A list of fun stuff to do on Okinawa!

Base Info

A list of fun stuff to do on Okinawa!

by: Stripes Okinawa | .
published: January 14, 2018

Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Jan. 14)

YAMBARU NATIONAL PARK DAISEKIRINZAN 'JAPANESE AND OKINAWAN STONES': Until Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Stone exihibition of Japanese national stone Hisui-Jade and Okinawan stones: coral limestone, rock phosphate and Minatogawa (prehistoric Okinawan people) fossil; at Yambaru National Park Daisekirinzan; free admission; free parking available; 0980-41-8117; www.sekirinzan.com/en/.

12TH KUMEJIMA NONBIRI WALK: Jan. 19-20, 5K, 9K, 15K, and 30K walk courses on the 19th, 4K, 12K, 22K walk courses on the 20th (starting time and fees vary for each course); 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/archives/21356; Read the brochure for more details.

ITOMAN FAIR: Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; stage performances-kids dance, Eisa, etc.; food exhibitions from other prefectures' cities, lottery, etc.; free admission; temporary parking available; at Michi no Eki Itoman; 098-840-3100.

YAMBARU ART FESTIVAL 2018-2019: Until Jan. 20; art festival to appreciate Okinawan traditional fabric, pottery, etc., as well as contemporary art, design, pictures and music; will take place in several locations in Yambaru-northern Okinawa; free admission; 098-861-5141; www.yambaru-artfes.jp/.

10TH CHURA SHIMA OKINAWA CENTURY RUN 2019: Jan. 19 (45K) 10:30 a.m., Jan. 20 (108K at 7 a.m. and 167K 9 a.m.); start at Onna-son Community Center; 098-867-2659; www.cocr.jp/cocr_course_index_eng.php.

KUNIGAMI VILLAGE INDUSTRY FESTIVAL: Jan. 19-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Food concessions of local agricultural, live stock, and marine products; Hi-ja O-rase (Goat figting); wood crafts and forest therapy experience, stage performances; free admission; parking available; at the Kunigami Village Tourism Center (main venue) and Kunigami Village Forest Park (forest therapy); 0980-41-2122; www.vill.kunigami.okinawa.jp/.

60TH NAGO HALF MARATHON: Jan. 20, 9 a.m.; Okinawa's oldest road race: 3K, 10K, and half marathon; start and finish at Nago City Athletic Field; 0980-53-6890; www.i-sam.co.jp/nago-marathon/.

3RD IHEYA VILLAGE TRAIL: Jan. 26, 30K at 8:30 a.m., 15K at 2 p.m., 5K at 2:30 p.m., Experience Okinawa's rich nature while running/walking. ; 098-877-6122; www.vill.iheya.okinawa.jp/detail.jsp?id=91188&type=TopicsTopPage&select=&funcid=2&editMode=.

3RD YAESE TEi-ICHI: Jan. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; market of handmade products and workshop; free admission; free parking available; at Minami no Eki; 098-998-2344; www.town.yaese.lg.jp/yaese_sight/.

2019 ICHIBAN ZAKURA NORDIC WALKING: Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; a walking event to view the first cherry blossom blooming; 7K & 12K walking courses; at Nakijinson Athletic Park; fee: 1,000 yen; free parking available; 0980-56-5955; www.nakijin.com/sc/events_nw_2019.html.

57TH NAGO SAKURA FESTIVAL: Jan. 26-27, Enjoy a 2K-long promenade full of cherry blossom and the scenery of the East China Sea from the observation deck; at Nangusuku (Nago Castle Park), one of Japan's best 100 cherry blossom sites; there will be street dance and Eisa performances during the parade; 0980-53-7755; www.nagomun.or.jp/event/1606/.

133RD MORI NO NIGIWAI: Jan. 26-27, two shows each day-12:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; This marks the 36th consecutive year of Mori No Nigiwai; the event includes Ryukyu dancing, fork art, "Shimauta"- a popular song in the early 1990s by THE BOOM; at the Okinawa Convention Center; no parking available; ticket: 3,300 yen; 098-861-5539; www.jtb.co.jp/chiikikoryu/mori/future_event/no133.asp.

42ND OKINAWA CITY INDUSTRIAL FESTIVAL: Jan. 26-27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 27); agricultural products, seafood, crafts, Ryukyu musical instruments, awamori exihibitions; from live music and Eisa stage perfomances to manufacturing experience, this is a great weekend event at the Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park; free shuttle from the AEON Mall Okinawa Rycom available; free admission; 098-929-3300; www.kozaweb.jp/.

13TH KADENA-CHO INDUSTRY FESTIVAL: Jan. 26-27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Enjoy Kadena's "Ma-samun" (delicious) agricultural products, seafood, processed products, snacks, agiricultural product exhibition and sale, brown sugar making experience, and raffle at Michinoeki Kadena; free admission; 098-956-1111; www.town.kadena.okinawa.jp/info/n4698.html.

