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Nightlife varies and geared to diverse tastes

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2005-07-09

If youíre bored on Okinawa, donít blame anyone but yourself.

Thereís much to see and do, from sightseeing to nightlife, and itís easy to find. While Fantastic Okinawa typically takes you on tours of the island, exploring the sites that make the island such a memorable place, itís time for a new dimension.

Sightseeing isnít for everyone, but all agree that itís fun to get out and about, meeting people and doing different things.

An Island Market count of available concerts, festivals, live bands, recitals, ballet and other events available to you this month total more than 74. Thereís even a paragliding tournament at Gushikami July 17-18, and admission is free. Youíll find a regular weekly listing of goings-on, but today highlight a few that should motivate you to hop off the couch and into Fantastic Okinawa.

Seven festivals are happening this month, each offering its own unique opportunities for pleasure and splendid photography. The All Japan Eisa Festival is in Chatanís Athletic Park this weekend. Itís free Saturday, and tickets are •1,000 on Sunday.

Next Saturday plan for a day at the Ocean Expo Memorial Park Festival 2005. Admission is free to this event at Expo Memorial Park and Beach in Motobu Town, starting at 3pm. Mark the calendar, because this concert festival caps with the largest fireworks display on Okinawa. Plan ahead, because tens of thousands will join you.

Ocean Festival in Okinawa takes place July 16-24 at various beaches across the island, including at Naminoue Beach, Naha Port, and Nakagusuku Port. There will be dragon boat races, concerts and fireworks at this free admission festival.

The Kijimunaa Childrenís Festival runs July 23-30 at sites around Okinawa City, with tickets running •1,500 in advance, •2,000 at the door. Urasoe Cityís Tedako Festival is July 23-24 at Urasoe City Athletic Park. The free festival runs 10am-9pm each day.

The month closes with the Chatan Seaport Festival July 30-31 from 9am-9pm at Sunset Beach in Chatan. Admission is free. The Folk Song Festival is July 31st, 6:30pm, at Okinawa City Civil Hall, with tickets running •2,000.

Now then, how about some things that are Ďdifferentí from everyday life. Try some Miyako Folk Dance at the Okinawa Hometown Theater in Higashimachi in downtown Naha, close to the Asahibashi Monorail Station. Showtime is 6:30pm July 10th, with tickets •1,000 and •1,500 at the door. Also on Sunday is an afternoon Taiko Drum & Eisa Performance at the Okinawa National Theater. Tickets are •3,500 for adults and •2,000 for students at the 2pm show.

Contemplate a theatrical play ďDreamĒ by Takezou Toma, performing twice at 2:30 and 6:30pm Sunday at the Naha City Civil Hall. Tickets are•3,000 in advance, or •3,500 at the door. Concert tenor Antonyno will perform in a recital July 9th at the Naha City Civil Hall. Tickets range from •7,000 for best seats, •5,000 for midrange seating, to •3,500 for economy seats.

Renowned singer Akihiro Miwa is in concert at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan July 17th. Tickets for the 6pm show are •6,500 and •5,500. Thereís also a ballet performance at Ginowan City Civil Hall the 17th at 5:30pm. Tickets are •2,000.

Jumping ahead to August, a really big plum for Okinawa is the Leningrad City Ballet Performance at the Okinawa Convention Center. There will be two performances on Aug. 27, at 2pm and 7pm. S-seats re •11,000, A-seats •9,000 and B-seats •6,000.

Thereís plenty of live music and local concerts with every genre seemingly known to the music community. Norio Yamakawa, Toki Meki Grandez Vouz, Yuki, Bagunca, and Kachimba 1551 are but a few of the names showing at live clubs, live houses and dance clubs.

Comedy talk and a concert will be held at the Okinawa Convention Center Sunday, with tickets to the 3 & 6pm shows costing •3,800 in advance, or •4,300 at the door. For jazz lovers, check out the oriental jazz offerings at the Pink Salon in Naha City. The July 16th performance is at 10pm. Cover is •1,500, and includes a drink. Same deal on a pair of Indian Music Recitals at Mofgmona in Ginowan City July 16th, 8pm, and at the Yomitan Beach Rock House on the 18th, 6:30pm. Tickets are •1,800 in Ginowan, and •1,500 at Chatan.

Plenty of options available, and weíve only scratched the surface. Make the most of your evenings on Fantastic Okinawa.

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