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Your Guide to The 50th Naha Hari Festival in Okinawa, May 3-5, 2024

  • Events

Get ready for the grand spectacle of the 50th Naha Hari (Dragon Boat) festival! This annual May celebration is one of the top three events in Naha, showcasing the thrilling and colorful dragon boat races, affectionately called “Hari.” Dive into the excitement and join the festivity that lights up the city every year!

What to Expect at the 50th Naha Hari 🐉

This year marks the 50th occurrence of the Naha Hari, set against the scenic backdrop of Naha Port. Last year’s event drew an impressive crowd of 173,000 attendees, and this year is expected to attract even more spectators and participants.

The History of Naha Hari

The Naha Hari, a vibrant dragon boat race, has several theories about its origin. One popular belief is that it was introduced by the Kume Thirty-six Surnames, a group from China who settled in Okinawa in the 14th century. Another theory suggests that a man named Nagahama Taiyu brought the concept back from Nanjing, China, after witnessing dragon boat races there, and subsequently organized similar competitions in Naha Port.

The Naha Hari became a significant national event during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. However, it was discontinued in 1879 when the kingdom was abolished and replaced by prefectures. The tradition saw a brief revival as a local festival but completely stopped after 1928.

The race made a comeback in 1975, timed with the Okinawa Ocean Expo, as part of the celebrations marking Okinawa’s return to Japanese administration. Since then, it has grown to become one of the leading cultural events in Okinawa.

Event Highlights

  • Maritime Events: Witness thrilling boat races involving schools, community groups, and more.
  • Onshore Festivities: Enjoy a variety of food stalls, merchandise vendors, and explosive stage events capped off with stunning fireworks.


Naha Port Shinminato Pier
Address: 1-1-13 Minatomachi, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture 〒900-0001
📍Google Pin:

Okinawa Hari Festival Inspired Beach Towel

Designed and hand drawn on Okinawa by local artist featuring the biggest event and scenery of May in Okinawa.

Detailed Event Schedule

Maritime Events Schedule

May 3, 2024 (Friday)

10:00 AMRacing (Middle School Boys)
11:30 AMRacing (Middle School Girls)
1:00 PMRacing (PTA Group)
2:15 PMFinals (Middle School Boys)
2:30 PMFinals (Middle School Girls)
2:45 PMRacing (Community Groups)

May 4, 2024 (Saturday) – Experience Boat Rides

10:45 AMExperience Boat Rides (Session 1)
12:45 PMExperience Boat Rides (Session 2)

May 5, 2024 (Sunday) – Racing & Traditional Events

10:00 AMRacing (General A)
1:30 PMRacing (High Schools)
2:00 PMRacing (General B)
4:05 PMFinals A
4:25 PMFinals B
4:45 PMUgann Hari
5:15 PMMain Hari

Onshore Stage Events Schedule

May 3 (Friday)

2:00 PMOkinawa Actors School B.B. WAVES jr.
7:00 PMKiiyama Store

May 4 (Saturday)

11:30 AMGFO Idol Live “Part 1”
1:30 PMGFO Idol Live “Part 2”
3:30 PMHanayakara
5:00 PMHoRookies
7:00 PMIsland Bananas

May 5 (Sunday)

11:00 AMKidzy vs. Spring Man Competition
12:30 PMSol Sea Merry
2:00 PMMr. Izena Hisao “Fun! Fall Prevention Exercise Class”
7:00 PMKina Shoukichi
8:40 PMSpecial Fireworks Display 🎆

Why You Should Be Excited 🌟

The Naha Hari is not just about the races; it’s a cultural celebration that includes music, dance, traditional outfits, and communal festivities that bring the community together. The event offers a unique glimpse into Okinawan culture through its traditional and modern manifestations.

Whether you’re a returning visitor or new to this vibrant festival, the 50th Naha Hari promises an array of activities and spectacles that cater to all ages. It’s a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the excitement of dragon boat racing!

Okinawa Hari Waterproof Sticker

Created on Okinawa featuring a moment in the Hari festival. Waterproof and UV proof materials. Worldwide shipping.


⚠️Disclaimer: Our passion for supporting local businesses drives us to share information about events in the Okinawa area. Please note that Oki Social is not responsible for hosting this event. It’s important to be aware that the event’s host reserves the right to make changes or even cancel the event without prior notice. Some photos and videos may come from various sources on the internet, whether official or unofficial. It is possible that some photos and videos may have been taken from the same event in previous occurrences.

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