Recently, various locations in Japan have been experiencing cooler winds and hotter days, giving a sign of the new season that’ll take over in a couple of weeks. Summer in Japan is definitely hot and humid, which will make you want to head to the beach to take the heat off. But if you’re too busy to go all the way to the beaches, why not experience Okinawa (沖縄) right in Tokyo (東京) with this event instead?
The Okinawa Mensore Festival 2017, themed after none other than Okinawa itself, will be taking place at Sunshine City (サンシャインシティ) in Ikebukuro (池袋) from May 26 until June 4, 2017. Visitors who’ll come to the festival can expect themselves to have a good time with Okinawan food and sweets, as well as a beer garden!
Around 40 stores will gather at the festival, bringing in local Okinawan specialties such as the Okinawa soba (沖縄そば), umi budou (海ブドウ) or sea grapes, and many more. There will also be food items using Ishigaki Island’s (石垣島) pineapples and Orion Beer (オリオンビール).
Aside from the food and drinks available at the festival, visitors can also have a great time by watching traditional Okinawan performances. There will be live stage performances by native Okinawan artists and traditional Eisa folk dancing (エイサー演舞). The local mascots from Ishigaki and Miyakojima (宮古島) will also make an appearance to make the festival more lively.
On the May 28, 2017, around 10 teams will also perform the traditional Okinawan dance focusing on the Eisa at Sunshine 60 Dori (サンシャイン60通り), which will surely make visitors feel the Okinawan spirit.
Okinawa is well known all over the world for its beautiful blue beaches. But what people might not know is that there are quite a number of beaches in Okinawa that have the star-shaped sand called “hoshizuna.” They aren’t actually sand but are exoskeletons that get washed up on shore with its spines giving it the star-like shape. They are also said to be sand that brings happiness in the shape of a star.
A hoshizuna and shell workshop will take place at the Okinawa Mensore Festival 2017 where you’ll be able to make your own original hoshizuna and shell photo frame, accessories, and more as a commemorative item from the festival.
The local Okinawan specialty and beer garden will be situated on the 4th floor Exhibition Hall A of the World Import Mart Building (ワールドインポートマートビル4F 展示ホールA), the Okinawa Live Stage at the Alpha B1 Sunshine City Water Fountain Plaza (アルパB1 サンシャインシティ 噴水広場), and the Hoshizuna and Shell Workshop at the SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory (SKY CIRCUS サンシャイン60展望台).
Who ever said you need the beach to cool down? Now, you can bring down the heat with the fun experience that you can get at the Okinawa Mensore Festival even with a busy schedule! So make sure to head down to Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City and enjoy summer before it even begins!
Okinawa Mensore Festival 2017 Website *Japanese only