Tour de Okinawa Office 0980-54-3174; www.tour-de-okinawa.jp/.
22ND TARAMAJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 16, noon; 23.75K race followed by 10K, 5K, 3K; start and finish at Tarama-son Hall; Fureai party at Tarama Jima Elementary School Gym from 5-8 p.m. (non-participants can join the party with purchase of a 1,000-yen ticket); 0980-79-2260; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/?cat=19.
48TH OKINAWA ARTS AND CULTURE FESTIVAL: Nov. 16-24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Fri, Sat), Winners and selected pictures, calligraphs, and art works by Okinawans on display to enhance Okinawan culture; at Okinawa Prefectural Musuam and Art Museum; free admission; free parking available; 098-987-0926; www.okicul-pr.jp/kengeisai/.
30TH CHUBU TRIM MARATHON: Nov. 17, 8:50 a.m.; half marathon, 10K, 3K (both individual & parent-child races); start and finish at Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park; 098-932-5114; www.i-sam.co.jp/chubutrim-half-marathon/.
9TH SUGAR RIDE KUMEJIMA 2019: Nov. 23, pottering at 3 p.m., brieifing at 2 and 4 p.m., Nov. 24, 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; register by Nov. 5 to participate; 090-8294-3255; www.sugar-ride.com/.
35TH NAHA MARATHON: Dec. 1, 9 a.m., Time limit 6 hours 15 minutes (by 3:15 p.m.); 30,000 runners run across Naha City, Haebaru-cho, Yaese-cho, Itoman City, and Tomigusuku City; 098-862-9902; www.naha-marathon.jp.
GREAT EARTH 12TH ISHIGAKI ISLAND RIDE: Dec. 8, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; 100K and 75K courses; Yakiniku (BBQ) party after the races (extra fees apply); 070-3622-0001; www.great-earth.jp/ishigaki/ishigaki_gaiyou.php.
7TH KUNIGAMI TRAIL RUNNING: Dec. 14; 19K, 12K run, 8.6K walk courses; at Kunigami Forest Park; 0980-43-5531; www.kunigamitrail.com/.
OKINAWA CULTURAL TOURISM CONTENTS PROGRAM: Oct. 11 through Feb. 9, 2020; four different shows: "a la carte": Okinawan performing arts on Oct. 11-13, "NEO Rrukyu": entertainment show in Okinawa style on Nov. 29-Dec. 1; "Okinawa San San": Okinawan musical on Jan. 10-12 and "Gungachi Kunguachi": comedy on Feb. 7-9; at Tenbusu Hall and Palette Civic Theater (only Okinawa San San); 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.okinawageinodays.com/.
Swimming Pool Openings:
RECREATION POOL: Through Aug. 31 and weekends on Sept., 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., close Tuesdays; Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park facilitates the outdoor pools with slide and kids’ pool; 860 yen for adults, 310 yen for ages 6-18, 100 yen for ages 3-5; Tattoo friendly (need to cover by rash guard or bandage); 3 miles east from Kitanagusu IC on Okinawa Express; 098-932-5114; okinawa-kenso.com/?page_id=160.
MAJUNLAND SWIMMING POOL: All year round, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m., closed second Tuesdays. This indoor facility provides nine types of pools including mist sauna and Jacuzzi; 1,040 yen for adults, 520 yen for schoolers, free for under 6; no tattoos allowed; 40 minutes ride from Naha airport or 10 minutes ride from Nishihara I.C. on Okinawa Express;098-9424132; www.majunland.com/.
NAGO CITY B & G OCEAN CENTER POOL: Year round, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., close every Tuesday; This indoor heated swimming pools facilitates 25m, kids area Jacuzzi and poolside terrace to access outside; 430 yen for adult, 270 yen for under 18; Tattoo friendly (need to cover by rash guard or bandage); 10 minutes ride from Kyoda I.C. on Okinawa Express; 0980-54-1082;www.nago-pool.jp/.
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