CONTRIBUTED BY ANTHONY CAMINA
If you want to get a dose of culture, doused with mud, and crafty all while having a good time then the Tanbo Festa in Kin Town is the annual event for you. The Tanbo Festival is specifically located in and around the Nature Miraikan park facility, which is north of the Kin Blue training area. This park is a popular place all year round with locals and tourists who enjoy the beautiful scenery while camping, canoeing, and various other outdoor activities.
In previous years this event was in May but organizers wanted to push the date later when the weather was not as chilly. This year the Tanbo Festival will be July 5th from 1000-1800 which works well for both Japanese and American school aged children. While the education and entertainment of the island’s children is a focus of the festival adults are encouraged to participate in all activities.
The activities this year are:
Canoe Rides. The canoe ride station will send out canoes every 40 minutes. The ride will take approximately thirty minutes. The price for this ride is 500 yen for kindergarten or younger children and 1000 yen for first grade students or older.
Banana boat rides. The banana boat ride station will run from 1000-1700 and cost 500 yen per person. The ride is expected to last 50 minutes. You have to be at least ten years old to ride the banana boat and children aged 10-12 must have a parent accompany them.
Water buffalo cart rides. The buffalo cart rides are expected to last an hour each ride. The price will be 800 yen a person. Children 3-10 years old will require parental supervision to be able to attend the ride. Each cart can hold about twenty people.
Shisa decorating station. You can adorn your island talisman with your personal style at this location. To participate it will cost you 500 yen and thirty minutes of your time per Shisa (lion dog.) There will be enough supplies here for 200 people.
Flip Flop craftwork station. Bring out your artistic flair in something useful you can take home. This activity will cost 1000 yen, is expected to last about 90 minutes and will have enough supplies to accommodate up to 200 people. When supplies run out the station will shut down.
Original Photo Frame station. This craft area actually is divided into two parts. The first photo frame craft table will be for people who want to use shells and beads as decorations. The second photo frame craft area will be for individuals who would rather use colored sand as an artistic medium. The price for these crafts will be 500 yen per frame and each frame is expected to take about an hour. The supplies are expected to accommodate 200 patrons.
Coral pen stand craft station. Instructors in this area will assist you in using local coral to craft a beautiful holder for your office area. Supplies for this station will be a bit scarce so only 100 people will be able to enjoy this activity. It will cost you 500 yen and is expected to take about an hour to make one pen holder.
Bingata stenciling station. You can make your own Bingata on a piece of material roughly the size of a handkerchief. Children 10 years age and younger will require adult supervision to participate in this activity. The cost to make your own Bingata will be 1000 yen and is expected to take about 30 minutes.
Personalized chopstick carving. Instructors will supervise the carving of traditional chopsticks from solid blocks of wood. The price to carve your own chopsticks will be 1000 yen per person. Children 3-10 years old will require parental supervision to participate. It is estimated that each chopstick set will require 30 minutes to fabricate. This station will also be offering wooden spoon carving for the same price and time requirement. This station will only be able to accommodate 50 wood carvers.
Car woodcraft station. Like the chopstick station, an instructor will assist in carving car shapes out of wood and assembling them. Because of the tools involved in wood carving, children aged 3-10 will require adult parental supervision to participate. Car woodcraft will cost 1000 yen, take about 30 minutes per car and will have enough supplies for one hundred cars.
Shisa or Hibiscus key holder craft station. This activity will cost 800 yen per item and is expected to last 40 minutes. Children ages 3-10 can participate with parental supervision.
Glass bottom boat rides. The glass bottom boat will be located in the primary parking area for the even at the Hamada Fishing Port (adjacent to the Kin Power Plant). The glass bottom boat rides will cost 500 yen per person and each ride should be about 30 minutes. The minimum age to ride the boat is ten years old and children aged 10-12 years will need a parent with them to ride.
Nagashi Somen. Try some tasty noodles as they flow down a traditional bamboo slide. It’s a Japanese thing, just go with it. It will cost you 300 yen to dig in with the locals.
The primary event prominently displayed on the signs and fliers for the Tanbo Festival is the Rice Field Mud Romp. Children and adults can get close to nature by splashing around in the mud fields. The mud area will have swings and slides designated for children and separate slides for adults. It is expected to be good old fashioned filthy fun for all. This event will run all day and costs 300 yen to participate.
Aside from all the activity stations there will also be entertainment in the form of a Hero Show which will host an appearance from the Power Ranger Nin-Ninja team at 1600. There will also be a juggling street performer, bouncy castle, inflatable maze, and refreshment drink stand. If you work up an appetite there will also be food vendors selling traditional festival food.
Tanbo Festa, Kin Town
Address: 11818 Kin, Kin-chō, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 904-120
GPS Coordinates: 26.454512, 127.941905
Directions: The Miraikan Center is located in Kin Town downstream from Kin Dam. From the expressway 8 Exit travel north toward Camp Hansen. After passing Camp Hansen Gate 2 drive under the bridge and turn right at the light (this is the route 104 intersection). Follow the road until you see a large colorful sign for the park. The sign has pictures of cartoon taro characters and has pictures of people in canoes. Turn left at the sign.
Parking for the event will also be at the Hamada Fishing port near the Kin Power Plant. A free shuttle bus will drive people back and forth to the festival.
click to enlarge flier