This post was originally published on August 1, 2008. We’re pulling it out of the archives for all of you – especially our newer readers – to enjoy. This year’s parade will be held on Sunday, August 7th (rain date: August 14th). Hopefully you’ll all get the chance to see Eisa in person this summer!
CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER NORDELL
We chose to come to Okinawa so we could experience their rich history and festivals. Long before we even knew we were coming to Okinawa I remember watching the Travel Channel and seeing the Eisa dancers perform. I was mesmerized by the rhythm and movements. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I told my husband that someday I wanted to see the Eisa dancers perform in person.
Now we are living in Okinawa and this Sunday is the 10,000 Eisa Dancers Parade in Naha. I have the chance to see one of the largest Eisa performances right at my finger tips. The only problem is I can find little information about the upcoming event. So I did what any curious person would do – I asked around. Our Okinawa Hai manager, Joelle, was kind enough to share her experience.
When Joelle attended the festival last year, she was accompanied by her mother, her 2-year-old son and her newborn baby. So of course she wanted to park as close as possible. She had never been to Kokuksai Street and looked in vain for parking. Finally she was able to find a parking lot (near Blue Seal ice-cream) with tons of spaces. She was thrilled so she pulled in and got everyone out of the car and ready to go. When she paid the parking attendant he pointed out that now she couldn’t leave. She didn’t realize until then that if she parked on Kokuksai Street she would have to stay until the parade was over!
Joelle decided that rather than pack everything and everyone back up that they would just stay and make a day out of it. It turned out to be a wonderful day. They spent some time watching the parade. Then they enjoyed lunch, playing at the park and shopping with the amazing music in the background. She said she would definitely park on Kokuksai Street again. Here is what she had to say about the parade:
“I had never been to see an Eisa performance before last summer’s 10,000 festival. I knew something about it but had never experienced it close up. And I’ll tell you that when the drummers hit their first beat and began their first song I literally felt my eyes well up with tears. Your body vibrates with the music – it is amazing.”
So dear readers tell us what are your experience or tips? Will I see you at the 10,000 Eisa Dancer’s Parade on Sunday?
10,000 Eisa Dancers Parade
Date: Sunday, August 7, 2016 (rain date: Sunday, August 14)
Fee: FREE to watch!
Location: Kokusai Street, at the intersection of Psion Square and Palette Kumoji
Address: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 900-0000, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 26.1972632, 127.66704570000002