|Sunflowers standing strong|
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|Himawari Matsuri (Sunflower Festival), Kitanakagusuku Village|
|N 26 17.867||E 127 47.754|
Himawari Matsuri (Sunflower Festival), Kitanakagusuku
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.
When: Late January early February (varies annually) (2013 – January 26 to February 11)
Time: Sunrise to sunset (this is a non-gated area, you can come and go as you please)
Fee: Admission Free
Website: Kitanakagusuku Chamber of Commerce, http://www.kitanaka.or.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. 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)