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Colorful flowers breaking out all over Okinawa

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2012-01-13

The Okinawa Flower Carnival is under way in Okinawa, a series of breathtaking floral opportunities that run not for a week or two, but all the way through spring, bringing the sights and scents of cherry blossoms, azaleas, orchids, camellias, roses and many other tropic flowers.

Loosely linked between now and May, the 29th annual Okinawa Flower Carnival spans the island from north to south, with the first of the extravaganzas set to blossom in only a couple weeks. The annual rites of cherry blossoms are almost here, with Mount Yaedake and Nago the first to showcase the colors.

For the moment, the 14th is the big day, with Peaceful Bios at Bios on the Hill in Uruma City has its festival kicking off Saturday, and the Ryuguu Butterfly Park is introducing its Flowers and Butterflies, also on Saturday. Also unveiling the floral settings this weekend are the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan, Mankoku Shinryokan, next to Busena Resort in Nago, the Ryukyu Glass “Spark & Flower” Festival in the Glass House in the Forest in Nago, the Tropical Flower Festival in Nago’s Okinawa Fruit Land, the Okinawa Underwater Observatory in Busena Sea Park, and Ryukyu Glass Village Flower Festival in Itoman City.

There are also plenty of flowers to gaze upon along the Okinawa Expressway at the Igei exit at Kin, and at Nakagusuku rest areas. Also not to be missed are the Shuri Castle Park Flower Festival and the Kaguyahime Park Rose Festival in Higashi Village.

Aside from the cherry blossoms, Motobu’s Expo Park is the setting for the season’s first splashes of color. The Churaumi Flower Festival opens to the public January 28th around the park’s Central Gate. The Okinawa International Orchid Festival kicks off February 4th ~ 12th at Tropical Dream Center in Motobu’s Expo Park.

This month also sees the Okinawa World Flower Festival at Okinawa World Theme Park at Gyokusendo in southern Okinawa, the Sunflowers in Kitanakagusuku, Ryukyu Mura in Onna Village, the Flower Carnival in Okashi Goten in Yomitan and Onna.

As February turns to March, it becomes even more colorful with the Nago Chrysanthemum Doll Exhibition at Neo Park in Nago, the Higashi Azalea Festival at Higashi Village, and the Ie Island Lily Festival. The Japan Update Events Column is the place to keep a close eye out for details on all floral festivals.

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