A friend of mine told me of his having a chance to talk with a photographer from the main land Japan, who specialized in nature photography. Japan is a country known throughout the world to have four distinguished seasons as well as to be a birthplace of haiku poems with lots of seasonal expressions. This photographer was visiting Okinawa with his keen sensitivities for seasonal charms. The season he was visiting the southernmost prefecture was an early summer, yet there he saw a scene of lush green forest with an open space with Japanese silver grass growing all over the place. He was mesmerized by the early summer represented by the young green leaves of the thick forest in juxtaposition with autumn symbolized by the silver grasses.
"How come it's possible to find Japanese silver grass at this time of the year?" the photographer was asking himself. He didn't know how to categorize the picture of the scene in terms of season. "Kisetsukan," or the sense of the season, becomes weired, the photographer told the friend of mine.
I have another example to illustrate this peculiar season in Okinawa. On the 16th of April (Sat.), in the city of Ginowan, there will be a beach opening festival with fireworks. Since it is still the beginning of spring, where other parts of Japan have barely started their cherry blossom viewing parties, you might think it is a bit too early for us to have a beach festival. "Kaiensai," meaning literary ocean-fire festival, is an annual event organized by Japan Airline Co. Ltd., as an event that will mark "Umibiraki" or the start of swimming season.
With "Golden Week"---a period of successive national holidays in May in Japan---just two weeks away, various tourism-related businesses and the local governments wish to jump into the opportunities for tourism season in Okinawa. Kaiensai is one of those events that take place in Okinawa at this time of the year, and it is probably the biggest and of the most spectacular. Junko Koshino, a worldly famous Japanese designer, will be in charge of designing fireworks. This year, Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc. from the U.S. ---the winner of 2010 Huis Ten Bosch International Pyrotechnician Competition in Nagasaki Prefecture---will join in the event for their displays of designed fireworks.
General information (in English) on Kaiensai Fireworks Festival, go to:
If you can read Japanese or have someone who can read the language and translate it for you, this is the original Kaiensai homepage:
I checked the flyer in PDF but this English-language flyer does not mention anything about ticket prices. So here is the information they put in Japanese-language festival homepage:
Advance tickets are available at a Family Mart convenience store chain till April 15.
Same-day tickets are available at the festival area under the condition that advance tickets are left.
Ticket plus Parking fee: ¥3,500 (Advance) ¥4,000 (Same-day)
Ticket for high school students or older: ¥2,500 (Advance) ¥3,000 (Same-day)
Ticket for elementary and middle school children: ¥1,500 (Advance) ¥2,000 (Same-day)
No charge for pre-school children:
There are special viewing seats available with extra charge:
Special "SS" Seats (only 50 seats): above mentioned fee plus ¥7,500 (comes with roof, table and bench)
Special "S" Seats (only 70 seats): above mentioned fee plus ¥5,000 (comes with tabel and bench)
Special "A" Seats (500 seats): above mentioned fee plus ¥1,000 (comes with a cheir)
*Spectators of Special "A" Seats will be let to the vewing area on a first-come-first-served basis.
**You need not pay for your pre-school child (younger than 1st grader) but there will be no chair for your child; you need to have your child sit on your lap.
I tried to look for any information in regards to parking lots other than the designated lot for the festival, or viewing areas that do not require festival tickets. But there is no information available.
Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau also posts some information on the festival but no details in English are available:
The URLs below are just extra information not related with Kaijinsai fireworks festival:
If you are not able to visit Okinawa, you can also enjoy fireworks festival at Hous Ten Bosch:
The winner of 2010 Hous Ten Bosch Int'l Pyrotechnician Competition: