Lots fun events happening on Okinawa
Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated June 17)
42ND ZAMAMI YACHT RACE: June 22, 8:25 a.m.-1 p.m., commendation party 6-9 p.m.; Okinawa's most historical yacht race; races from Ginowan Marina to Zamami Port; free experience test-ride event, hula dance, and Eisa events at the party; free admission; no parking available; 098-987-2277; www.vill.zamami.okinawa.jp/.
STARDUST KAWACHI OKINAWA PEACE MEMORIAL PARK: June 22, 10 a.m.-noon; memorial service for those lost in the Battle of Okinawa; several performances including Eisa, Kachāshī, etc.; free admission; 080-5339-3106; www.stadus-kawachi-profile.jimdo.com/board/.
MEMORIAL DAY-PEACE PILLAR OF LIGHT: Jun.22-23, 6-10 p.m.; Five pillars of light representing war victioms from five different counites will be lit up in Mabuni, the final battle sight of the Battle of Okinawa; at the Okinawa Senseki Quasi-National Park; free admission; 098-997-2765; www.heiwa-irei-okinawa.jp/.
OKINAWA X OSAKA NANTO ITOMAN! BON ODORI DE TSUNAGARU MATSURI: Jun. 23, 10 a.m.-noon, cultural exchange event at Michi no Eki Itoman; Stardust Kawachi, Kawachi Bon Odori team from Hirakata City, Osaka comes to Okinawa and several folk songs/dances will be performed by a number of groups; free admission; free parking; 080-5339-3106.
RYUCHU ROAD FESTIVAL: June 23, noon-evening; food stall, craft, live performance, dance; at Wakasa Seaside Park (near Ryuchu-dragon pillars); free admission; no parking available; 098-869-4220; www.ryuucyuu.amebaownd.com/.
5TH YAESE TEi- MARKET: June 23, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; market of handmade items - from accessories to everyday sundries; at Minami no eki Yaese; free admission, temporary free parking available; 098-998-2101; www.town.yaese.lg.jp/yaese_sight/.
SUTSU UNAPUKA: June 25; Sutsu means season, Unapuka means celebration, gratitude, and festival; originally; this is a festival to offer millet, so it takes place in the lunar calendar's May, the harvest time for millet; free admission; four locations on Tarama Island; 0980-79-2260; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/.
JIM BEAM SUMMER FES 2019 IN OKINAWA: June 29-30, noon-9 p.m.; live music performances; Okinawa Food Flea; free admission; toll parking available, but using public transportation is highly recommended; at Cozy Beach Club in Umisora Park; 03-5551-0350; www.cozy-7.com/jimbeam/.
BIOS NO OKA NIGHT TOUR: Until June 30; 6:15-9 p.m.; open for night time for limited period; see and learn more about fireflies and small animals and plants at night; admission: 1,800 yen for adults (middle school students and older), 1,000 yen for 4-year-old to elementary school students; free parking available; 098-965-3400; www.bios-hill.co.jp/en/.
20TH SABANI HANSOU RACE: Jun. 29-30; 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. award ceremony and party from 6 p.m.; sailing race from Zamami Island (Furu Zamami Beach) to Naha Port; free to watch; no parking available; 098-987-2277; www.photowave.jp/sabani_s/.
36TH UNNA FESTIVAL: July 27-28, 1 p.m.-9 p.m.; Eisa by youth, stage events, fireworks (from 9 p.m. on both days), etc.; at the Onna Son Community Square; free admission; 098-966-1280; free parking available (temporary, free shuttle bus from parking); www.vill.onna.okinawa.jp/.
2ND SHITAKUISHOU TENRANKAI & MACHI ARUKI STAMP RALLY: July 5-7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; exhibition of Yonabaru Tug of war (with 440 years of history) costumes; dressing and photo sessions available (first come, first served basis; up to 30 people per day; 1,000 yen); free admission; at Yonabaru-cho Community Center; 098-945-5323; www.yonabaru.okinawa/event/shitakuisyouten2019/.
31ST IHEYA FESTIVAL: July 13-14, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; marine activities, traditional performing arts, etc.; free admission; free parking up to 30 spots available; at Iheya island Yonezaki; 098-046-2800; www.vill.iheya.okinawa.jp/.
