Okinawa Day in London (June 2017)

okinawa day

Okinawa Day returns to London Spitalfields market again this year on 24th June for an enjoyable and fun-filled day introducing the unique culture of Okinawa, Japan's southern tropical island chain.

Okinawa Day returns to London Spitalfields market again this year for an enjoyable day filled to the brim with fun, food, and folk dancing aimed at introducing the unique culture of Okinawa to an ever-larger UK audience.

Okinawa is a chain of hundreds of around 160 small, subtropical islands stretching over 1,000 kilometres off the coast of southern Japan.

Tropical islands may not be the first thing which spring to mind when you think of Japan, but the islands of Okinawa thoroughly deserve to be on any Japan visitor’s radar, for their gorgeous and wild natural scenery and immaculate, honeymoon-worthy beaches as much as for their unique culture.
Furuzamami Beach, Kerama Islands

Today, Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, but in ancient times it was its own island kingdom called the Ryukyu Kingdom, meaning that it possesses a unique culture very different from that of mainland Japan.

Launched in 2009 by Okinawa Sanshinkai group, who wanted to introduce Londoners and visitors to the city to the rich and vibrant Okinawan culture and its distinct differences from that of mainland Japan, this year’s event will be the ninth annual Okinawa Day.

The prospective program for this year’s event includes:
Ryukyu Music, Eisa Dance, Karate performances
Performances of Ryukyu performing arts and martial arts by individuals and groups from the UK and Okinawa
Entertainment for kids
Face painting
Okinawan food stalls
Food stalls selling a variety of Okinawan food and drinks, including awamori (Okinawan liquor), brown sugar milk, fruit juice, Okinawan sweets and more.
Okinawan arts and crafts stalls
Arts and crafts stalls selling a variety of unique and original arts and crafts objects from Okinawa as well as Okinawa Day original t-shirts

Don’t miss the displays of Okinawan performing arts in the main square - the lively yet lilting melodies of traditional drumming, Eisa dancing, and Okinawan folk and classical songs accompanied by sanshin lute will instantly transport you to this island paradise in the sunny south of Japan.

Admission to this day of authentic Okinawan-style entertainment is completely free, so make sure you stop by Spitalfields to catch some of the musical performances and sample some of the delicious Okinawan treats on offer.

You can fly into Naha, Okinawa’s capital city, from other places in Japan quickly and easily with cheap direct flights with domestic airlines such as Peach and Jetstar. Fly to Naha from Osaka for around £25 and Fukuoka for around £18 with Peach, or from Tokyo for around £45 with Jetstar.

Check out of Tokyo’s frenetic bubble and notch it down a few gears for a truly calming island getaway in Okinawa, surrounded by palm trees and laidback locals while you get accustomed to the slower pace of island life - Okinawans must be doing something right, as Okinawa has the highest number of centenarians in the world!

See www.londonsanshin/okinawa-day for more information on the program as it is released.
Contact okinawaday2017@gmail.com if you have any questions or enquiries.

When? 24 June 2017, 10:00 - 18:00
Where? Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA

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