Nuri River Sakura Festival is community event

Local volunteers planted cherry trees along Nuri River in Gushikawa, and now there are some 500 along the river banks.

February is the peak of the cherry blossom season in Okinawa with many communities hosting their own events. Nuri River Cherry Blossom Festival in Gushikawa, Uruma City, started as an environment beautification campaign where local resident volunteers gathered to cut grass and plant cherry trees. Now it has 500 trees blossoming every February. Okinawa has only a few rivers, which have cherry blossoms planted along their banks, and this is one of them.

Hideyo Kugai who is in charge of this project explains, “Our festival is a low scale event. There won’t be many food stands and no one famous will be performing. We just truly want the visitors to enjoy a walk under the cherry blossoms and be close to nature.”

The festival takes place this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, in the area between Taba and Soga bridges.

From Kadena, drive towards Camp Courtney on Route 8, continue straight at Agena Intersection and after passing Taba Bridge turn left and continue about 600 meters until you see the festival main grounds on the left. Parking is available in the area.