Hey! Get off base and check out these festivities on Okinawa!
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: April 15, 2017
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up , so get off base and check them out! (This was updated April 15)
OKINAWA INTERNATIONAL MOVIE FESTIVAL: April 20-23; featuring movies in the theme of “Laugh & Peace” at movie theaters in Naha, Ginowan, Urasoe, Chatan-cho, Tomigusuku, Okinawa city and more; free; 098-9175-123; http://oimf.jp.e.abg.hp.transer.com.
BEER FES OKINAWA 2017: April 22, 1-9 p.m. & April 23, noon-5 p.m.; beers from Okinawa and Japan at 1st floor Event Space of Times Bldg.; 2,700 yen (advance tickets), 3,000 yen (at doors); 0798-70-7171; www.beerfes.jp/index_beerfes_oka_e.html.
22ND IEJIMA LILY FESTIVAL: April 22-May 7; the island of Iejima, 5.5 miles off the coast of Motobu Peninsula, is the site of a large lily field where 200,000 Teppo Yuri lilies bloom and festival includes taiko drums, traditional dances and songs, karaoke and more at the stage inside the lily park, ferries sail 9 & 11 a.m., 3 & 5 p.m. from Motobu Port (30-minute trip) April 28-May 6; 0980-49-2906 (Iejima Sightseeing Association); 0980-49-2255 (ferries).
33RD ALL-JAPAN TRIATHLON MIYAKOJIMA: April 23, 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; 1,700 athletes will compete in 3K swim, 157K bike ride and a full marathon; Miyako Island, Okinawa prefecture; 0980-73-1046; http://www.miyako-net.ne.jp/~strong-e/.
KOINOBORI FESTIVAL AT UENO GERMAN CULTURE VILLAGE: May 3-5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; about 1,000 koinobori — carp streamers — designed by children who attend kindergartens and nursery schools in Miyakojima Island on display, along with attractions including eisa dance and amateur singing contest at Ueno German Culture Village, 15-minute ride from Miyako Airport; free admission but fee for rides; 0980-76-3771.
OKU-YANBARU KOINOBORI FESTIVAL: May 3-5; colorful 700 koinobori — carp streamers — along the river park of Oku-Yanbaru-no Sato during the mornings, along with children’s eisa, karaoke, hula dance lessons, traditional dance, music and more; Oku-Yambaru-no Sato; free; 0980-50-4141.
NAHA HARII DRAGON BOAT RACE: May 3-5, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; the dragon boat races are held in various fishing communities throughout Okinawa during the late spring and summer period. Naha Harii is well known and U.S. military teams are invited to take part in this race. The tradition of the harii is linked to the Kaijin-sai (Unjami), or fisherman festival, observed to give thanks to the sea god and pray for the safety and prosperity of fishermen; at Naha Shinko Futo "Pier"; free; 1-16-10, Minato-cho, Naha.
HANEJI DAM KOINOBORI FESTIVAL: May 6-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 300 koinobori stream over Lake Haneji Dam, along with eisa performance, eel-catching by bare hands and more; free; 30-minute ride from Kyoda I.C. on Okinawa Express or two-hour ride from Naha Airport; 0980-53-7530.
KOINOBORI FESTIVAL AT OKINAWA PEACE MEMORIAL PARK (CARP STREAMER): May 3-7; colorful 20,000 koinobori including a biggest 98 ft. long koinobori in Okinawa, stream over at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, along with varieties of attractions, Itoman city; 40-minue bus ride from Naha Bus terminal; free; 098-997-2765.
HATOMAJIMA ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL: May 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Okinawa folksong, pop and foreign countries’ music performed by Okinawan musicians at Hatomajima Island Community Center-mae Square, over 1,500 people visit for the festival on 60-people populated small island; 45-minute high-speed ferry ride from Ishigaki Island; 0980-85-6374.