Okinawa is a gorgeous group of Japanese tropical islands near Taiwan, famous for its white sand, clean beaches, a warm climate, and great food. Although Okinawa is only a few hours from Tokyo by plane, it isn’t always easy to visit due to schedules or budgets. So how can you get a taste of Okinawa without having to take a few days off, pay for a flight, and book a hotel? The much-loved Okinawa Festival in Yoyogi Park is a great choice!
This park in Harajuku, Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s liveliest parks and is home to an enormous amount of events throughout the year. It has a cycling path with bicycles to rent, wide-open spaces in which to relax and have a picnic, and plenty of sakura trees for a great hanami or cherry blossom viewing experience in early spring. Many people visit at weekends to unwind and enjoy any local festivities or performances.
The Okinawa Festival will take place at the Yoyogi Park Events Square from Saturday the 9th to Sunday the 10th of June 2018. The weather will be warm and pleasant at this time and may really feel as though you’re on one of the beautiful Japanese islands! The festival will start at 11:00 AM and the celebrations will continue all the way up to 9:00 PM. Entry is free!
Despite being a group of islands, Okinawa actually has less seafood than Japan’s mainland. Food you will see at this festival include pochigi, which is a dish of sausage and pepper, Okinawa soba, the Mexican-Okinawan combo meal taco rice, stewed pork ribs called soki, and much more.
Drinks you will find for sale here include Okinawan Orion beer and awamori, which is a locally made rice-based alcoholic drink. Give these a try to really make it feel like you’re on one of the islands.
During the day, you can expect to see plenty of culture and art from Okinawa as well as some music and performances, such as the traditional Okinawan dance, Eisa, and some comedians from the islands. The large stage is boasting a full line-up this 2018; since the festival is very popular, more and more people come to watch each year.
You will see some crafts and things to buy from Japan’s southernmost prefecture here as well, such as musical instruments and brightly colored summer clothing featuring the shisa, which is a cross between a dog and a lion and a very famous symbol in Okinawa. There is plenty to do here to make this summer day really special and to experience a bit of Okinawa while staying in the city.
Festivals in Japan are great fun, so make sure you don’t miss this fabulous two-day event on the 9th and 10th of June 2018! Dance, eat, drink, and browse exotic arts and crafts for a special few days in Yoyogi Park. Joining this celebration may make you feel inspired to visit the real Okinawa yourself!
Okinawa Festival in Yoyogi Park Website *Japanese only