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Fireworks festival includes Golden Kings

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2010-04-01

Sports, hours and hours of entertainment will join forces April 10th, as Okinawa’s summer gets under way with Ryukyu Kaiensai, a massive fireworks festival.

One of the world’s leading designers has teamed with the pyrotechnics specialists to create spellbinding illusions at the Ginowan Kaihin Park. Sponsored by Japan Air Lines Japan Trans Ocean Air, the seventh annual festival will see the skies illuminated by more than 10,000 pyrotechnics of all shapes, sizes and colors, as part of a dream corroboration with Junko Koshino, who’s produced the Japan Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Born in Osaka, Koshino graduated from the Bunka Fashion College, then moved on to participate in Paris’s collection, holding fashion shows in Beijing, New York, Vietnam and Cuba. Her designs and illusions will tinge the blue skies with hanabi—fireworks blended with the latest computer technology to produce an hour-long program. Accompanying the dazzling display will be music of Janet Jackson, David Foster, Katherine McPhee and more as the artisans present music from a variety of genre.

Okinawa’s Ryukyu Golden Kings, Western Conference leaders in this year’s Basketball Japan League—and league champions for 2008-2009—will be a part of the hanabi festivities following their afternoon match-up Saturday with the Rizing Fukuoka. That game takes place at the Okinawa Convention Center next to the fireworks venue starting at 5 p.m. A value pack tickets set for the fireworks and the professional basketball game is available.

Koshino has created a special illusion featuring a basketball shape, which launch as the Ryukyu Golden Kings team song is played. The team players will be on stage during the presentation. Also participating in the events is Philippe Troussier, the countdown special guest. Born in 1955, the professional soccer player retired after coaching in France, Africa and Japan. He was coaxed into becoming the FC Ryukyu team coach, Okinawa’s professional soccer team, in 2007.

As the afternoon begins, RMS Ryukyu Motor Style shows its style with a unique display of bicycles and cars beginning at 2 p.m. Food and beverage booths will be available at the festival site.

Live music will get under way at 2 p.m. at Haisai Square on Tropical Beach and provide plenty of entertainment until the fireworks exhibition kicks off at 8 p.m. The hour-long show will feature music timed to the fireworks launches, which are computer driven to integrate laser light show beams, the music and the illuminations. Festival grounds open at 1 p.m.

Advance tickets are on sale until April 9th. Adult tickets are ¥2,500, and tickets for youngsters under 12 are ¥1,500. Tickets at the gate April 10th are ¥3,000 for adults and ¥2,000 for kids under 12. Tickets are required for those wanting to enjoy the music and watch the fireworks from within the Tropical Beach area, where visitors may bring their own blankets or chairs. Anyone wanting to watch the fireworks from along the beach may do so free.

Japan Update will raffle a pair of tickets to the Kaiensai 2010 Fireworks Festival to 5 readers who participate in answering our simple survey questions. See the survey on page 9, or go to the www.japanupdate.com website.

Ginowan City, Ryukyu Broadcasting, Okinawa Prefecture, the Okinawa Convention Center, Ginowan City Tourism Promotion Association and Ginowan City Chamber of Commerce are joining the Ryukyu Kaien Sai committee in sponsoring the event.

Kaihin Park is directly behind the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan City, 4-2-1 Mashiki. It’s only a five-minute walk from the Convention Center, although the limited parking is a few hundred meters further away. Leisure seats and cooler boxes are prohibited on the park grounds.

Sunday, April 11th, has been designated as a make-up date if Saturday’s fireworks festival is canceled due o inclement weather. Organizers say if it rains out both the 10th and 11th, ticket purchases will be refunded.

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