All Okinawa Eisa Festival 2017
Okinaawa’s largest annual Eisa event, the All Okinawa Eisa Festival or Zento Eisa Matsuri, basically takes place on the first weekend after Obon every year. The festival started 1956 in what was then called Koza, and it has been held every year since.
This year the three-day festival runs from Sep. 15 through 17 on Gate 2 Street and at Okinawa City Athletic Park.
The event starts Friday with a ‘Michijune’ parade, in which a number of Eisa groups parade from Route 330 to Kadena Gate 2 starting 18:30. The parade ends at 21:00. Gate 2 Street is closed to motor vehicle traffic during the event.
The official opening ceremony starts Saturday at 15:00 at Okinawa City Ahletic Park. More than ten youth groups from Okinawa City, and other cities showcase their prowess in Eisa on the sports park outdoor field from 15:15 to 20:35.
Children’s Eisa performance starts the festival at 15:00 on Sunday, followed by more than ten selected high-level Eisa groups from various parts of the island. Each group will show Eisa as performed in each district. Some groups have integrated new moves and music to their traditional Eisa performance.
The performances on the athletic field end on both days with a kachashi dance and a fireworks and laser show at 20:35.
Admission to the All Okinawa Eisa Festival is free, except for seats on the main grandstand. Admission is ¥2,000 for S-seats and ¥1,200 for A-seats in advance. At gate, S-seats cost ¥2,500, while A-seats are ¥1,500 and B seats ¥1,000.