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 July 18)
Miyako Island Summer Festival 2019: July 19, 6-9 p.m.; 20, 5-9 p.m.; dance performances, Miss Miyako Island Pageant, tug-of-war and more; 3 shopping streets: Nishizato, Shimozato, Shijo; free to watch; 0980-72-2779; www.miyakojima-cci.jp/.
MA-SAN MARCHE: July 20, 11 a.m.; market of organic food; 1st floor, event square in Palette Kumoji; free admission; no parking available; 098-943-2100; www.masan-marche.com/.
KUROSHIMA HOUNENSAI: July 21; several dedication arts performed at the Miyazato Beach; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445.
EISA FESTIVAL IN CHATAN: July 21, 5 p.m.; at Kuwae General Athletic Field; free to watch, no parking available; 098-926-4455; www.chatan.or.jp/.
20TH KIN-CHO YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: July 21, 6-9 p.m.; at Kin-cho Dam; free admission, free parking lot available; 080-1747-9513; www.town.kin.okinawa.jp/.
5TH KIN-CHO DAM FESTIVAL: July 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; canoe, water buffalo ride experience, catching eel, water slider, etc. water activities during the dam festival; free admission, free parking lot available; 098-968-6262; www.town.kin.okinawa.jp/news/detail/4458.
EISA NIGHT: June 13-July 27; Enjoy watching Eisa at several locations on Okinawa; Jun 16, 22, 29, July 6 & 27 at Koza Music Town, June 30 at Southeast Botanical Garden; July 7 at Okinawa City Hall; July 20 at Payao Exchange Square; free admission; parking available (fees may apply at certain locations); 098-989-5566; www.kozaweb.jp/eisa/night.html.
HONEN SAI (MURAPU-RU): July 26, 2-9 p.m.; biggest harvest festical in the Yaeyama Region; dance; tug-of-war; parade, etc.; at Maitsubautaki on Ishigaki Island; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-1307.
UNNA-: July 17, 20, 27, 7:30 p.m.-midnight; Event to pray for abundant rice crop in several villages of Izena Island; event includes tug-of-war, sumo wrestling, etc.; free admission; no parking available; 098-045-2435; www.izena-kanko.jp/index.jsp.
16TH KADENA SOCIAL BEER FESTA: July 26, 5-9 p.m.; Karaoke, live music performances, etc.; free admission; at Kadena-cho Rotary Club Plaza; 098-956-7342; www.town.kadena.okinawa.jp/.
2019 KUJIRA KAIKYO TOKASHIKI FESTIVAL: July 26-27; Biggest summer event on Tokashiki Island; Taiko (drum) performance, Eisa, fireworks, etc. at Tokashiki Son Elementary-Middle School; free admission; no parking lot available; 098-987-2430.
4TH IE JIMA UMiaCiDi: July 27, 2-8:30 p.m.; marine activity, BBQ; at night, campfire, illumination, stage events; check web and instagram for details; Ie Beach; admission: adults-100 yen, children-50 yen; free parking available; 0980-49-2906; www.iejima.org/document/2018062800016/, www.instagram.com/iejima_tatchun/.
IHEYA-SON GAKIYA DISTRICT GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: July 27, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; main venue: Gakiya Public Hall; rope making at Iheya Elementary School Ground; tug-of-war begins in the evening; sumo after tug-of-war; free admission; free parking available; 0980-46-2384; www.vill.iheya.okinawa.jp/.
KASHIKI-: July 27, 5-9 p.m.; parade and giant tug-of-war to wish for a good harvest; on Tonaki Island; free admission; no parking available; 098-989-2066; www.tonakijima.jp/.
GIMA SHIRADOZO SUMO: July 27, 2-9 p.m.; One of the five annual whole Kume Island Okinawa Sumo competitions; register on the day of the event to participate; at the Gima Shiradozo; free to watch; no parking lot available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
ORION BEER FEST 2019: July 27, 3:30-9 p.m.; enjoy factory-fresh beer and live music performance at Painagama Umisora Sukoyaka Park; free admission; no parking available; 098-877-5050; www.orionbeer.co.jp/event/beerfest/miyako.html.
