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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Okinawa Burger Festival, Ginoza Village



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Okinawa Burger Festival, Ginoza Village

      GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 28.953E 127 58.321




Okinawa Burger Festa, Ginoza Village

Vote for the Best Burger in Okinawa! Burger joints from all around the island will be vying for the title for the "Best Burger in Okinawa". The event will be held at the Ginoza Nou-son Park (near the Ginoza baseball field and sports dome). Event Information is below.

Event Information.
Date: December 11, 2016 (Sunday).
Time: 10am - 4pm.
Location: Ginoza Nou-son Park (Near the Ginoza Sports Dome & Baseball Field).
Admission Fee: Free.
Participating Burger Shops: See Ginoza Village Office Tourism Website for participating stores (12 total).
Purchasing a Burger: Burgers can only be purchased with a voucher. Vouchers are sold in booklets of 10 for a total cost of 1000 yen for each booklet(10 x 100 Yen). There should be a ticket booth at the festival where you can purchase these vouchers. (Yen Only). Number of vouchers may vary when purchasing certain burgers.
Voting: After you receive a burger you will receive a voting 'marble'. Take the marble and throw it in one of the 12 burger shop voting boxes at the polling booth. The marbles will be counted at the end of the day. The burger shop with the most 'marbles' will win the Burger Festa Contest! The winner will be announced at 4:30pm.
Official Website: Ginoza Village Office Tourism Website.
Amenities: Toilet facilities available.
Parking Available: See Official Website for parking location. Parking has been mapped out on their website.

Inclement Weather: The event will continue if light rain occurs. If severe rain is expected, the event may be subject to cancellation. Please plan accordingly.

Notes/Recommendations.
1. Expect long lines at each burger station (12 stations anticipated). Consider bringing small snacks/drinks to get you through the wait.
2. Make sure you get your ticket vouchers before you stand in line. Burger Booths will not accept Yen.


Directions. The Ginoza Nou-son Park is located near Highway 329 in Ginoza Village. It is also near Entrance/Exit 9 of the Okinawa Expressway and the Ginoza Sports Dome. Visit the Ginoza Office Website for directions and parking.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Tsutsuji Matsuri - The Azalea Festival"

Admiring the Azaleas 


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Tsutsuji Matsuri (The Azalea Festival)


     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 38.235E 128 09.413




Tsutsuji Matsuri (Azalea Festival), Higashi Village

Every March, Higashi Village hosts the Azalea Festival, or better known to the Okinawans as 'Tsutsuji Matsuri'. The Azaleas are part of the genus Rhododendron, with these particular flowers being part of the subgenus 'Tsutsuji' (or 'Tsutsusi'), which are evergreen Azaleas versus their North American counterparts that are deciduous in nature (leaves fall off in the fall). The festival occurs at the Azalea park about 500 meters away from Highway 70. The festival itself last about 3 weeks long with various events and entertainment spread out during this period. However, you can still view the Azaleas for the entire month of March. Please visit the Higashi Village website for more information (Japanese only). They will have a schedule of major events and entertainment during the festival period.

The park itself is a nice walk on both high and low ground. Down below are small nature walk areas where you can see the Higashi greenery and some of the streams that flow between the hills. High up on the hills are several areas where you can view down and out toward the Higashi landscape. If you love nature and especially flowers, then this is great place to bring the family.

Time Frame: Entire Month of March (2016 Festival Period March 4-21, Flowering Viewing March 1-31)
Time: 9am-6pm
Entrance Fee. 300 Yen for High School Students and above, free for Middle School and below, and free admission for people with a disability
(For update and current information please visit website below)
Website. http://www.vill.higashi.okinawa.jp
Phone number for festival information.  098 043 2265
Food stands. Hot foods starnds are available during the festival period
Stroller Friendly. For the most part, the park is baby stroller friendly

For related articles on the Tsutsuji Matsuri see, http://www.okinawastory.jp/en/special/festivals_hotels/special/f_festivals.html 
http://www.okinawa-information.com/blog/azela-festivaltsutsuji-matsuri 

For information about Azaleas, please visit, 
http://www.pbase.com/azaleasociety/evergreen
http://www.azaleas.org

Directions. Take Highway 329 into Nago City. Then take Highway 331 going north on the eastern side of Okinawa. From Highway 331 take Highway 70. Look for the road signs off of Highway 70 that point to the Azalea Park. During the festival period you may see numerous banner flags along the road side that lead you to the Park. See map for other landmarks of the area.

Other places of interest nearby: The Sakishima Sappanwood Tree (Higashi), The Higashi Museum, Meoto Waterfall.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Okinawa International Orchid Show

An Orchid Flower on display at the Okinawa International Orchid Show


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Okinawa International Orchid Show

     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 41.244E 127 52.567





The Okinawa International Orchid Show - Expo Park


The beginning of the year marks the flower season here on Okinawa. First there are the Cherry Blossoms, then Sunflowers, and then in February, the annual Okinawa International Orchid Show takes place at Expo Park in Motobu. It is here that orchids from around the world are put on display in an array of beauty to be judged for competition. If you are a flower lover, then this is one event you don't want to miss. According to their website, there are at least 10,000 entries from around the world.

About the Competition. There are two divisions for competition: the 'Certification Division' and the 'Competition Division'. The Certification Division covers new hybrids species not yet certified by other organizations and the Competition Division is broken into five sub-categories which include: Potted, Cut Flower, Flower Display, Flower Design (small-large arrangement), and International Entrants. First, second, and third cash prizes are awarded per respective Division/category and a then an overall Grand Champion is selected.

Please go to photo album above, or click here to see other photos of orchids.

Show Period. February (normally about 9-10 days) (2016 January 30 - February 7).
Information. For exact dates, times, entrance fees etc., please go to their website (in english): http://oki-park.jp

Directions. The Orchid Show is at Expo Park in Motobu Town off of Highway 114. To get close to the Orchid Show look for the landmark sign, Parking Area 8, (see map above) and several signs for the Okinawa International Orchid Show. You can also use the swirly tower as a navigating landmark.

Genus Categories: Some of the genus categories of the orchid family found on display include, but not all: Paphiopedilums, Brassavola, Broughtonia, Cattleya, Epidendrum, Lealia, Encyclia, Phragmipedium, Calanthe, Lycaste, Bulbophyllum, Maxillaria, Zygopetalum, Habenaria, Odontoglossum, Cochlioda, Dendrobium.

Other places of interest nearby: Fukugi Trees of Bise Village, Bise Village Shell Shop.