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Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Himawari Matsuri (Sunflower Festival), Kitanakagusuku"

Sunflowers standing strong


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Himawari Matsuri (Sunflower Festival), Kitanakagusuku Village

     GPS
    LatitudeLongitude
    N 26 17.843E 127 48.622




Himawari Matsuri (Sunflower Festival), Kitanakagusuku 

Update, January 30, 2017. It's another challenging year for the Sun Flowers this year. The field is open but have not grown to their usual size (about 1/8th of their normal size)


The start of the new year marks the beginning of a whole host of flower festivals here on Okinawa. Traditionally, it begins with Cherry Blossoms. But in late January to early February starts another special flower occasion,...the Himawari Matsuri, or Sunflower Festival, in Kitanakagusuku Village (北中城村のひまわり祭り). This is relatively a recent installment of flower festivals here on the main island first starting in 2008. About 10,000 square meters of farmland are dedicated to these yellow beauties. At full capacity, they can hold up to 400,000 sunflowers. Special events during the festival period will vary from year to year. You will also see booths along the main street selling arts and crafts, vegetables, and other gifts for your enjoyment.

Basic Information.
When: Late January early February (varies annually) (2017 – January 21 to February 5)
Time: 1000 - 1600 (this is a non-gated area, you can come and go as you please)
Fee: Admission Free
Website: himawaribatake.netwww.kitanaka.or.jp or www.kitapo.jp
Phone Number: 098 935-2233 (Industrial Promotion Division )
YouTube Video: Click this VIDEO to see a past sunflower festival

Amenities/Facilities. Normally, portable toilets are dispersed near the parking lot areas. Be prepared to improvise if need be. Baby Strollers/Wheel Chairs: Around the sunflower fields are paved roads for ease of movement. However, it will be difficult to go inside the flower field itself with any kind of transport.

Directions/Parking (new location). The new field is in Waniya of Kitanakagusuku Village. Take Highway 329 south into Kitanakagusuku Village. The field is south of the Highway 81/Highway 227/Highway 329 intersection. There will be three (3) landmarks to the west side of Highway 329 to guide you in: Building with "Caleb" written on it, Family Mart, the ESSO Gas Station. At the next traffic light signal south of the ESSO Gas Station turn east (towards the ocean). You will be guided by signs. You will also see a large apartment complex. The sunflower field is walking distance to the west and across from this complex.

Directions/Parking (old location). Take Highway 81 from either Highway 329 (from the east) or Highway 330 (from the west). On the map above you will see a LandMark Pin. This is a JA-SS Gas station on the south side of Highway 81. On the opposite side is a Cocos Convenience Store. If you are coming from Highway 330 you will turn right just before the JA-SS Gas Station. If you are coming from Highway 329, you will turn left just after the JA-SS Gas Station. After you make this turn, you will see flag banners and road guards (during the day hours of the festival period) directing you to parking areas. Parking will be in close proximity of the sunflower fields (normally at the middle school nearby).

Source of information. Okinawa Times (Japanese Only), http://article.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2013-01-27_44493, Official Website (outdated) http://himawari-in-k.jimdo.com (Japanese Only)