Festivals in Okinawa
f there's any better way to make the most of your holiday experience, it's to join and immerse yourselves in the local festivals like the locals do! There are many different festivals that take place annually throughout Okinawa, featuring traditional cultural performances and traditional food. Apart from catching the sakura bloom in January, here are 5 other fun Okinawa festivals that we think you might enjoy!
Nago Summer Festival - End July
Another great festival to be in - Nago Summer Festival. For the manga and anime lovers, you might remember some scenes from a summer festival with plenty of food stalls, live music performances and fireworks in the night.
Visit the Nago Summer Festival and take a slow relaxing stroll along over 60 stalls in this festival among the locals and tourists and munch on some broiled sweet corn, octopus dumplings, yakitori, fried noodles, and popcorn. The fireworks are also spectacular, lighting up the night with more than 1,000 pyrotechnics in the evening finales.
Eisa Dance Festival - Early August
Eisa is a traditional dance with a long history, some several hundred years. It features synchronized drumbeats and traditional dances. Originating as a dance performance during Obon (Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the spirits of one's ancestors). It has evolved over the years into an entirely different kind of performance characterized by colourful costumes and coordinated dances.
There are many different Eisa performances held all across Okinawa. The largest and most spectacular is definitely the annual All-Okinawa Eisa Festival held in Okinawa City every August or September. It is very popular among locals and tourists, attracting more than 200,000 spectators annually.
Celebrate together with the locals and immerse yourself in the folk music and dances, traditional food and fireworks display.
Orion Beer Festival - August
Thinking of Oktoberfest, but earlier and closer? Head over to Okinawa's Orion Beer Festival! As the summer holidays come to an end, one of Okinawa's favorite summertime ways to unwind and relax is the Orion Beer Festival, attracting well over 300,000 people every year. This beer festival, sponsored by Orion Beer, has come to be a symbol of the Okinawan summer. The Orion Beer Festival kicks off the weekend following Okinawa Obon.
This is a free open-air event where visitors can enjoy live music performances with great food and of course a glass of fresh Orion beer in hand. The festive atmosphere reaches its climax when beautiful fireworks light up the night sky at the end of the evening.
There's over 900 residential homes within, five swimming pools, a breathtaking observation deck (that you should not miss) and fine-dining at the world's highest restaurant - At.mosphere.
Okinawa Industrial Festival - October
Visiting an industrial exhibit has probably not crossed your mind when you're out on a holiday trip but Okinawa Industrial Festival is a great place to see a wide variety of Okinawa products, from specialty food to handicraft souvenirs - everything in one place!
It is the biggest industrial exhibit in Okinawa, drawing more than 50,000 visitors every day. From clothing to cosmetics and food like Okinawan sweets and Orion Beer. Take your time to stroll down the exhibition and see the different items on display. Looking to buy back some unique souvenirs? This is the perfect place to get your hands on some newly launched products!
There’s plenty to see, eat and do here for everyone in Dubai Mall, and it’s probably unlike any shopping experiences you’ve had before.
Shuri Castle Festival - Late October to Early November
Okinawa was once an independent kingdom called the Ryukyu Kingdom from the 15th to 19th century. Shuri was the name of the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom and Shuri Castle served as the palace. Originally built in the 1300s, Shuri Castle has seen much devastation and reconstruction since. The castle is included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites today.
The Shuri Castle Festival is an event held from late October to early November to celebrate the Ryukyu culture, featuring many traditional dances and performances by participants wearing traditional costumes. The best known event highlight is probably the re-enactment of the king's coronation.
This gorgeous exotic cultural festival will definitely captivate anyone who visits.
Naha Giant Tug-of-War Festival - October
Officially recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1997 as the largest tug-of-war event in the world, Naha Giant Tug-of-War Festival is held annually attracting around 300,000 attendees. The rope weighs a hefty 40 metric ton and spans 200 meters, allowing up to 15,000 participants on both sides! The festival would last three days, with cultural performances and live music held the days before and after the actual tug-of-war event.
The origin of this tradition can be traced back to the 17th century. Now, the custom is performed to bring good luck to Okinawa and also the participants. The rope used for the Naha Great Tug-of-War is said to be a good-luck charm, and pieces of it are cut off and handed out for people to take home after the event.
Regardless of age or nationality, this is an event that everybody can participate in and feel part of the whole. The tug-of-war embodies the soul of Okinawa.
There are plenty of festivals held every month in Okinawa. Intrigued to visit this perfect holiday getaway? Airelated Travel has the perfect package for you!
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Check out our Okinawa Tour Packages:
- - 6D4N Okinawa With Sakura
- - 7D5N Hokkaido Wonder Delights
- - 5D4N Okinawa Experience
- - 5D4N Okinawa Self Drive