Look at all great events planned on Okinawa
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Sept. 18)
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/.
AHA DAM KUINA MATSURI: Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; lots of events to feel the great nature of Yanbaru: dam tour, canoeing, craft making, walk in the forest, stamp rally, etc.; at Yanbaru Discovery Forest and Aha Dam; free admission (fees apply for some of the events); free parking available; 0980-41-2622; www.vill.kunigami.okinawa.jp/.
MA-SAN MARCHE: Sept. 22, 11 a.m.; Market of Okinawan organic agricultural products; at Palette Kumoji in Naha City; free admission; no parking available; 098-943-2100; www.masan-marche.com.
30TH NAGO CITY YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m.; at 21 Seiki no Mori Park; free admission; no parking available; 0980-53-5429.
HONEN SAI (HARVEST FESTIVAL): Sept. 22, 3-7 p.m., 23, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; on the 22nd, march from Minami Daito-son Village Office to Daito Jingu with Mikoshi and Dashi; on the 23rd, dedicatory sumo and other entertainment; free admission; no parking available; 0980-22-2001; www.vill.minamidaito.okinawa.jp/.
DAITOGU FESTIVAL: Sept. 22, 3-9 p.m., 23, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Biggest event on Kita Daito Island; on the 22nd, Mikoshi parade and fireworks; on the 23rd, harvest prayer ceremony and dedicatory sumo, and other entertaining performances; at Daitogu Shrine; free admission; parking available up to 50 spots; 0980-23-4001; www.vill.kitadaito.okinawa.jp/top_html.html.
H.O.T ISLANDS MUSICE FESTIVAL: Sept. 19-27; a music event and craft exhibition for cultural exchange among Taiwan's Hualien and Taitung, and Okinawa (check detailed schedule on the website); free admission for all events; www.hot-islands-music-festival.com/?lang=ja.
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.
KINI ALOHA FESTIVAL 2019 IN ISHIGAKI ISLAND: Oct. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Hula dance event; at Ishigaki Shinei Park; free admission; toll parking available in the vicinity; 080-6487-1190; www.knt-yaeyama.com/archives/726.
39TH NOGUNI SOUKAN FESTIVAL: Oct. 5, 2-9 p.m.; Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Festivities to pay tribute Soukan Noguni, who started sweet potato cultivation about 400 years ago; calling sweet potato "Noguni Potato" during the festival and promote Kadena, birthplace of Japanese sweet potato; events include live music performance, digging potatoes, sumo, etc.; at Kadena Kanehisa Seaside Park Water Garden; free admission; no parking available; 098-956-1111; www.town.kadena.okinawa.jp/events/eve4961.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/.
5TH ONNA-SON CHURAUMI FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 5, 5-8:15 p.m. (fireworks from 8 p.m.); 5,000 fireworks display at Onna-son Community Center, along with live performances; 098-966-2893; 10-minute ride from Ishikawa I.C. on Okinawa Express; free parking available at Akama Sports Park (take a shuttle bus from there); www.onnanavi.com/.
HANTAGAWA MA-MI FESTA -Think Local, Act Creation!- Vol. 7: Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; market featuring locally-grown beans; at Hantagawa Public Hall; free admission; temporarly free parking (near Shikina-en) up to 40 slots avaialble; 090-7460-0399; www.facebook.com/events/1028413017489733/.
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/.
WORLD BEER FEST OKINAWA OCTOBERFEST X OKINAWA FOOD FLEA: Oct. 12, 3-9 p.m., Oct. 13, noon-7 p.m.; taste craft beer, and varieties of beer from around the world, along with gourmet food by local farmers; at Ginowan Port Marina, Ginowan Seaside Park; free admission; free parking available; 080-5004-0990; www.facebook.com/okinawaoctoberfest/.
13TH YAESE-CHO YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Oct. 13, 3:30 p.m.; free admission; temporary free parking lot available, but use of public transportation recommended; at Gushikami Athletic Park; 080-3221-9503.
34TH ZENTO SHISHIMAI (ALL OF OKINAWA ISLANDS LION DANCE) FESTIVAL: Oct. 13, 6 p.m.; lion dance teams throughout Okinawa get together at Uruma City Agena Bullring; free admission; free shuttle bus from Uruma Shimin Geijyutsu Gekijo (Citiznes' Art Teatre); 098-923-7182; www.city.uruma.lg.jp/index.php.
