Lots fun events happening on Okinawa

Stripes Okinawa

Editor's note: There's some great events coming up, so get off base and check them out! (This was updated Aug. 16)


KADENA EISA MATSURI: Aug. 16, 6 - 9 p.m.; Eisa groups from Kadena town are expected to gather on Shinmachi Street near Kadena Air Base.

HESHIKIYA EISA EVENING: Aug. 16, 6-9:30 p.m.; at Uragahama Park in Uruma City; free to watch; no parking lots available; 070-3802-9423.

HESHIKIYA EISA NO YUBE: Aug. 16, 6 - 9:30 p.m., Youth Eisa groups with traditional forms of Taiko (drums) and dance perform at Uragahama Park near White Beach, fireworks are scheduled to start around 9:30 p.m. as a finale.

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 to watch; free parking available; 098-946-8250.

31ST ITOMAN FURUSATO MATSURI: Aug. 17-18, 3-9 p.m.; Eisa, fireworks, live music performances, dragon boat race, etc.; free admission; free parking lot available; 098-840-8135; www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/.

19TH KUMEJIMA FESTIVAL: Aug. 17-18, 5-9 p.m.; Okinawa Sumo; ghost leg lottery; live music concerts, fireworks and more for 2 days; at Kumejima-cho Fureai Park; free admission; free parking lot available 098-851-9162; www.town.kumejima.okinawa.jp/.

KUNIGAMISON FESTIVAL: Aug. 17, 4:30-9:30 p.m., Aug. 18, 1:30-9:30 p.m.; stage live performances, Ha-Ri- (dragon boat race); fireworks, etc.; at Kunigami Middle School; free admission; parking available; 0980-41-2622.

SHIOYA BAY UNGAMI (SEA GOD FESTIVAL): Aug. 18-19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; festival for bumper crops and sound health; one of nation's designated significant intangible folklore cultural assets; at 7 different locations of Shioya Bay; free to watch; free parking lot available; 0980-44-2453; www.kanko.vill.ogimi.okinawa.jp/village/ungami/index.html.

NIGHT ZOO SATUR-ZOO NIGHT: Okinawa Zoo & Museum will be open until 9 p.m. every Saturday from late July and throughout summer break; 098-933-4190; admissions: adults-500 yen, junior high-high school students-200 yen, K-6-100 yen, 3 years old and younger-free; 098-933-4190; www.okzm.jp/.

64TH OKINAWA ZENTO EISA Matsuri: Aug. 23-25; Biggest Eisa events for 3 days-Eisa Parade on Goya Crossroad on 23rd, 6:30-9 p.m.; Okinawa City Youth Festival at Okinawa City Koza Sports Park on 24th, 3-9 p.m.; Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri at Okinawa City Koza Sports Park on 25th, 3-9 p.m.; free admission, fees (1,200-2,500 yen advance, 300-500 yen more at the door) apply for box seats; 098-937-3986; www.zentoeisa.com/.

ZAMAMI ISLAND FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 6-9 p.m.; Eisa, Ryukyu dance, Hawaiian Hula dance, band performances, fireworks, various food stands at the Zamami Port Terminal Square; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-4321; www.vill.zamami.okinawa.jp/.

36TH YOMITAN-SON YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m., 25, 6 p.m.; at Yomitan Heiwanomori Ballpark; free to watch; freee parking available; 098-982-9200; www.facebook.com/yomiseikyou/.

ORION BEER FEST 2019 IN KOZA: Aug. 24, 5-9 p.m.; Aug. 25, 4:30-9 p.m.; enjoy factory-fresh beer and live music performance at Goza Athletic Park Sub Ground; free admission; no parking lot available; 098-877-5050; www.orionbeer.co.jp/event/beerfest/koza.html.

NISHIME WHOLE ISLAND SUMO, NISHIME EISA: Aug. 25, 2-9 p.m.; at the old Nishime Bullring; register on the day of the event to participate sumo; free admission; no pakring lot available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.

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/.

14TH URUMA CITY EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 5-9 p.m.; eve Friday - Aug. 30, 6:50-9 p.m.; at Uruma City Multi-purpose Park Athletics Field; free to watch; temporary parking lots available (must take shuttle to the venue); no parking on Friday; 098-978-9404; www.city.uruma.lg.jp.e.up.hp.transer.com/culture/1249/9113/8746.

23RD GINOWAN CITY YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, 5-9 p.m.; more than 10 youth groups perform Eisa; all the participants will dance Kachashi at the end of each day; at Ginowan Citizen Square; free to watch; limited numbers of free parking available (using public transportation recommended); 098-893-4434; www.instagram.com/giseiren/.

PINKDOT OKINAWA 2019: Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; event supoorting the freedom to love, better understanding for sexual minorities; at Ryukyu Shimpo Entrance Square; free admission; no parking available; 080-4733-7044; www.pinkdot-okinawa.com/.

