Travel Tuesday: Six Must See Flower Festivals in Okinawa

 

Flower festivals in Okinawa are pretty amazing! The festival part tends to be pretty similar for most of them, but the flowers all differ so much! The other amazing part about a lot of the festivals is that many of them happen during the middle of winter in Okinawa! Nothing cheers up a grey day like going and seeing a giant field or mountainside of blooming flowers!

6. Cosmos

While this one isn't technically a festival how could I resist sharing an entire field of cosmos? The field of cosmos bloom throughout the month of January and were planted as a memorial for the victims of a landslide and every year there is a lovely field of cosmos. More info can be found here

5. Hydrangeas

The worst part of the hydrangea festival is that it is in late May and early June... and that means it gets hot in Okinawa! Be prepared to sweat and enjoy the mountainside covered in all different colors of hydrangea blooms. More info here, and be sure to put in on your calendar for this year! 

4. Little Yellow Flowers

There doesn't seem to be any reference online in English to this awesome festival we stumbled across on Christmas Eve two years ago at Nakagusuku Castle. The best explanation we were able to understand was that it was a festival celebrating the little yellow flowers that were in bloom! Even if you don't stop by during the "little yellow flower" season be sure to check out the Nakagususku Castle ruins.

3. Sunflowers 

Close to the Nakagusuku Castle ruins is the sunflower festival! This one typically happens in early February and is so cheerful and well... sunny! You can wander mazes through the fields of sunflowers to enjoy them surrounding you! If you're interested here is more information.

2. Orchid Show

Once again this one isn't technically a festival, but it is the Okinawa International Orchid Show! There are tons of amazing orchid displays to wander through. There is a small fee to enter the show, but the orchid displays are well worth it! 

1. Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)

I can't list the must see flower festivals in Okinawa and skip the best one, the cherry blossom, also known as sakura festival! They are the first cherry blossoms to bloom in Japan and nothing quite beats seeing clouds of pink blossoms! They don't stick around long, but they are breathtaking when they do bloom! Here is more on the cherry blossom festivals!

Travel Tuesday: Off To See The Sakura

 

Yesterday started out with a rather different plan in place on where we would meander to. Then I started seeing cherry blossom photos from a few local photographer friends, and knew that finding cherry blossoms (also known as sakura) would be even better than the original plan! The first place we stopped at didn't have many trees in bloom yet, so we headed onto the next location and we were rewarded with a section of trees all in bloom at the same time, creating a gorgeous canopy of pink blooms! Not only that but we found a real parking space, which is nearly unheard of in Okinawa! 

I'll miss scenes like these when we move to California in a couple of months. There will be new sights and new places to explore, but I will miss the random beauty of Okinawa. 

One thing I adore about the cherry blossoms is that they make everything seem like it is straight out of a fairy tale.  Nothing like a cloud of pink blossoms to make reality seem even more special. 

We ended up pulling over rather quickly to get the sunset over the water photos. I couldn't resist stopping to appreciate the moment, to soak in the rays of light as the day was coming to a close. It may not be a resolution, but this year I am trying to appreciate all the small moments. Moments like spending the day in the company of some pretty amazing ladies, smelling the cherry blossoms, seeing a stunning sunset, and even trying a "chocolate water" (pretty sure it was supposed to be chocolate milk, but it tasted like chocolate water) from the convenience store.  What have been some of your favorite moments in 2014 so far?