The Hawaii Okinawan Festival is a two-day celebration of Japanese heritage and culture held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. The festival attracts about 50,000 attendees annually. Visitors can learn Okinawan language and culture at the Cultural Tent, see Okinawan ceramics, fabric, and glassware, as well as bonsai plants from the Hawaii Bonsai Association. The festival features lots of hands-on experiences of Japanese arts along with calligraphy and flower arrangement demonstrations. Everyone has a chance to try on an Okinawan costume—a female kimono with hanagasa or a paranku drummer outfit.
The Okinawan Festival was first started in 1982 and has become one of the most popular in the state due to colourful performances like taiko, dance and martial arts. Another attraction is food. Don't miss your chance to try maki sushi, champuru plate, steamed Okinawan sweet potato, pig’s feet soup, soba, and more Okinawan delicacies. Okinawa's rice liquor awamori tastings take place during the festival as well.
The third floor of the Convention Center features Heiwa Doori or Okinawa street market with many foods like konbu (dried kelp), bitter melon, andagi mix and kokuto candy. After enjoying the food, take a look at minyo and yui buyo performances by local and Japanese artists. The festival is free and has something exciting for everyone.