CHURAUMI NIGHT AQUARIUM: Unitil Sept. 1, 6-9 p.m.; special sets of lighting with extended operation hours; saxophone and violin live performances on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays; tickets: adults-1,850 yen, high school students-1,230, junior high school and elementary school students-610; from 4 p.m. tickets: adults-1,290 yen, high school-860, junior high-elementary-430; free parking available (please use lot P7 if going to the night aquarium); 0980-48-3748; www.churaumi.okinawa/topics/1558414076/.

KITA NAKAGUSUKU-SON YOUTH EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 1, 3-9 p.m.; one of the big 3 Kita Nakagusuku-son festivals; fireworks; at Wakamatsu Park; free admission; 098-935-2233; www.vill.kitanakagusuku.lg.jp/.

NAKACHI WHOLE ISLAND SUMO: Sept. 3, 2-9 p.m.; at Nakachi Nouson Park; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.

6TH KANDO NO MACHI URUURU URUMA CITY BUSSAN TEN: Sept. 6-8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; exhibition of Uruma City's local food and art work; at AEON Mall Rycom (2nd floor Earth Court); free admission; free parking available; 098-972-0077. 

STUDIO GHIBLI EXPOSITION: Until Sept. 8; From Nausicaä to Marnie, 30 years of Studio Ghibli history is in this expo; at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum; admission: adults-1,400-yen, high school and college students-1,000-yen, junior high school students-700 yen, elementary school students and younger-free; free parking available; 098-988-5000; www.rbc.co.jp/event_information/ghibli-okinawa/.

AUGUST'S DANCE: Sept. 6-9, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tarama Island harvest festival that takes place Aug. 8-10 in the Lunar calendar; several dances with over 400 years of history; at Ntabaru Ugan and Pitumata Ugan; free admisssion; no parking available; 0980-79-2664; www.vill.tarama.okinawa.jp/www.taramajima.net/odori.php.

53TH OKINAWA YOUTH FURUSATO EISA FESTIVAL: Sept. 8; Eisa and other folk arts performances at Chatan Park Athletic Field; free admission; no parking available; 098-868-1756; www.furusatoeisa.com/.

TUBARA-MA: Sept. 11, 6:20-9:30 p.m.; Music competition of traditional folk song-Turaba-ma; takes place on Lunar calendar's Aug. 13; at Shinei Park (Ishigaki City Public Hall in case of rain); free admission; no parking lots available; 098-082-1515.

ITOMAN GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., at between Itoman Rotary (Itoman Elementary School) and Hakugindo; free to watch; parking lots available; 098-840-8135; www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/.

CHIBANA USUDE-KU: Sept. 13, 3-6 p.m.; Event with over 300 years of history-women wearing traditional crafts, "Chibana Hanaori" dance to exorcize and pray for bumper crops; in Chibana, Okinawa City; free admission; no parking available; 098-937-4516.

KANEGUSUKU SHISHIMAI: Sept. 13; Event with over 200 years of history to exorcize and pray for bumper crops; in Kanegusuku Village on Kume Island; free admission; no parking available; 098-896-7010; www.kanko-kumejima.com/.

CHUSHU NO UTAGE: Sept. 14-15, 6:30-9 p.m.; Ryukyu classical dance, Shuri Castle Festival King and Queen contests; free to watch (fees apply to enter the castle); toll parking available; 098-886-2020; www.oki-park.jp/shurijo/.

MAEZATO GIANT TUG-OF-WAR: Sept. 15, 11 a.m.; at Maezato Me-michi Square; free to watch; no parking available; 098-994-4468.

14TH SEINEN GEINOU FESTA IN NANJO: Sept. 15, time TBD; Eisa performances by Nanjo City's youth groups; at Nanjo City Tamagusuku Gusuku Road Park; free admission; free parking available; 098-917-5351; www.nanjoseiren.info/.

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/.

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.

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.

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/.

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/.

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.

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.

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.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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/.

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.

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/.

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/.


Swimming Pool Openings:

RECREATION POOL: Through Aug. 31 and weekends on Sept., 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., close Tuesdays; Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park facilitates the outdoor pools with slide and kids’ pool; 860 yen for adults, 310 yen for ages 6-18, 100 yen for ages 3-5; Tattoo friendly (need to cover by rash guard or bandage); 3 miles east from Kitanagusu IC on Okinawa Express; 098-932-5114; okinawa-kenso.com/?page_id=160.

MAJUNLAND SWIMMING POOL: All year round, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m., closed second Tuesdays. This indoor facility provides nine types of pools including mist sauna and Jacuzzi; 1,040 yen for adults, 520 yen for schoolers, free for under 6; no tattoos allowed; 40 minutes ride from Naha airport or 10 minutes ride from Nishihara I.C. on Okinawa Express;098-9424132; www.majunland.com/.

NAGO CITY B & G OCEAN CENTER POOL: Year round, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., close every Tuesday; This indoor heated swimming pools facilitates 25m, kids area Jacuzzi and poolside terrace to access outside; 430 yen for adult, 270 yen for under 18; Tattoo friendly (need to cover by rash guard or bandage); 10 minutes ride from Kyoda I.C. on Okinawa Express; 0980-54-1082;www.nago-pool.jp/.

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!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content