Naha dragon boat race

(那覇ハーリー)

Naha City, Okinawa Pref.

Afternoon See Okinawa

About the festival

The Naha Dragon Boat Race, aka the "Hari", is a festival to pray for a rich catch and safety at sea. The Hari refers to the boat used in the race that was introduced to Okinawa through China during the Ryukyu Dynasty roughly 600 years ago. The boat race is held in ports all over Okinawa generally on May 4th (on the old lunar calendar), however the Naha Dragon Boat Race was moved to the consecutive holiday season so as to accommodate tourists. Also, many of the regional dragon boat races use small-scale row boats called Sabani, however the Naha version uses large-scale boats much longer than the Sabani.
On the opening day, races include battles between Naha City middle schoolers and a few battles amongst working-class adults. On the second day, boats are open for the general audience to experience riding, while on the third and last day the main events are held, including the Ritual Prayer Hari and the Main Hari.
Besides the boat races, there is also a wealth of entertainment including comedic performances, live music, sumo wrestling, firework displays and much more.

068 Reh Naha Dragon Boat Race

Things to do

1. Witness the beautiful over water face-off!

068 Re1 1 Naha Dragon Boat Race
068 Re1 2 Naha Dragon Boat Race
068 Re1 3 Naha Dragon Boat Race

The "Ugan" or Ritual Prayer Hari and the Main "Hon" Hari include traditional costumes worn by the rowers themselves. It is a serious face-off between the three regions of Naha, Kume and Tomari. For the Ritual Prayer Hari that is held first, boats slowly travel the course putting on a traditional show including songs and gongs. Then finally comes Main Hari, where teams compete for the title, covering a full distance of 600 meters.

2. See what it's like to ride a Hari!

Races are held on the first and last day, but on the second day (4th) boats are opened for the general public to experience the Hari. It is recommended that you come early since it is very popular and long lines are expected. English, Chinese and Korean interpreters are available for these hands-on experiences only. Held between 11:00am and 3:00pm. It is free to board the boats and reservations are not needed. 


Picture provided by Naha City

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates Held on national holidays from May 3rd (Wed) through the 5th (Fri), 2017
    Held annually on the same dates.
    There will be no rescheduling. Cancelation due to bad weather will be decided on the morning of the festival.
  • Place Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture, at the new Naha Port Futo
  • General Participation The general public can experience riding the Hari on the 4th (Please check ToDo2).
    You must be at least 100m tall in order to ride the Hari.
    English, Chinese and Korean assistance available during this time only.
  • International Reception and Info. Available at the Naha City Tourist Information Office (English, Chinese, Korean)
    The festival itself is held in Japanese only.
  • Wi-Fi Not available
  • Restrooms Temporary toilets available at the venue
  • Other useful Info. Parking and changing rooms are not available
  • Contact Information is available at the Naha City Tourist Information Office (English, Chinese, Korean)
    098-868-4887
    9:00〜19:30

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Please smoke at the designated smoking areas.
Children who have not entered Elementary School are not permitted to ride the boats.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Naha City

[Nearest Station]
Miebashi Monorail Station

Venue
Address: The New Naha Port Futo, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture
20min walk from the Miebashi Monorail Station

Emiko Izawa
Writer
Born in Shizuoka. I love Sushi, Sake, Shrine, Stationary and Stage!