The 33rd annual Okinawan Festival took place this past Labor Day weekend on September 5 & 6, 2015 at Kapiolani Park, once again proving it’s the largest, most popular cultural festival in the state of Hawaii. Thousands upon thousands of folks — both tourists and locals — braved the intense summer/post-tropical storm heat, showing their support for Uchinanchu pride, creating long lines for a taste of Andagi to Champuru, all while enjoying the rich cultural dance and music native of the Ryukyu Islands.
Following are photos I shot on both Saturday and Sunday, mostly around the early afternoon time frame. Enjoy!
Showing off a Champuru plate, let’s start with da’ Okinawan Festival grindz!
Yaki Soba: Okinawan-style soba noodles stir-fried with vegetables and luncheon meat and a special chef’s sauce ~ $6 (12 scrips)
Yaki Soba (same plate as above, angle “B”)
Yaki Soba station
Okinawan Pig’s Feet Soup: In Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language), it’s called ashitibichi. Pig’s feet and spareribs are cooked in a soup stock and garnished with konbu (seaweed), daikon (radish), togan (squash) and mustard cabbage – and served with hot rice. ~ $10 (20 scrips)
Champuru Plate: Vegetables and agedofu (deep-fried tofu), mixed together champuru-style, stir-fried, served with hot rice, Okinawan shoyu pork, and a pork and miso garnish called andamisu. ~ $9 (18 scrips)
Champuru Plate (my plate!)
Andamiso for the Champuru plate (as good as GOLD right there!)
Maki Sushi & Yakitori Stick Obento (with Takuan)
Oki Dog: Hot Dog, Zippy’s Chili, Okinawan Shoyu Pork (Rafute) and Shredded Lettuce, wrapped up like a burrito in a soft flour Tortilla
Andadog production line
Andadog shown “in situ”, meaning, “in its original place”
The Okinawan Festival Andadog is essentially a Hot Dog dipped in Okinawan Andagi batter (“roughly” think doughnut), deep-fried to perfection, hence the Asian version of an all-American Corn Dog
The Okinawan Festival Andadog is so, so sugoi oishii-yo!!!
Okinawan Festival’s Andadog = (arguably) The Best Hot Dog in the WORLD!
Andagi ~ 3 for $2.50 (5 scrips)
Okinawan Festival Andagi Express Cart (how cool is that?!!!)
The Okinawan Festival Andagi Express Cart quickly gets swamped by Andagi-craving festival patrons!
Chinagu Eisa Hawaii group giving free Okinawan Eisa Taiko lessons
Huge crowd gathers around the Kapiolani Park Bandstand on a HOT Sunday afternoon to enjoy the music and dance of Okinawa
Here’s a video clip (HD available) I shot of two traditional Okinawan folk dances demonstrated at the Okinawan cultural tent on Sunday afternoon (the second dance is much more lively, so hang in there for that one)…
This video clip is from a fantastic MEGA-performance on Saturday…