Get off base and enjoy these fun events on Okinawa

Stripes Okinawa

Editor's note: There are some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Jan. 23)


4TH IHEYA VILLAGE TRAIL RUN & WALK: Jan. 25, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closing party 6-8 p.m. (additional fee applies): 5K, 15K, and 30K courses, Experience Okinawa's rich nature while running/walking.; 098-877-6122; details available at

135TH MORI NO NIGIWAI: Jan. 25-26, two shows each day-12:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; This marks the 37th consecutive year of Mori No Nigiwai; the event includes Ryukyu dance, fork art, and Eisa ; at the Okinawa Convention Center; ticket: 3,500 yen for all ages; no parking available; 098-861-4040;

43RD OKINAWA CITY INDUSTRIAL FESTIVAL: Jan. 25-26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 26); 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;

2020 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;

58TH NAGO SAKURA FESTIVAL: Jan. 25-26, 1-8:30 p.m.; Enjoy a 2K-long promenade full of cherry blossom and the scenery of the East China Sea from the observation deck; events include parade, stage events, garden festa, and ice sculptures; at Nangusuku (Nago Castle Park), one of Japan's best 100 cherry blossom sites; free admission; free parking available; 0980-53-7755;

MA-SAN MARCHE VOL. 14: Jan. 26, 11:30 a.m.; local organic food market at Palette Kumoji in Naha; free admission; no parking available (use toll parking nearby or public transportation); 098-943-2100;

42ND MOTOBU YAEDAKE SAKURA FESTIVAL: viewing period: Jan. 18-Feb. 2, stage events on Jan. 18-19; 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;

14TH YAESE SAKURA FESTIVAL: Feb. 2, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (light-up at night Jan. 24 - Feb. 11); live stage performances at Yaese Shi-chan Square, Yaese-cho's local products sale; Yaese Park Tour is also planned; 098-998-2344; free admission;

19TH URASOE TWO-DAY MARCH TEDAKO WALK: Feb. 8-9, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; biggest walking event on Okinawa, walk through Camp Kinser, Urasoe West Coast Road, etc. in Urasoe City; 3K, 5K, 7K, 10K, 20K, 30K courses and sunset course; start at Urasoe Culture Park (Tedako Square) and finish at ANA Arena Urasoe; fees: adults-1,000 yen for one day, 1,500 for two days, sunset course-1,500 yen including a 500 yen meal voucher, high, middle, elementary school students-200 yen for both regular and sunset courses; kindergarteners and younger-free, 200 yen for sunset course; 098-876-1246;

NAHA CHURA SAKURA FESTIVAL: Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Every February, pink Kanhizakura is in full bloom at the Manko Park. There will be chilren's dance performances and exhibitions during the festival; free admission; no parking available; 098-853-3554.

OKINAWA CULTURAL TOURISM CONTENTS PROGRAM: Until Feb. 9; 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;

13TH NAKIJINGUSUKU SAKURA FESTIVAL: Feb. 1-9, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; 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 younger-free; free parking available; 0980-56-2256/4400;

SUNRISE MARKET vol. 29: Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; market of agricultural products, processed products, bread, sweets, crafts, 40 vendors participate; Sunrise Naha Shopping Street; free admission; no parking available; 050-3579-0844;

KADENA GO! GO! FESTIVAL: Feb. 9, 3-7 p.m.; spotlighting musicians between teenage to people in their 30's, musicians from Kadena-cho play all kinds of music-pops, hip hop, rock, etc.; tickets: 1,000 yen in advance, 1,500 yen at the door; at Kadena-cho Town Hall; free parking up to 272 lots available, toll parking also available in the vicinity; 098-956-1111.

34TH OKINAWA KOKUSAI YORAN HAKURANKAI 2020: Feb. 1-11; orchid of western kind exhibition; admission: adults-760 yen, middle school students and younger-free; at Ocean Expo Park, Nettai Dream Center; free parking available; 0980-48-3624;

NAHA SAKURA FESTIVAL: Feb. 19-23, 10 a.m.; stage performances-folk song, Eisa, etc.; at Naha City Yogi Park; free admission; toll parking available; 098-855-2552.

