The beginning of August kicks off several summer festivals, called Natsu Matsuri, in Japan. Okinawa adds its own flavor to this tradition with choreographed eisa drumming performances. Here are a few of them happening this weekend:
Tens of thousands attend the free Nago Summer Festival at Nago Fishing Port each year. Put on your walking shoes and check out the eisa performances, other live music, and lots of vendors, including one of the event’s sponsors, Orion beer. Don’t miss the huge fireworks display at the end of the night. Admission is free. Hours are 1 pm – 9 pm Saturday and 9 am – 9 pm Sunday.
Few Okinawan events are as famous as Naha’s 10,000 Eisa Festival on Kokusai Street. Part performance, part parade, you don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event this Sunday, August 4. Admission is free, but you can pay a fee and try out eisa yourself that day.
Or, check out youth and young men’s teams performing at the Eisa Festival at the Okinawa City Zoo, from 4 pm – 9 pm both Saturday and Sunday. Admission prices are ¥500 for adults, ¥200 for junior high and high school students, ¥100 for 4 year olds and elementary students, and free for children 3 and under.