POP Circus dazzles, thrills Okinawa crowds

By Bill Charles

Men and women on flying trapeze is what a circus is all about to most people, and the POP Circus for the next six weeks at Onoyama Park in Naha does not disappoint.

‘Under the Big Top’ has been the code words for exciting, breathtaking entertainment for the entire family for decades, and for the next six weeks, it is the time for dreams to come true at Okinawa’s Onoyama Park.

A circus wouldn’t be a circus without a collection of bungling clowns.

The World Circus Festival, produced by the agency POP Circus –the POP standing for Pursuit of Pleasure—for nearly 20 years, is now performing at Onoyama Park in Naha City through April 6th.  The POP Circus is not just entertainment for kids, but a spectacular two-hour show for adults and kids of all ages.  More than 30 internationally renowned performers are part of the show, which provides all the excitement of a traditional circus, with additional thrills coming from other acts.  All-in-all, the spectacular lighting in the Big Top, mixed

Dogs are natural performers.

with the fresh sawdust on the ground, creates an atmosphere designed to turn everyone into kids for a short period.

The program is in two parts, with the prologue leading to a bungee act, juggling, a dog show, Hand to Hand performers, the ever-popular clowns, an aerial hoop exhibition and bicycle daredevils.  The second part of the program, after the intermission, finds Russians on Swings, more clowns, a time of Illusions and Tissue, more clowns, Hooop Diving, thrills of an Air Cannon, heart-stopping excitement on the Flying Trapeze, and a super special finale.

Russians on Swings stage a very special and exciting spectacle.

Advance tickets for adults and high school students are ¥2,500, or ¥2,800 at the gate.  Tickets for kids age three through junior high school are ¥1,200 in advance or ¥1,500 at the gate.  Group rates for 20 or more persons are also available.  Special Royal Boxes accommodating four people are an additional ¥5,000, and Pleasure Boxes for four persons are an additional ¥4,000.  Reserved seats with center view are an additional ¥800.  Special prices for seniors are also available, and wheelchair users and those physically challenged have special options, too.

Japan Update is giving away two pair of tickets for readers.  Simply register for the weekly raffle from the Japan Update website. http://www.japanupdate.com/raffle-entry/  The official website for POP Circus is http://www.pop-circus.co.jp/. There is some information in English also.

The World Circus Festival is running daily except Wednesdays until April 6th. Weekday shows are at 1:20 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Saturday shows are at 10:30 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Sunday shows are 10:30 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Circus tent is located at the eastern corner of Onoyama park in Naha by Hwy 221. The google map is http://goo.gl/maps/3ix3M. The easiest way is to take Yui-rail and getting off at Onoyama Park Station.  For those driving, there is a big paid parking lot near the venue http://goo.gl/maps/qhahg  Parking cars inside the park is very limited.  Circus Festival organizers remind spectators that food is available inside the tent. No outside food or beverages are permitted.