33RD SEAPORT CHATAN CARNIVAL FIREWORKS: July 13 & 14, fireworks at Chatan Koen Sunset Beach, 5km from Okinawa Minami I.C. on Okinawa Express; free admission (fees may apply for some programs); free parking available; 098-982-7701; Website.
KUROSHIMA HOUNENSAI: July 21; several dedication arts performed at the Miyazato Beach; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-5445.
EISA NIGHT: June 13-July 27; Enjoy watching Eisa at several locations on Okinawa; Jun 16, 22, 29, July 6 & 27 at Koza Music Town, June 30 at Southeast Botanical Garden; July 7 at Okinawa City Hall; July 20 at Payao Exchange Square; free admission; parking available (fees may apply at certain locations); 098-989-5566; www.kozaweb.jp/eisa/night.html.
HONEN SAI (MURAPU-RU): July 26, 2-9 p.m.; biggest harvest festical in the Yaeyama Region; dance; tug-of-war; parade, etc.; at Maitsubautaki on Ishigaki Island; free admission; no parking available; 0980-82-1307.
UNNA-: July 17, 20, 27; Event to pray for abundant rice crop in several villages of Izena Island; event includes tug-of-war, sumo wrestling, etc.; free admission; no parking available; 098-045-2435; www.izena-kanko.jp/index.jsp.
ORION BEER FEST 2019: July 27, 3:30-9 p.m.; enjoy factory-fresh beer and live music performance at Painagama Umisora Sukoyaka Park; free admission; no parking available; 098-877-5050; www.orionbeer.co.jp/event/beerfest/miyako.html.
41ST NAGO SUMMER FESTIVAL: July 27-28, 1-9 p.m.; kids dance, karaoka, Yukata contest, live music, and 1,000 fireworks; free admission; no parking available; at Nago Fishing Port; 098-052-4243.
OYAMA GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: July 28, 5 p.m.; at Oyama Elementary School Ground; free to watch; no parking available; 098-897-3303; www.ooyamakujitikai.amebaownd.com/.
MASHIKI GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: July 28, 4-6 p.m.; free to watch; no parking available; at Mashiki Junior High School; 098-897-3765.
NORTH ISHIGAKI ISLAND 3 BIG SUMMER FESTIVALS: July 13, 5-21:30 p.m., Nosoko Tsuxindara Matsuri; July 20, 5-9:30 p.m., Ningyo no Sato Hoshi no Natsu Matsuri; Aug. 14, 5-9:30 p.m., Akashi Eisa Matsuri; free admission; shuttle bus available for each festival; 0980-82-1307; Facebook page.
37TH YONABARU TUG OF WAR: Aug. 3-4; Giant tug of war event with 440 years of history; rope is 90 meters long and weighs 5 tons; at the Yonabaru-cho Udunyama Youth Square; free to watch; free parking available; 098-945-5323; www.yonabaru.okinawa/.
OSHIROKU HONEN SAI: Aug. 17, 6 p.m.; festival to pray for five grain rich harvest and health; events include giant tug-of-war, Eisa, etc.; at Oshiro Village Center Square; free admission; free parking available; 098-946-8250.
KAJIMAYA: Aug. 31, 3 p.m.; Performance Show by powerful Okinawan elders; Advance tickets-2,000 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for children; at the door: 2,500 yen for adults and 1,500 yen for children; at Music Town Otoichiba, 3rd floor hall; 098-932-1949; www.facebook.com/Kajimaya97/.
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.
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/.
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.
Dragon Boat Races:
13TH CHATAN NIRAI HA-RI-: June 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; 098-936-1847
TOUSOE HA-RI-: June 23, noon-5:30 p.m.; 098-946-4960
HAMAHIGASHIMA HA-RI-: June 23 & 30; 098-977-8450, 098-977-7227
20TH SABANI HANSO RACE: Jun. 29-30, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; 098-987-2277; www.photowave.jp/sabani_s/.
TOSOE HA-RI-: Jun. 30, noon-5:30 p.m.; 098-946-4960; www.yonabaru.okinawa/event/tousoeha-ri-2019/.
HESHIKIYA HA-RI: July 14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; 098-983-0003
12TH TOMIGUSUKU HA-RI-: July 28, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; at Toyosaki Marine Park; 090-8291-4909; www.tomigusuku-ryusen.jimdo.com/.
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