40TH KIN-CHO FESTIVAL: Oct. 12-13, 5-9 p.m.; featuring Okinawa traditional sumo, live performances, fireworks and more; at Kin Reginal Park; free admission; free temporary parking lot available at Kin Fishing Port (must take a shuttle bus to the venue); 098-968-2111; www.town.kin.okinawa.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.
14TH NARIYAMAAYAGU MATSURI: Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Nariyamaayagu is a folk song on Miyako Island; free to view the competition; at Tomori Imgya; parking available up to 400 lots; 080-6480-1877; www.nariyamaayagu.com/.
49TH NAHA OTSUNAHIKI: Oct. 12-14; parade, tug-of-war, fireworks, live stage performances, etc.; no parking available; at Kokusaidori; 098-962-1442/098-866-4858; www.naha-otsunahiki.org/; www.naha-navi.or.jp/magazine/2248/.
34TH KOZA MOUASHIBI CONCERT: Oct. 14; 6-9 p.m.; Okinawan folk song concert; free awamori served; tickets: 1,800 yen each; at Okinawa Zoo & Museum; free parking available; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/.
30TH MINAMI DAITO-SON SANGYO MATSURI (BOROJINO FAIR): Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; a number of events, including Bon Odori, Sumo wrestling, fireworks, etc. at Minami daito-son Fureai Park; free admission; no parking available; will be postponed to Oct. 26 in case of severe weather; 0980-22-2184.
TAIKEN KODOMO FESTIVAL REIWA IN MICHINO EKI ITOMAN -KIDS OSHIGOTO TAIKEN-: Oct. 19-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; postponed to the following weekend in case of rain; Children experience several occupations in real world settings; this hands-on experience would give children an opportunity to learn more about their future dreams and to appreciate their parents' daily hard work; 200 yen to participate (additional fees may or may not apply for each job experience); at Michino Eki Itoman; temporary parking available at Bi Bi Beach Itoman (take shuttle bus to the venue); 098-840-3100; www.facebook.com/itoman.torism/.
42ND 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.
14TH URUMA MATSURI: Oct. 19-20, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Eisa, Kachashi, live stage performances, fireworks, etc.; free admission; free parking available; at Uruma City Gushikawa Athletic Park; 098-974-5600; www.city.uruma.lg.jp/iina/.
10TH ZAKIMIGUSUDORI FUREAI MATSURI: Oct. 20, noon-8 p.m.; stage performances, charity auction, Eisa, Kachashi; stamp rally, food stands, at Zakimi Community Center, Zakimigusu dori, Zakimi Castle ruin; free admission; free parking at Yomitan Village Office (shuttle bus from parking lot available), but use of public transportation recommended; 080-6132-9977; www.facebook.com/zakimi.fureai.fes/.
TAKETOMIJIMA TANADUI: Oct. 20-21, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., festival dedicated to sowing in the sacred land; at Yumuchion on Taketomijima, free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
BACARDI HALLOWEEN NIGHT 2019: Oct. 26, 6-9 p.m.; Halloween festivity at Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa; advance tickets: 5,000 yen; 6,000 yen at the door; free parking up to 90 lots available; 098-866-8888; www.premierhotel-group.com/okinawahyatt/.
KARATE NO HI: Votive Performance, Oct. 25 11 a.m.-noon; at Okinawa Karate Kaikan in Tomigusuku-shi; Memorial Public Demonstration, 27, 3-5:30 p.m.; Square in front of Tenbusu Kan on Kokusai Dori; free admission; no parking available; 098-865-5262; www.karate-event.jp/.
43RD OKINAWA SANGYO FESTIVAL: Oct. 25-27, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; introducing agricultural, marine, woodcraft and pottery products made on Okinawa, along with live music and eisa performances at Onoyama Park and Okinawa Budokan, free admission; 5-minute train ride from Naha Airport by Yui Rail; 098-859-6191; www.okikouren.or.jp/.
45TH YOMITAN MATSURI: Oct. 26-27, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; featuring children’s plays, dance performances, concerts, fireworks at Yomitanson Athletic Park; free admission; parking available; 098-982-9201; www.vill.yomitan.okinawa.jp/.
