Weekend Sakurazaka Asylum music festival hits Naha

The 8th Sakurazaka Asylum 2015 is bringing an estimated 100 Okinawan, mainland Japanese and international artists and musicians to Naha Saturday and Sunday.

The festival is a new style music event, taking place not in a large hall or stage, but instead at some 20 smaller venues, mostly around the Sakurazaka area in Naha.  Aside from the events charging entry fees, there will be food stalls and other sales booths at the site of Sakurazaka Marche flea market in Kibogaoka Park.  Anyone can participate to the market for free between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  Popular Naha cafés and stores will participate.

Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara are among the Sakurazaka Asylum performers.

Other than music, Tsutomu Makiya, a film artist and the pride of Okinawa will hold a wall art projection performance. The artists will lighten up and create expressive living art on the walls of buildings.

Both single and two-day tickets are available at FamilyMart e-plus, Lawson Ticket, Ticket Pia and Sakurazaka Theater.  Advance single day tickets are ¥3,500 while two-day tickets are ¥4,000.  Single day tickets the days of the event are ¥4,000,while two-day tickets are ¥7,000.  The two-day tickets are only

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available on Saturday. Participants must also purchase multi-tickets for use in charging drinks at the venues for ¥500 each.

Sakurazaka used to be the largest nightlife district on Okinawa, bustling with hundreds of bars, snacks, cabarets and theaters after the war. Later, the area largely died out, and stores disappeared since the 70s, but it bounced back in the 2000s. Sakurazaka has seen a boom resurgence among young people thanks to cheaper leases and distinctive ambience of the

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district.  Sakurazaka has changed lately, but still there are a lot of fans of the area.

There are many artists and stores collaborating with this annual event.  Artists, musicians, stores and venues can be checked at www.japanupdate.com/events in English, and at the event website in Japanese. Artist information is at http://www.sakura-zaka.com/asylum/2015/artists.html, while information on the stores is at http://www.sakura-zaka.com/asylum/2015/hall.html.