Star-studded festival season kicks off in Yaeyama

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Ishigaki Island has put out the welcome mat, and invited Okinawa to its Star Festival and the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful skies and the Milky Way.

It’s a weekend event, with cool evening breezes and starry heavens setting the stage for the free festival at Ishigaki Port open space in the Shinko District Southern Gate. Saturday’s show runs 6 p.m. ~ 9:30 p.m., while all across Ishigaki City, lights will be down.

The National Astronomical Observatory will open its facilities to the public from Saturday through Sunday, August 26th, 10 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. The VERA Ishigaki Observation Bureau, Ishigaki Island Astronomical Observatory, will be providing tours of the inside of the radio telescope, offering mini-lectures and more educational activities, starting Sunday and running through Sunday the 26th. The activities run 10 a.m. ~ 5 p.m.

Star Watching Parties are being offered by reservation only the 19th through 26th. Viewing will take place each day at 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the Ishigaki Island Astronomical Observatory. Reservations can be made at (098) 088-0013. The Planetarium in Ishigaki City will be open to the public August 25th and 16th. Details are on the web at http://www.southern-star.jp/.

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