27TH GINOZA-SON FESTIVAL & 4TH GINOZA-SON CHURA FIREWORKS FESTIVAL: Oct. 26-27, noon-9 p.m.; featuring traditional arts live stages, children’s dance, youth eisa-dance, Okinawa sumo, and 1,000 fireworks display at Ginoza-son Rural Park; free admission; 098-968-5125; www.vill.ginoza.okinawa.jp/.
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/.
KOHAMA KICHIGAN: Oct. 30; event to pray for health and preventing disasters and bringing good lucks; activities include, Shishimai (lion dance), traditional dance, and Kyongin (Kyogen); at Kabuniwan on Kohama Island; free to watch; no parking available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
IRIOMOTE SHICHI FESTIVAL: Oct. 29-31, noon-5 p.m.; Shichi is a festival for appreciating a good harvest and praying for good health and another harvest; Sonai and Hoshidate districts of Taketomijima; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445; www.painusima.com/.
14TH YOMITAN YAMUCHIN AND CRAFTS MARKET: Nov. 2-3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Yamuchin-meaning pottery in Okinawan dialect, Yamuchin market from historical Ryukyu crafts to modern work; at Gala Aoi Umi in Yomitan Village; free admission; free parking available; 098-989-8186; www.gala-aoiumi.com/en/ivent/1821/.
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/.
RYUKYU DYNASTY FESTIVAL SHURI: Nov. 3, 1-8 p.m., ; a reproduction of the ceremony during the Ryukyu Dynasty era to welcome envoys; Okinawan citizens in period costume parade from the castle to Kokusai-dori Street at Shuri Castle Park; 098-886-5547; www.oki-park.jp/shurijo/en/.
27TH JAPAN’S WESTERNMOST YONAGUNIJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 9, 1 p.m. for 25K race, 2 p.m. for 10K race; after party following the closing ceremony at 5 p.m.; at Yonagunijima Junior High School Ground, 10K starts at Irisaki Lighthouse (the Westernmost point); 0980-87-2241; www.welcome-yonaguni.jp/marathon/.
31ST TOUR DE OKINAWA BICYCLE RACE: Nov. 9-10; featuring touring events and races for more than 4,700 participants including men’s championship race (210 km), 14 road races for citizens and 6 cycling events; NPO Tour de Okinawa Office 0980-54-3174; www.tour-de-okinawa.jp/.
22ND TARAMAJIMA GO-ROUND MARATHON: Nov. 16, noon; 23.75K race followed by 10K, 5K, 3K; start and finish at Tarama-son Hall; Fureai party at Tarama Jima Elementary School Gym from 5-8 p.m. (non-participants can join the party with purchase of a 1,000-yen ticket); 0980-79-2260; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/?cat=19.
GO OUT CAMP RYUKYU: Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m.-17, 2 p.m.; camping at Kenmin No Mori; 1 overnight 2-day ticket: 4,000 yen per person (3,000 yen for Okinawans); fees apply for parking; www.gooutcamp.jp/ryukyu/.
30TH CHUBU TRIM MARATHON: Nov. 17, 8:50 a.m.; half marathon, 10K, 3K (both individual & parent-child races); start and finish at Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park; 098-932-5114; www.i-sam.co.jp/chubutrim-half-marathon/.
9TH 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/.
48TH OKINAWA ARTS AND CULTURE FESTIVAL: Nov. 16-24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Fri, Sat), Winners and selected pictures, calligraphs, and art works by Okinawans on display to enhance Okinawan culture; at Okinawa Prefectural Musuam and Art Museum; free admission; free parking available; 098-987-0926; www.okicul-pr.jp/kengeisai/.
ZAMAMI ISLAND FAN APPRECIATION MONTH: In November, Islanders’ traditional performance arts every Saturday, photo contest, treasure hunt, band performance, Eisa, Ryukyu dance, stirring music with whale drums, beautiful Hawaiian hula dance, comedy shows, all performed by Zamami islanders; free admission; no parking available; 098-987-2277; www.zamami-diving.la.coocan.jp/.
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/.
OKINAWA CULTURAL TOURISM CONTENTS PROGRAM: Oct. 11 through Feb. 9, 2020; 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; www.okinawageinodays.com/.
Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!
Follow us on social media!