Okinawa Tourism Information:“Ahuge,8-meter-highRyukyuanKing!?RyukyuLanternFestival”

“A huge, 8-meter-high Ryukyuan King!? Ryukyu Lantern Festival”

post : 2016.01.08 19:00

Located in Yomitan Village in the central part of mainland Okinawa, “Murasaki Mura” a sightseeing theme park where a typical Ryukyuan townscape from the Ryukyu Kingdom period is reproduced on the premise of 15,000 tsubo (nearly 5 ha).  The park mainly offers cultural experience programs in a daytime; however, it entertains you with night tourism from December 1!  “Ryukyu Lantern Festival,” which will be held through February 21, 2016, starts at 18:00 every evening.  You can enjoy the light-up event at night especially in the winter season.  What’s more interesting is that this is the first, full-fledged lantern festival in Okinawa!

The admission fee is the same as usual, 600 yen for adults.  And on top of that, if you show the half of an admission ticket used in a day time, you can reenter the park in the evening on the same day.  It is great since you can enjoy the place twice in one day!  You are pleased that night landscape lighting presents different night landscape from the one at day time.  

Especially you will be overwhelmed when entering “Experience Hall Tenshikan”!  There are lines of lanterns which you can almost reach.  After going through the lantern illumination…,

You will find this kind of atmosphere that can be found in Taiwan or China.  This hall was modeled after “Tenshikan,” an accommodation for Chinese envoys during the Ryukyu Kingdom era.  The building perfectly matches with the lights of the lanterns. 

The main attraction spot of “Ryukyu Lantern Festival” is just behind this lantern arch!  Please don’t miss the square next to the stage.

This is the highlight!  You will be welcomed by a huge, 8-meter-high Ryukyuan king made with lights!  The foundation is 2-meter high, so it is totally 10 meter high, and gives you a sense of the tremendous existence!  In addition to that, about 2m-high-lanterns of Eisa dancers and Ryukyuan dancers with hanagasa (flower-shaped hat) are displayed as very uniquely Okinawan light objects in glow.  

At the building “Ryukyu Butokukan,”  Stage presentation with projection mapping is shown from December 19 to February 21, 2016, three times a day: 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00. 

Every Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy a variety of stage entertainment, including traditional performing arts and music.  Shows are held three times: 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00.  You can appreciate a traditional performing art, “Umamee of Takashiho,” which can be enjoyed only in Yomitan Village.   (*The performing art is held on December 23 & 24, January 3 and February 7 & 8.!)

Also there is a section for displaying handmade lantern objects with motifs representing Yomitan Village including an image character of Yomitan Village called “Yomiton,” “Beniimo (purple-colored sweet potato) Tart,” “Awamori Zampa,” etc.  Please stop by there and enjoy it!   

At “Kukuru Kanade Theater,” a DVD on the creative Ryukyuan kumi-odori dance “Swimmy” are shown two times every evening: 18:30 and 19:30.  As for New Year special performance, you can appreciate the live stage performance of “Swimmy” on January 3!

Food stands including a popular Okinawan Soba shop “Kinchichi Soba Shop” in Yomitan Village await you.  In winter season this year, a World Heritage Site “Zakimi Castle Ruins” is lit while “Murasaki Mura” started “Ryukyu Lantern Festival,” where visitors can be entertained with about 1,000 lanterns, this year.  “Yomitan Yoru Akari (Yomitan Light-up Night” is held at every spot, so why don’t you enjoy the night tourism in Yomitan Village?  

”Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2015”

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 to Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016
Light-up Time: 18:00-22:00(The park opens at 9:00.)
Place: Murasaki Mura (1020-1, Aza-Takashiho, Yomitan Village, Okinawa)
TEL:098-958-1111

Admission: 600 yen for adults (including college students); 500 yen for junior high and high school students; 400 yen elementary school students
Parking: Available (Free)
Official Website: http://ryukyu-lantern.com

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer   Hiroshi Kuwamura (KUWA)

Information