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In The Pink: Nago’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Date Posted: 2001-01-26

The theme of the festival is: Japanese spring comes first to Okinawa. It takes place in Nago City, January 26-28 and there will be parades, street dances, eisa and a variety of stage entertainment. The Festival also includes a Miss Nago Beauty Contest. It is expected that around 200,000 people will visit the area for the festival.

The Ryukyu Island group is the warmest region in Japan and where the flora is different to the mainland. The blooming of cherry blossoms, around Okinawa Prefecture in mid-January astounds mainland visitors, who are used to celebrating the festival in April.

The species of local cherry blossom is called Hikan Sakura; it is darker in color and smaller than the mainland variety. Originally from China, the local flower blooms all year round, unlike its more transient mainland cousin.

Nago Castle is one of the best spots to view the landscape turned into a sea of pink. It is a hillside park where there are about 70,000 cherry trees. The municipality plans to increase the number to 100,000 in the near future.

Yae Hill in the neighboring town of Motobu is another good vantage point from where to view the cherry blossoms.

Festival Schedule
January 26, 14:00, Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony

January 27, 15:30, Drum & Fife Band Parades by Elementary & High School Students
16:00, Folk Story Telling
17:00, Ladies Dance Parade
18:30, Parade by Nago City Traditional Dance Association

January 28, 9:00, Family’s Walking Race
14:00, Costume Parade
17:00, Okinawan Traditional Dancers’ Parade
18:00, Nago Cherry Blossom Drum Parade

Entertainment on the Festival Square Special Stage
January 27
Cherry Blossom Drums, 13:00-13:15
Children’s Dance, 13:25-14:10
Street Dance, 14:15-14:45
Traditional Ryukyu Dance, 14:55-15:10
Live Music by “Yellow Stone Bridge” band
Traditional Story Telling, 16:00-17:45
Hula Dance by Aloha Dance Association, 17:55-18:00
Cherry Blossom Live Music by students of Meio University, 18:10-19:10
Genchan Show, 19:20-20:00

January 28

The United States Air Force Marching Band, Pacific Trends, 13:00-14:00
Unicycle & Balloons for Children, 14:15-14:35
III MEF Marching Band, 14:45-15:15
Sanshin Performance, 15:25-15:55
Live Music by High School Students, 16:05-16:35
Mirei Hayashi Show, 16:45-17:15
Cherry Blossom Parade Award, 17:20-17:35
Karaoke Show, 17:40-18:40
Live Music by Folk Music Group, Free Moon, 18:50-19:20
Orion Presents Lexios, 19:30-20:00

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