Star-studded festival season kicks off in Yaeyama

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/.