Popular Eisa Festivals to check out
Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri (Okinawa City)
Senbaru Eisa (Kadena Air Base)
Yakena Eisa (Uruma)
Kyan Eisa (Itoman)
Eguchi Eisa (Chatan)
KADENA EISA MATSURI: Aug. 11, 7 p.m.; ‘Eisa’ is a traditional Okinawan dance with taiko drums during Obon, a Buddhist holiday to honor the spirits of ancestors. Eisa groups from Kadena town will gather and parade at Shinmachi Streets; 60-minute drive from Naha Airport; 098-956-2810.
YOMITAN VILLAGE TAKASHIHO STREETS EISA PARADISE: Aug. 11, 3-6 p.m.; Youth eisa groups parade along with standard-bearers, street dancers’ performance and more; on the route 6; Takashiho Streets of Yomitan village; 098-958-6494.
HESHIKIYA EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 11, 6 p.m.; Youth eisa groups with traditional forms of Taiko (drums) and dance perform at Uragahama Park, fireworks display at a finale; Uruma city; 098-979-2231.
59TH ALL OKINAWA EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m., Aug. 16-17, 3 p.m.; More than 600 local children divided in 10 groups are scheduled to perform Eisa, lion dance and taiko (Japanese drums) at Koza Athletic Park Athletic Field, also 800 fireworks display at 8: 45 p.m.; 1,000-1,500-2,500 yen; 098-989-5566.
OKINAWA ZENTO EISA MATSURI: Aug. 15-17; The largest Eisa festival with more than 300,000 participants every year. The Aug. 15 parade is 6:20-9 p.m. along Route 330 and Koza Gate Street. Aug. 16-17 performances from 3 p.m. and fireworks at 8:45 p.m. Koza Athletic Park (2-1-1 Moromizato, Okinawa City, 2 minutes from Okinawa Minami I.C. of Okinawa Jidoshado Expressway). 098-937-3986 www.zentoeisa.com
URUMA EISA MATSURI: Aug. 22, 6-9 p.m., Aug. 23-24, 4-9 p.m.; ‘Eisa’ is a traditional Okinawan dance with taiko drums during Obon, a Buddhist holiday to honor the spirits of ancestors. Youth eisa groups will gather and parade along the street of Uruma City Hall Gushikawa Office Building on Aug. 22, and at Yonashiro Sogo Koen Athletic Field on Aug. 23-24; also 250 fireworks display at 8:40 p.m. on weekend; 70-minute drive from Naha Airport; 098-965-5634.
ITOMAN EISA FESTIVAL/FURUSATO MATSURI: Aug. 23-24, 2-9 p.m.; Eisa performance along with dance competitions, hip hop music, fish-catching by hands, harii dragon race and more, and also 1,000 fireworks display at 9 p.m. on Aug. 23, 8:55 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Itoman Fishery Port North District; 098-840-8135.
YOUTH FURUSATO EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 23-24, 3 p.m.; Furusato Eisa is biggest youth eisa along with Taiko (Japanese drums) scheduled at Okinawa Cellular Stadium; 500 yen adults, youths and children ages 18 and younger free; five-minute walk from Yui Rail Ohnoyama Station; 098-868-1756.
GINOWAN YOUTH EISA FESATIVAL: Aug. 23-24, 5-9 p.m.; 10 youth groups from Ginowan city gather and perform traditional Eisa at Ginowan Citizen Square (Shimin Hiroba), also fireworks display at 8:50-9 p.m. on Sun.; 20-minute ride from Kitanakagusuku IC or Nishihawa IC on Okinawa Express; 098-893-4431.
YOMITAN VILLAGE YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 2 p.m.; 13 youth groups with children scheduled to participate, along with Taiko (Japanese drums), and fireworks display at 8:30-9 p.m.; Yomitan Village Heiwa-no Mori Stadium, 30-minute ride from Okinawa North IC on Okinawa Express, 70-minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-982-9200.
KITANAKAGUSUKU VILLAGE EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 3-9 p.m.; Groups from Kitanagagusuku village gather and perform traditional Eisa and 320 fireworks display at 9 p.m. at Kitanagagusuka Joseki (site of the castle); 50- minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-935-2233.
WORLDWIDE EISA CONTEST 2014: Sept. 13-14; Eisa, traditional Okinawan dance with taiko drums during Obon, the worldwide eisa contest is to compete in three divisions of children (ages 8 years and younger), juniors (ages 15 years and younger) and open from around the world at National Theatre Okinawa; 1,500 yen; 20-minute taxi ride from Naha Airport; 098-987-0926; http://eisa-okinawa.com/.
ISHIKAWA FESTIVAL/IHICHA YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 14, 4-9 p.m.; Uruma city’s youth groups will gather and perform traditional Okinawan folk dance of Eisa and 100 fireworks display; Ishikawa Athletic Field; 90-minute drive from Naha Airport/five-minute drive from Ishikawa I.C. on Okinawa Express; 080-3950-2010.
NANJO EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 14, 5-9 p.m.; Youth groups from Nanjo city gather and perform traditional Eisa along with taiko (Japanese drums) and local entertainments at Gusuko Road Koen; 40-minute ride from Naha Airport; 090-5470-0123.
YAESE YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Oct. 12; Eisa groups from Yaese town, along with groups of traditional entertainment will perform at Yaese Town Kochinda Endo Koen; 30-minute drive from Naha Airport or 20-minute walk from Kochinda bus stop after taking a bus from Naha Bus Terminal; 098-998-4334.
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