May 3
~
May 7

Haisai Festa

10:00am – 8:00pm
Free

This annual event celebrates many aspects of Okinawan culture — including cuisine, music, dance, traditional arts, and more. In normal years, around 200,000 visitors attend 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 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.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many events have been canceled. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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