La Cittadella, an entertainment complex in Kawasaki, is hosting the 14th Haisai Festa this May to coincide with the Golden Week holiday. This annual event celebrates many aspects of Okinawan culture—from cuisine, music, dance, traditional arts and more. Last year, there were around 220,000 visitors over the 5-day period.
A major draw of course are the various food and drink stalls serving up local specialties (like a famed bowl of soba). And don’t forget to wash it all down with some awamori—an alcoholic beverage unique to Okinawa.
Once you’ve satiated your hunger (or you’re just in between meals), the traditional performances are a must-see. In particular, the florid Okinawan dance Eisa is a surefire crowd-pleaser with plenty of energetic singing, chanting, dancing and drumming.
For those with some extra yen to spend, there are a few more options to immerse yourself in Okinawan culture—such as joining an art workshops (for both adults and children) at 1,500 yen per person. Or enjoy a film festival as well as music festival featuring Okinawa’s top musicians (for a fee). The workshop fees range from 500yen – 3,000yen.
The food & drink stalls will be open 11am till 8pm, but please check the schedule on the website for the exact event times.