Festival & Exhibitions
Understanding and appreciating made-in Okinawa
Okinawa Industrial Festival
Date: Fourth Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October
Place: Onoyama General Athletic Park and Okinawa Prefectural Hall of Martial Arts (Naha City)
This is the biggest industrial exhibit held in Okinawa, displaying many of Okinawa’s original products, such as traditional crafts, cosmetics and clothing. People are able to sample specialty food and drink at each booth.
Tsuboya Pottery Festival
Place: Tsuboya Elementary School (Naha City)
Stores on Tsuboya Street offer a range of ceramics at a 20 percent discount, and an auction is held as well. In addition you can enjoy making your own pottery.
Ritou Fair (Islands Exhibition)
Date: Late November
Place: Okinawa Cellular Stadium (Naha City)
Okinawa consists of 49 inhabited islands including the main island, and each boasts its own traditions and culture. This is a perfect opportunity to discover everything about the islands surrounding the main island of Okinawa in one place. Rare specialty foods and crafts from the remote islands are on display and also for sale. Sightseeing information is available as well. Traditional entertainment peculiar to each island is continuously performed on stage.
Yomitan Pottery Market
Place: Yachimun no Sato (Yomitan Village)
This is the annual winter sale at Yachimun no Sato, a community of potters in Yomitan Village. Ceramics can be purchased at a 20-30 percent discount during the event.
Yachimun pottery is a traditional craft of Okinawa developed under the influence of porcelain techniques from mainland Japan and neighboring Asian countries. Yachimun pottery is characterized by pleasant colors. It is greatly appreciated by young people in Okinawa and by people from mainland Japan, and is widely used for housewares. Tsuboya (Naha City) and Yachimun no Sato (Yomitan Village) are two places in Okinawa known for various pottery stores and studios.
Ways to fully enjoy long summer days in Okinawa
Traditional and cultural events are held all year round in Okinawa, which is well known for having a large number of festivals. The long summer days in particular, when it stays light after 7 p.m., are packed with events. Numerous food stalls stand side-by-side, and festival schedules are filled with fun things to do such as games, traditional entertainment and live music performances by local artists. Colorful fireworks shows will light up the summer sky to mark the end of the festival.
Ryukyu Kaiensai Fireworks Festival
Place: Ginowan Seaside Park (Ginowan City)
Fireworks festival held in conjunction with the summer opening of Tropical Beach. Top Japanese pyrotechnic artists put on a fantastic show that combines fireworks and music.
Peaceful Love Rock Festival
Date: Early July
Place: Okinawa City Outdoor Stage (Okinawa City)
The Peaceful Love Rock Festival, known as the oldest annual rock festival in Japan, has been held every summer since its inception in 1983. Everyone from young underground bands to rock legends performs for two days running, including Murasaki and the Kacchan band, famous Okinawan bands that had a great impact on Japanese rock history. A bullring is used as the concert venue, and rock lovers, often from mainland Japan, enjoy powerful music performances close up and personal.
Ocean Expo Park Summer Festival (Ocean Expo Park Fireworks Display)
Date: Mid-July; *Subject to change
Place: Emerald Beach at Ocean Expo Park (Motobu Town)
Some 10,000 fireworks will impressively light up the night sky. Every year a large number of people show up for Okinawa’s biggest fireworks festival and sunset concert where you can enjoy performances by various musical artists. Admission is free.
Place: Urasoe Athletic Park (Urasoe City)
During the Tedako Festival, not only can visitors enjoy traditional performances, but they can also participate in a number of events and contests held in various places in Urasoe City, including street dancing, traditional dance competitions and a karaoke contest. The festival program is filled with fun events, including music concerts by local artists, kachaashii (Ryukyu folk dance) and fireworks shows.
Place: Ginowan Seaside Park (Ginowan City)
This two-day summer festival features a parade of about 300 participants dressed up in traditional Ryukyu garb. Numerous events are scheduled, and one of the must-sees is a riveting Japanese drum performance. Everyone enjoys doing kachaashii (Ryukyu folk dance) to Ryukyu folk music during the festival.