YAGAN UYUMI: July 26-28 (open to the public only on the 28th); Festival to pray for health, children; at Ibiganashi- in Aguni-son; 098-988-2016; www.agunity.jp/about-aguni/yaganyumi.
41ST NAGO SUMMER FESTIVAL: July 27-28, 1-9 p.m.; kids dance, karaoka, Yukata contest, live music, and 1,000 fireworks; free admission; no parking available; at Nago Fishing Port; 098-052-4243.
36TH UNNA FESTIVAL: July 27-28, 1-9 p.m.; Eisa by youth, stage events, fireworks (from 9 p.m. on both days), etc.; at Onna Son Community Square; free admission; temporary parking at Akama Sogo Athletic Park (take free shuttle bus from there); 098-966-1280; www.vill.onna.okinawa.jp/.
46TH MOTOBU MARINE FESTIVAL: July 27-28, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Ha-Ri- races, live music, Ryukyu drum performances, etc.; free admission; at the Motobu Central Public Hall and Port of Toguchi; free admission; free parking lot available; 098-047-2700.
NAGA NATSU MATSURI: July 27-28, 8-8:15 p.m.; 1,000 fireworks display at Nago Fishing Port Seawall; five-minute walk from Naga City Hall; 0980-52-4243.
26TH KANNA DAM FESTIVAL: July 28; Events to feel the nature; Canoeing experience and woodwork shop, etc.; free admission; free parking lot available; 098-968-5125; www.vill.ginoza.okinawa.jp/.
OYAMA GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: July 28, 5 p.m.; at Oyama Elementary School Ground; free to watch; no parking available; 098-897-3303; www.ooyamakujitikai.amebaownd.com/.
12TH TOMIGUSUKU HA-RI-: July 28, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; at Toyosaki Marine Park; 090-8291-4909; www.tomigusuku-ryusen.jimdo.com/.
MASHIKI GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: July 28, 4-6 p.m.; free to watch; no parking available; at Mashiki Junior High School; 098-897-3765.
JANADO NANJAJO SUMO: July 28, 2-9 pm.; ; One of the five annual whole Kume Island Okinawa Sumo competitions; register on the day of the event to participate; at Janado Nanjajo; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
NORTH ISHIGAKI ISLAND 3 BIG SUMMER FESTIVALS: July 13, 5-21:30 p.m., Nosoko Tsuxindara Matsuri; July 20, 5-9:30 p.m., Ningyo no Sato Hoshi no Natsu Matsuri; Aug. 14, 5-9:30 p.m., Akashi Eisa Matsuri; free admission; shuttle bus available for each festival; 0980-82-1307; Facebook page.
37TH YONABARU TUG OF WAR: Aug. 3-4; Giant tug of war event with 440 years of history; rope is 90 meters long and weighs 5 tons; at the Yonabaru-cho Udunyama Youth Square; free to watch; free parking available; 098-945-5323; www.yonabaru.okinawa/.
12TH SUMMER BREAK CHILD'S REAEARCH PROJECT IN OKINAWA CONVENTION CENTER: Aug. 3-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; a two-day event for Children to learn Okinawa's nature, history, and culture; through art, mock police work experience, etc., children will strengthen their abilities to "notice, think, and act."; tourists are also welcome; at Okinawa Convention Center; 098-898-3000; free admission (fees may apply and reservations may be required for some programs); limited number of free parking spots available; www.qab.co.jp/jiukenq/.
20TH IZENA SHOEN-OH FESTIVAL: Aug. 3-4, 5-9:30 p.m.; Ha-Ri-, character show, live music, fireworks, etc.; at Izenason Rinkai Fureai Park; free admission; parking for 50-100 vehicles available; 098-045-2534.
