“What? Sunflower in the wintertime?” The 4th Himawari in Kitanakagusuku

 The 4th Himawari in Kitanakagusuku

 Sunflower festival

Himawari (Sunflower) gives a poetic charm to summer.

That’s the image I have had of sunflowers until I saw a local newspaper article with a picture showing plenty of sunflowers are in full bloom in farmlands in the wintertime.

It was a complete culture shock to a person like me, who moved from the mainland Japan.


Himawari means “sunflower” .

I have thought the flower looked best when blooming toward the brilliantly shining sun in the summertime.  

 himawari matsuri

But Himawari ‘s upright figure fighting against cold, winter wind conveys its rugged life force.  

Just like Himawari in the summer, the Himawari in the winter gives vigor and power to viewers hunching their backs on a cold winter day.  

okinawa winter festival


“The 4th Himawari in Kitanakagusuku 

~Let “Himawari in winter” bloom the summer scene!”~

From Saturday, January 21 to Sunday, February 5

Since I read an article on the 1st Himawari Festival, I have wanted to go to this wonderful event.

This year my little dream finally came true♪

sunflower season okinawa


Many people came to view almost 400,000 yellow gold flowers that will bloom on idle farmland, the himawari are grown as a cover crop that will feed the soil for the next season’s planting.  

About 40 % of the flowers have started blooming and will be in full bloom at the end of this month.

 yachimun market

While walking along from one himawari field to another field, you will find a bunch of tents put up to have a pottery market.

 shisa market okinawa

Hands-on Shisa (guardian lion dog) making experience is also available!

sunflower field, okinawa japan

Families enjoy taking pictures of their members surrounded by beautifully glowing flowers. 

Under the tents, the village people sell special products from Kitanakagusuku Village such as Taimo Taro Pie and Gusuku Manju Cake.

The sale of the special products is available on the weekends.

 okinawa winter festival

 “Himawari Festival” is held in the same period as “Sakura Festivals” in the north.

On the way back from cherry blossom viewing in the north, why don’t you stop by this festival site in the central Okinawa to enjoy the beauty of sunflower?

That would be one of the happiest ways of spending a winter day.

The festival site is behind the Kitanakagusuku Junior High School.

Please click the following link to see the map. (Sorry! Only the Japanese map is available.)



Directions: Travel north on Highway 330 toward Futenma in Ginowan City. After passing Futenma Shrine, turn right at Adaniya Intersection. Then just look for yellow signs, saying “ひまわり in 北中城” marking the route to the site. 

Himawari…a flower that gives us energy and power.

In the language of flowers, what do you think himawari signifies?




“Adoration,” “I am watching only you,” “grand passion,” “splendor,” and “admiration”


Wow, each of them is perfectly right word for this beautiful flower, isn’t it?


Kumiko Teruya is a profesional Japanese / English Tour Guide in Okinawa Japan 

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