Orchids & other beauties now at Ocean Expo Park

300,000 blooming plants are used to dress up the area around the Ocean Expo Main Square.

The 9th annual Flower Festival is in full bloom at Ocean Expo Park, but there’s much more beauty over the coming days as the Okinawa International Orchid Exhibition is running simultaneously.

The colorful flower arrangements provide wonderful photo backgrounds.

The Ocean Expo Park, known as Kaiyohaku Koen in Japanese, is showcasing more than 300,000 flowering plants of different colors through February 23rd, along with weekend shows to entertain the whole family.  February 15th and 16th, and again on the 22nd and 23rd, there will be street performances at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and there will be a huge maze constructed of empty boxes for children to amuse themselves, absolutely free.

There will also be free plant giveaways from 1 p.m. ~ 6 p.m. on weekends to the first 100 visitors until the 23rd, and visitors will have opportunities to experience

Many flower arrangements are made in the form of animals like this whale shark.

making picture frames with seashells, bookmarks made of flowers, and handkerchiefs.  The Flower Festival is taking place daily from 8 a.m. ~ 6 p.m. at the Space surrounding the Center Fountain.

At the same time, the 27th Okinawa International Orchid Show is in progress at Tropical Dream Center in Ocean Expo Park through February 11th.  Running alongside this show is the 11th Asia Pacific Orchid Conference.

There are thousands of orchids showing across the Tropical Dream Center, along with lecture programs, cultural events and workshops, and of course orchids for sale side-by-side with the foods vendors.  Orchid landscape displays are a big hit, working from a large tent at the 179-acre park.

Brand new this year is exhibition of the genetically created blue phalaenopsis orchid.  The man who created the gorgeous new orchid, Professor Masahiro Mii, presents lectures on the transgenic blue phalaenopsis. Other world-renowned lecturers who share their love of flowers are joining him in both English and Japanese.

Photos courtesy of Ocean Expo Park Churaumi Flower Festival