OKINAWA FLOWER AND FOOD FESTIVAL 2019: Jan. 26-27, 10 am.-6 p.m.; Introducing local agricultural, forest and fishery products, processed foods, etc. in the theme of "local productino for local consumption." Participants can watch, eat and experience local products at the Ounoyama Park (around Okinawa Celluer Stadium Naha); free admission; 098-831-5565; www.hanashoku.jp/.
41ST MOTOBU YAEDAKE SAKURA FESTIVAL: Jan. 19-Feb. 3, viewing period - Jan. 20-Feb.4, events on Jan. 19-20; Ryukyu Kanhi Zakura (7,000 trees) will be in full bloom on Yaedake (Mt. Yae, elevation 453.4m), at Yaedake Sakurano Mori Park; 0980-47-2700; www.town.motobu.okinawa.jp/.

13TH YAESE SAKURA FESTIVAL: Feb. 3, 1-5 p.m. (light-up at night Jan. 25 - Feb. 11); live stage performances, Yaese-cho's local products, awamori service by a local distillery; Yaese Park Tour is also planned; 098-998-2344; www.town.yaese.lg.jp/yaese_sight/.

12TH NAKIJINGUSUKU SAKURA FESTIVAL: Jan. 26-Feb. 11, Traditional art live performances such as Eisa, special products exhibitions, cherry blossom illumination during the night time; at Nakijingusuku (Nakijin Castle); admission: adults-400 yen, elementary-high school students-300 yen, kindergarteners or yonger-free; free parking available up to 320 spots; 0980-56-2256/4400; www.nakijinjoseki.jp/en/.

SHIP OF THE RYUKYU: Through Feb. 17; 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/.

OCEAN EXPO PARK CHURAUMI FLOWER FESTIVAL: Jan. 26-Feb. 24, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; In theme of Flower Island Okinawa, approximately 400,000 flowers decorate the park; there will a number of 3D flowerbeds such as octopus, sharks, dolphins, etc.; free admission; free parking available; 0980-48-2741; www.oki-park.jp/kaiyohaku/.

RYUKYU LANTERN FESTIVAL: Until March 3, over 3,000 laterns light up the recreated Ryukyu streetscape; enjoy live stage performances, projection mapping and food concessions; free parking available; adults: 600 yen, middle school and high school students: 500 yen, elementary school students: 400 yen; at Murasaki Mura; 098-958-1111; www.murasakimura.com/

36TH OKINAWA FLOWER CARNIVAL: Jan. 19-May 6; Event inludes: Welcome Flower Campaign, Flower Message School Contest, Flower Message Photo Contest, Flower Rally; more details available on the website; 098-995-6233; www.okinawastory.jp/contents/flower_carnival/.


Winter Illuminations
RYUKYU LANTERN FESTIVAL: Until March 3, 6 - 10 p.m.; featuring varieties of object lantern decorated at Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park, along with object lantern contest, lantern making by washi-paper, stamp rally and more ; 600 yen adult, 500 yen senior high school and middle school students, 400 yen elementary school students, free age 5 and youngers; 1020-1, Takashiho, Yomitan village, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa; www.oki-islandguide.com/attractions/murasaki-mura.  
KANUCHA RESORT STARDUST FANTASIA 2018: Through Feb. 14, 6 - 11 p.m. until Dec. 30,  7-11 p.m. on  Jan. 1 - Feb. 14; featuring illumination of 1 million LED lights decorated with the theme of “Reflection” synced with music; 1,000 yen per person (advanced ticket), 1,500 yen at doors, free ages 12 & younger, 3,000 yen group pass for four people, additional 1,000 yen on Dec. 22-25; free for  a stay or a dinner; 80 minute ride from Naha Airport; 0980-55-8880; www.kanucha.jp/en/.
SOUTHEAST BOTANICAL GARDEN NIGHT DECORATION 2018: Until March 31, 5-10 p.m.; Enjoy “Nostalgia Illumination” decorated at Southeast Botanical Garden, also music, dance and laughter on weekends; 1,800 yen adults, 1,000 yen ages 16-18, 500 yen children, free age 6 and the younger; 098-939-2555; www.southeast-botanical.jp/en/.
CHRISTMAS ILLUMINATION AT HOTEL NIKKO ALIVIA: Through Feb. 28, sunset-midnight, enjoy illumination decorated with 80,000 LED lights by green power featuring the fantasy world with the theme of “Las Luces Feliz” throughout the facilities of Hotel Nikko Alivia, also 30-minute candlelight illumination at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. daily at patio; 60-minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-982-9111; www.alivila.co.jp/.