Tarama village, a small island between Ishikagi and Miyako, Okinawa pref., is one of the most beautiful villages in Japan. You can go there by ship or air from Miyako or by ship from Ishigaki. From August 8 in lunar calendar for 3 days they hold very big dance festival called “August Dance Festival”. This festival is traditional event continuing more than 400 years. In the past July in lunar calendar was the time limit of tax payment, so the people celebrated themselves that they could pay the tax and wish good harvest for the next year.
More than 100 people participate with this event as dancers or assistants.
The performance is made at the special saint place called “Ugan” in local dialog.
On the first day the dance is performed in Nakasuji area at “Ntabaru Ugan”, on the second day in Shiokawa area at “Vidma Ugan” respectively and on the third day in both areas. So, if you would like to enjoy all the performances, the third day is the best.
The performance starts from Lion dance followed by various kinds of local dances by men, women and children.
The performance starts at 10am and finish at 8pm. Not only the dancers but also audiences are really pleased with this event.
No ticket nor prior seat reservation is needed for this event. So, you just come to the “Ugan” and find empty seat and just enjoy the performances.
It is not so convenient to reach to this island, however, you surely feel that this event is worth to be visited.
However, there is quite limited restaurants and lodgings in the island, so it might be better to come to this island for one day trip from Miyako or Ishigaki, or otherwise make reservation of the lodging and bring enough food with you.
Enjoy your stay and dance performance at Tarama!