Golden Week is Super Fun for kids on Okinawa!
Golden Week is a week long holiday that takes place annually during the first week in May. This year, the holiday will begin on April 29th and conclude on May 7th. Naturally, children become particularly excited this time of year as schools in Japan close for up to eleven days during the Golden Week holiday. As Golden Week is the longest holiday period of the year, a vast number leisure-based industries offer special deals and events, many of them perfect for children of all ages.
Travel and tourism, resort hotels, the entertainment industry, festivals, and beaches all compete against one another to provide the best deals and attract the most customers. While staying in Japan, the events and festivals that take place during Golden Week are must have cultural experiences.
On Okinawa, the most popular event during Golden Weak is Naha Haraii, which will be held from May 3-5 at the Naha New Port. One of the largest annual festivals held on Okinawa, Naha Haarii includes dragon boat races, live music, game booths, a variety of food and drink options, and much more. The daily dragon boat races are the most popular attraction, but there will also be a large fireworks show each night.
The Ie Island Lily Festival, the first annual festival of its kind in Japan, runs from April 22-May 7. In addition to the one-million lilies on display, there will also be live music and stage performances each weekend and during Golden Week. Ie Island is a just a 30-minute ferry ride from Motobu Port, providing an excellent opportunity to take beautiful panoramic views.
Carp streaming—or koinobori—is another popular event during Golden Week. According to legend, carp swim upstream to become dragons, overcoming a number of obstacles along the way. Because of the arduous journey, carp are considered tenacious and resilient creatures, attributes many Japanese parents wish to see in their children. There are a number of places throughout the island flying hundreds of koinobori at a time. The Hijya river of Kadena Town, the Oku district of Kunigami Village, Haneji Dam in Nago, and the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman are all wonderful places to visit and take in the colorful displays of koinobori.
Finally, there are a number of special attractions and special offers designed specifically for children. Kodomono Kuni (Okinawa Zoo) offers free admission for children 12 and under from May 3-7. Shuri Castle Parks offers free admission for children on May 5th. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers free admission for children aged 15 and under on May 4th and 5th. Okinawa World theme park will hold a Kids Festival special event from May 3-6. Kids Festival the annual large kids theme park will set at the Chatan dome from May 3rd to 7th. Neo Park in Nago will offer a koinobori train ride on May 3-5. Besides a colorful display of koinobori, Motobu Town will also have bonito streamers as the town is famous for bonito produce.