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Kiddie Land Zoo stages Summer Eisa festival

Date Posted: 2007-08-09

The Kodomono-kuni Summer Eisa Festival is set for next weekend in Okinawa City.

Kodomono-kuni is the Japanese name for the Okinawa City Kiddie Land Zoo, which will offer up two days of Eisa entertainment Saturday and Sunday, August 18th and 19th. All festival activities take place on the zoo grounds. The festival is one of many symbols of Okinawa Summer, with local, mainland and international Eisa groups performing.

The festival kicks off at 3:45 p.m. Saturday with child societies including Sonda, Mickey, and Kazewarabi on stage. Youth organizations perform starting at 5:30 p.m. Scheduled are Kakazu of Ginowan City, Ageda and Moromisato. Saturday evening winds up and down with joyful dance, the Kacha-shi Dance, beginning at 9 p.m..

A similar schedule is on tap for Sunday the 19th, with Ganeko, Noborikawa, Awase Tontonme and other child societies performing at 3:45 p.m. Sonda, Goya and Yamazato are among the youth organizations to perform starting at 5:30 p.m. The festival wraps up with a Kacha-shi Dance performance beginning at 9:35 p.m.

The main stage of the event is on the field next to the pond inside the Kodomo-no Kuni Park at Green and Water square. Organizers also invite everyone to join in traditional joyous Kachashi dance at the end of festival.

When not hosting its summer festival, the Okinawa City Kiddie Land Zoo is open year-round 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closing on Tuesdays. Admission fees range from ¥100 for elementary school students, to ¥200 for junior high and high school students. Admission for adults is ¥500. Children under four are admitted free. Group discounts are offered.

Getting to the zoo is easy. From Kadena Gate 2 Street, cross over the Route 330 intersection, passing Koza Junior High School on your right and Koza Baptist Church on the lift. An overhead sign—indicating a right turn—is at the intersection, and before a steep downhill stretch. At this intersection, look for a red and yellow mural on a tall stone wall. Continue straight, about one-half mile, and look for the parking lot on the left.

From Camp Foster, take a left turn at the AAFES gate, heading up Route 330 toward Kadena Air Base. At the the Awase Meadows Golf Course intersection, make a right turn onto highway 22. Drive past the golf course, and take a left at the second traffic light, continuing on that street until the third traffic light. At the third light, turn right into the zoo parking lot.

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