Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri

Source:©OCVB)

The days around August 15th are called "Obon" in Japan. It is believed that spirits of departed people return to their families during this period. It is a long-established custom to observe Obon by entertaining and comforting departed souls, and it is the same in Okinawa. But the origin of Eisa Matsuri (festival) is rather interesting. On the last day of Obon, people beat taiko drums to scare the souls and to usher those out who were reluctant to return to their world where they belong. The traditional event, Eisa Matsuri, has been observed for over 400 years throughout Okinawa. It has become a big event that draws visitors from all over the world.

Address
2-1 Moromizato, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa
Contact No.
+81-98-937-3986
Access
Take a bus from Naha Bus Terminal to Sonoda bus stop. 10-min walk from bus stop
Official Website
https://www.zentoeisa.com/en/info.html
Time Required
Half day
Schedule
August 23-25 (2019) *Dates vary every year

※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.

Source:©OCVB

First Day : Michi-junee

The parade of Michi-junee is held on the first day of Eisa Matsuri. Teams of young men from each region perform Eisa taiko dances in the area of Goya and Jujiro in Okinawa city. The performance is very energetic, and you can't take your eyes off them.

Source:©OCVB

Second Day : Okinawa-Shi Seinen Matsuri

On the the second day of the festival, teams of young men from Okinawa city which hosts this festival perform Eisa. Over 10 groups of performers participate in this event. Each group entertains the audience with their unique costumes and performances.

Source:©OCVB

Last Day : Okinawa Zento EIsa Matsuri

Teams selected from all over Okinawa perform Eisa on the last day as a finale of this festival. They have men's, ladies' , co-ed teams, representing not only the main island of Okinawa but also teams from the remote islands. This is a splendid opportunity to see the stunning performances of all the great teams.

Source:©OCVB

Funky Chondara Dancers

You can't help noticing a funny, white-faced dancer in each group. He has funky makeup and dances sloppily among the serious performers. You might wonder "Who is that person?" As a matter of fact, he belongs to the team. He is a jester called chondara and dances to spice up the performance. Their expressions and movement are great fun to watch.

Source:©OCVB

Time for Kachashi

Everybody participates in Kachashi dance and shares the joy. After the Eisa performances on the second and last day, the performers and the audience get together and dance Kachashi. Anybody can join, and you don't have to be a good dancer, so why don't you dance with the locals!

Source:©OCVB

Famous Okinawa Soba

Okinawa soba is a regional delicacy of Okinawa. While it's called soba, it is actually not made from buckwheat flour. It is made from regular wheat flour. 150,000 bowls of Okinawa soba are said to be consumed every day in the prefecture. The price is reasonable, and you find it in any restaurant, so you don't want to miss this soul food of Okinawa.

Source:shima-risu / PIXTA

Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri

The days around August 15th are called "Obon" in Japan. It is believed that spirits of departed people return to their families during this period. It is a long-established custom to observe Obon by entertaining and comforting departed souls, and it is the same in Okinawa. But the origin of Eisa Matsuri (festival) is rather interesting. On the last day of Obon, people beat taiko drums to scare the souls and to usher those out who were reluctant to return to their world where they belong. The traditional event, Eisa Matsuri, has been observed for over 400 years throughout Okinawa. It has become a big event that draws visitors from all over the world.

※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.

Source:©OCVB

First Day : Michi-junee

The parade of Michi-junee is held on the first day of Eisa Matsuri. Teams of young men from each region perform Eisa taiko dances in the area of Goya and Jujiro in Okinawa city. The performance is very energetic, and you can't take your eyes off them.

Source:©OCVB

Second Day : Okinawa-Shi Seinen Matsuri

On the the second day of the festival, teams of young men from Okinawa city which hosts this festival perform Eisa. Over 10 groups of performers participate in this event. Each group entertains the audience with their unique costumes and performances.

Source:©OCVB

Last Day : Okinawa Zento EIsa Matsuri

Teams selected from all over Okinawa perform Eisa on the last day as a finale of this festival. They have men's, ladies' , co-ed teams, representing not only the main island of Okinawa but also teams from the remote islands. This is a splendid opportunity to see the stunning performances of all the great teams.

Source:©OCVB

Funky Chondara Dancers

You can't help noticing a funny, white-faced dancer in each group. He has funky makeup and dances sloppily among the serious performers. You might wonder "Who is that person?" As a matter of fact, he belongs to the team. He is a jester called chondara and dances to spice up the performance. Their expressions and movement are great fun to watch.

Source:©OCVB

Time for Kachashi

Everybody participates in Kachashi dance and shares the joy. After the Eisa performances on the second and last day, the performers and the audience get together and dance Kachashi. Anybody can join, and you don't have to be a good dancer, so why don't you dance with the locals!

Source:©OCVB

Famous Okinawa Soba

Okinawa soba is a regional delicacy of Okinawa. While it's called soba, it is actually not made from buckwheat flour. It is made from regular wheat flour. 150,000 bowls of Okinawa soba are said to be consumed every day in the prefecture. The price is reasonable, and you find it in any restaurant, so you don't want to miss this soul food of Okinawa.

Source:shima-risu / PIXTA

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