OKINAWA ZOO & MUSEUM EISA SUMMER FESTIVAL: Aug. 3-4, 4-9 p.m.; Eisa performances by different age groups at Okinawa Zoo & Museum; admission: adults-500 yen; middle-high school students-200 yen; 4-year-old-elementary school students-100 yen; free for 3-year-old and under; free parking lot available; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/.
25TH 10,000 PEOPLE’S EISA DANCE PARTY: Aug. 4, 2-8 p.m., Eisa parade on a mile-long Kokusai Street; various Eisa performances and you can even join the parade on the day (fees apply for impromptu participation); 098-863-2755; www.ichimannin-eisa.okinawa/.
KURASHIKI DAM FESTIVAL: Aug. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; bamboo water gun making, wooden chair making, craft, dam expedition tour, stage performances, chopsticks making, etc.; free admission (fees may apply for some programs); temporary parking available (take free shuttle to the venue); 098-939-1212; www.kozaweb.jp/event/detail.html?&sp=true&id=5597.
41ST NAGO CITY MAYOR'S CUP TIE ALL ISLAND HA-RI-: Aug. 4, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Called Ha-ri- Koushien, 180 teams participate in it; at Nago Harbor; free to watch; free parking up to 200 lots available; 0980-53-7755; www.nagomun.or.jp/.
39TH DAISEIKYO NATSU MATSURI & 29TH OOGIMISON FURUSATO MATSURI: Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Aug. 12, 2-9 p.m.; evebnts include stage performances, tug-of-war, Hawaiian dance; tuna filleting display; fireworks, etc.; free admission; free parking available; 0980-44-3007; www.vill.ogimi.okinawa.jp/.
NISHIME ALL-ISLAND SUMO & EISA: Aug. 11, 2-9 p.m.; Sumo and Eisa at the Nshime Bull Ring; free admission; no parking space available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.
SOUTHERN ISLAND STAR FESTIVAL 2019: Aug. 3-12; A week full of stargazing events on Ishigaki Island; free admission; reservations required for some events; 098-082-1535; www.star-festival.amebaownd.com/.
KUME ISLAND KYUBON EISA: Aug. 13-14, 6-10 p.m.; On Okinawa, obon is commemorated according to the lunar calendar; Eisa is the Buddhist incantation using chanting, drumbeating, and dancing; Eisa can be seen throughout the island for these days; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com.
HATERUMA ISLAND MUSHA-MA: Aug. 14; island’s biggest event that prays for the bumper year and the islanders’ safety; costume parade, dance; at the Hateruma Public Hall; free to watch; no parking lot available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
IESON YOUTH CLUB KYUBON EISA: Aug. 13-14, 7 p.m.; free admission; 0980-49-2334.
HESHIKIYA EISA EVENING: Aug. 16, 6-9:30 p.m.; at Uragahama Park in Uruma City; free to watch; no parking lots available; 070-3802-9423.
OSHIROKU HONEN SAI: Aug. 17, 6 p.m.; festival to pray for five grain rich harvest and health; events include giant tug-of-war, Eisa, etc.; at Oshiro Village Center Square; free to watch; free parking available; 098-946-8250.
31ST ITOMAN FURUSATO MATSURI: Aug. 17-18, 3-9 p.m.; Eisa, fireworks, live music performances, dragon boat race, etc.; free admission; free parking lot available; 098-840-8135; www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/.
19TH KUMEJIMA FESTIVAL: Aug. 17-18, 5-9 p.m.; Okinawa Sumo; ghost leg lottery; live music concerts, fireworks and more for 2 days; at Kumejima-cho Fureai Park; free admission; free parking lot available 098-851-9162; www.town.kumejima.okinawa.jp/.
KUNIGAMISON FESTIVAL: Aug. 17, 4:30-9:30 p.m., Aug. 18, 1:30-9:30 p.m.; stage live performances, Ha-Ri- (dragon boat race); fireworks, etc.; at Kunigami Middle School; free admission; parking available; 0980-41-2622.
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.
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/.
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/.
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/.
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/.
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/.
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/.
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.
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.
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/.
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/.
9TH ANNUAL 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/.
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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