La Cittadella, an entertainment complex in Kawasaki, is hosting the 16th 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 five-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, like joining various arts and crafts workshops (for both adults and children) with fees ranging from ¥500 to ¥1,500 per person. To top it all off there’s a film festival and a music festival featuring Okinawa’s top musicians.