27TH YOMITAN YACHIMUN MARKET: Feb. 22-23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Yamuchin-meaning pottery in Okinawa dialect, over 30 Yomitan Village potteries will be present at the Yomittan Famers' Market; charity auction; free admission; free parking available; 098-958-2939/1020; /

12TH HIMAWARI IN KITANAKAGUSUKU: Late Feb.-late March; 200,000 sunflowers will be in full bloom in 22,000 ㎡ sunflower field near Shiosai Park; free admission; free parking; 098-935-2233;

CORAL REEFS WEEK: Feb. 22-March 8; March 5 is Sango no hi (coral reef day in Japanese), week of appreciating and preserving coral reefs on Okinawa; 098-866-2243;

20TH AYAHASHI ROAD RACE: March 22, 9 a.m.; 3.8K, 10K, and half marathon courses; start and finish at Uruma City Yonashiro Sogo Koen Athletic Field; register by Feb. 3 to participate; free parking available (take shuttle bus from the parking to the venue); 098-978-9404;

2020 YOMITAN YACHIMUN EXHIBITION: Feb. 6-March 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; pottery exhibition at Yuntanza Museum; free admission (fee applies for permanent museum exhibition); free parking; 098-958-3141;

MOONLIGHT CRUISE IN SOUTHEAST BOTANICAL GARDENS: Until Mar. 31, 5:30-9:30 p.m.; experience the Mixed Reality by cruising in Southeast Botanical Gardens by next generation kart; adults (junior high school students and older) - 1,100 yen, 4-year-old to elementary school students - 550 yen on top of admission fee: adults - 1,980 yen, senior & high school students - 1,210 yen, elementary & junior high school students - 660 yen, free for under 6-year-old; *reservation required for cruise; free parking available; 098-939-2555;

15TH CHURAUMI FLOWER FESTIVAL: Jan. 25-April 5; at Ocean Expo Park, admission: adults-1,880 yen, high school students-1,250 yen, middle, elementary school students-620 yen; under 6 years old-free, additional fees may apply for some events; free parking avilable; 0980-48-2741;

11TH OKINAWA ZOO & MUSEUM FLOWER FESTIVAL 2020: Feb. 27-April 5, 9:30-5:30 (until 6 p.m. in April); Spring is coming to Japan's southernmost interactive zoo and museum; a number of workshops and events throughout the festival month; adults-500 yen, high school and middle school students-200 yen, K-6th grade-100 yen; 3-year-olds and younger-free; free parking available; 098-933-4190;

28TH IEJIIMA MARATHON: April 11, 3K, 5K, 10K, half marathon courses; register by Jan. 31 to participate; 0980-49-2906;

37TH OKINAWA FLOWER CARNIVAL: Jan. 18-May 6: from Dec. 21, Ocean Expo Park Tulip Fair; from Jan. 18, Yaedake Sakura festival; from Jan. 25, Churaumi flower festival; from Apr. 25, Iejima Lily Festival; Event inludes: Welcome Flower Campaign, Flower Message School Contest, Flower Message Photo Contest, Flower Rally; 098-995-6233;


Winter Illuminations

WINTER ELEGANCE 2019-2020: Until Feb. 14, 5-8:30 p.m.; at Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa; 098-891-6000;

KANUCHA RESORT STARDUST FANTASIA: Until Feb.14; 5:30-11 p.m.; the 20th event theme is called “NIRAI” illuminates 1 mil. LED light stars around the resort facility as the last paradise; 1,000 yen for adult, free for under 12; Free Shuttle bus is available from Naha Airport; 0980-55-8880;

KARIYUSHI DREAM FANTASY: Until Feb. 29, sunset-midnight; at Okinawa Kariyushi Beach Resort Ocean Spa; 098-967-8731;

ALIVIA ILLUMINATION: Until Feb. 29, sunset-midnight; at Hotel Nikko Alivia; 098-982-9111;

OKUMA ILLUMINATION: Until Feb. 29, sunset-midnight; at Okuma Private Beach & Resort; 0980-41-2222;

MIHAMA AMERICAN VILLAGE ILLUMINATION 2019: Until Mar. 17, 2020; 098-926-4455.

RYUKYU LANTERN FESTIVAL 2019-2020: Mar. 31, 6-10 p.m.; at Taiken Okoku Murasaki Mura; admission: adults-1,200 yen; high school, junior high school students-500 yen; elementary school students-400 yen; 098-958-1111;

SOUTHEAST BOTANICAL GARDEN ILLUMINATION: Until Apr. 5, 5-10 p.m.; decorates the light tunnels, tree house and light carpets with 1.8 mil. LED lights to illuminate trees and the promenade fantastically. 1,800 yen for adults, 1,100 yen for over 65; 600 yen for under 15; 5-minute drive from Okinawa Kita I.C; 098-939-2555;


Beach Openings



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