Season’s illuminations bring holiday mood to Okinawa
Jingle Bells Jingle Bells ring in stores on Okinawa as we enter the final weeks of the year 2017. Downtown, the Christmas atmosphere is enhanced by fancy illuminations that have become a standard feature of the holiday season in Okinawa island wide. Okinawa is a resort island, and all resort hotels and sightseeing spots are decorated with millions of LED lights.
Manza Beach Hotel has again lit up its poolside illuminations, and offers special Christmas dishes in its restaurants for lunch and dinner. From Dec. 22 through 25, they give a 10% discount on their Christmas Lunch Buffet for OkinaWanderer readers. The buffet is open 11:30 to 14:00. Renaissance Resort Hotel started its Beachside Illumination already from the first of November and it runs through the end of February. They also have a 15m high Christmas tree in the lobby until De. 25th. There are a lot of Christmas activities at the hotel, including children’s events.
Kanucha Resort Okinawa in Nago runs their annual Stardust Fantasia illumination that cover the entire resort premises running through Feb. 28th, from 18:00~23:00 every day. To see the impressive illumination costs ¥1,000 per person, and is free for children under elementary school age, but that includes a bus ride throughout the large resort area. A visit during the period of 12/23~12/25 costs an extra ¥1,000. Hotel guests, including those who come for dinner, are free.
Kariyushi Million Fantasy at Kariyushi Ocean Spa in Onna Village features more than 1.4 million LED lights from sunset through midnight. Aqua Illusion Show is staged twice a day 19:30 and 20:30, and from Dec. 23 to 25 there’s a special live show.
Tonan Night Decoration runs at the Southeast Botanical Gardens in Okinawa City through 2/18, daily from the light up at 17:00 to 22:00. The cost is ¥1,800 for adults, ¥1,000 for high school students, ¥500 for kids from 6 to 12 and free for children under 6. 12/23~25 tickets cost an extra ¥200 for adults.
Itoman Peaceful Illumination was the first LED illumination diplay on Okinawa and is held at Itoman Agricultural Park next to the Okinawa Memorial Park in Mabuni, Itoman City, from 12/16~1/3. Admission is ¥500 for visitors over 16 of age. The display is on from 18:00~22:00 every day, except until midnight on the New Year’s eve.
Ashibinaa Winter Elegance is going on at Outlet Mall Ashibina in Tomigusuku. The lights are on every day from 17:00~20:30 until Feb. 14th. Their specialty is a daily artificial snow fall at 17:00, 18:00, 19:00 and 20:00.
Fukushuen Chinese Garden in Naha City has set up Ryukyu Dramatic Night Garden that runs through the end of March on weekend nights from 18:00~22:00. Admission to the garden is ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for elementary school students.
The Ryukyu Lantern Festival at Murasaki Mura in Yomitan is a little bit different but also a good lighting event that runs through Feb. 25th. About 5,000 lanterns are on display. Admission is ¥600 for adults, ¥500 for junior high and high school students, and ¥400 for elementary school students.
And don’t forget the annual Christmas Fantasy at Okinawa Zoo from 12/22 through 29 that features not only a special illumination but also a lot of stage events, including street dance, Eisa, bingo games, super laser beam show, and snow fall show every night. The Christmas Fantasy is open 16:30~21:30. Admission is ¥1,800 for adults in advance and ¥2,200 at gate, ¥1,000 for kids 4~15 years old in advance and ¥1,200 at gate.
American Village in Chatan and the Palette Kumoji in Naha are also nice illumination spots during this holiday season. So, enjoy the special holiday season on Okinawa!