Sakura Matsuri (Festival)

 Sakura have started to bloom this year!

It is later than usual.  Only about 20-30 % of the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

sakura, okinawa, matsuri cherry blossom in okinawa

 

 

At the World Heritage Site, Nakijin Castle Site, the sakura trees line up on both sides of the stone staircase from the Heironmon Gate up to Umiya Court.  

It was raining when I took these pictures, so the blossoms do not look good as they actually are.

But the pretty pink petals add beauty to gray stone walls.  It is really fantastic!

 

 Okinawa cherry blossom festival

Sakura in Okinawa are not Someiyoshino (Yoshino cherry). 

The blossoms grown in Okinawa are called Kanhizakura (Taiwan cherry or Formosan cherry).

They are native to Taiwan, widely grown in the south of China and Okinawa.  

 Nakigusuku Sakura

Every year Okinawa celebrates the earliest Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) in Japan.

 sakura matsuri poster

 

Nakijin Castle Site is one of three most popular cheery blossom spots in northern Okinawa.  

During the Sakura Matsuri (January 21 to February 5), colorful green, red, blue lights shimmer off the magnificently curved wall stones.  

More than 200 Japanese lanterns line up to illuminate our beautiful blossoms. 

You will be entirely mesmerized by its subtle and profound beauty, which differs from its pure beauty found in a daytime.   

Nakijin Castle volunteer guides will give away sakura-cha Tea from 10:00 to 16:00.

 

Eisa, a powerful, dynamic traditional Okinawan folk dance will be performed on January 22, 28, and February 4.  Two shows are available on each day: 16:30 and 17:30.

 

“Hokuzan no Kaze (Wind of the Northern Kingdom)” a modern version of kumiodori (traditional Okinawan musical theatre) will be performed by high school students and dancers for modern version of kumiodori.

 

Please click the following link to see images from the play.

<http://www.hokuzan-h.open.ed.jp/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=106&Itemid=63>

 

Be one of the lucky few to take pictures with beautiful ladies wearing Ryukyu dress on January 28 and 29, from 14:00 to 17:00.

 

On top of that visitors also can witness an actual wedding ceremony with Ryukyu dress held at the Nakijin Castle Site from 15:00 on January 28, 13:00 on February 4, and 13:00 on February 11.  

 

Please click the following link to see a local newspaper article on World Heritage Bridal at the Nakijin Castle.

<http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2011/05/19/564/>

 

Please don’t miss this opportunity to find the many beauties of Nakijin Castle!

 

The following is an official website of Nakijin Village Office.

Please click the link to see images of events held in the Sakura Matsuri.

<http://www.nakijin.jp/nakijin.nsf/doc/12nakijingusuku_sakuramatsuri?OpenDocument>

japanese sakura season

 

 

Kanhiszakura trees will lead you up to the Sakura Matsuri venue!

 Kanhiszakura trees

We are very much looking forward to your coming!

 

Directions: Nakijin Castle is easy to reach. Travel north on Highway 58 toward Nago City. Inside the city, turn right, going northbound on Highway 72 to Nakijin Village. Once in the village, turn left onto Highway 505 headed west. Travel three kilometers, then look for signs marking the route to the site. 

 

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

View Kuniko's Profile & Contact Her

Read Kumiko's Travel Blog

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