We almost always use Kadena’s ITT for festivals because we hate dealing with parking and traffic. We happily pay the bus fee to avoid the hassle. The Tedako Festival was described as a country fair, which is partly true, but it’s also a celebration of Urasoe and its beloved King Eiso. His honorific name is Tedako which means “Son of the Sun”.
To be honest, we almost ate the cost of the tour and blew it off because it had been raining on and off all day and the forecast had a couple thunderstorms predicted for the time we’d be at the festival. We went back and forth and made the decision to go at the last minute. I’m so glad we did! It was such a fun night and it ended up being a perfect night for it.
There were stalls lining the path that wraps around the stadium as well as in the parking structure. The vendors sold food, beer, shave ice, ice cream, cotton candy, toys, masks, and light up everything. There were carnival games, a few rides, and a small haunted house that every single group came sprinting out of screaming at the top of their lungs.
From what we were told, this is one of the last festivals to wear a yukata at. Yukatas are lightweight and made of cotton while kimonos are heavier because they’re made of silk. I loved seeing all the varieties of prints everywhere we went.
We thought about sitting down on the tarps on the grass, but they were wet so we went up to the stadium seating. It was a lot farther away, but we still had a great view of the performances. There were bands, eisa dancers, taiko drums, martial artists, historical reenactments, and dancers. Some of the performances were modern, some were traditional, and some were a mix of both. It was so much fun seeing the variety! They closed out the night with a big fireworks show.
We definitely want to go back again next year. Next time we’ll bring our vinyl bottomed picnic blanket and sit down below to get a close up view of all the festivities. Since the vendors used the parking structure, there is no provided parking so we’ll definitely be utilizing ITT again.