Torii Station Spring Festival strengthens spirit of friendship with Okinawa community

By Natalie Stanley, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public AffairsApril 29, 2024

“Eisa” dancers perform at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. Torii Station was opened to the public for the day to share in the festivities and strengthen the spirit of friendship with the Okinawa community.
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – “Eisa” dancers perform at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. Torii Station was opened to the public for the day to share in the festivities and strengthen the spirit of friendship with the Okinawa community. (Photo Credit: Ichiro Tokashiki, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
The III Marine Expeditionary Force Brass Band performs at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. More than 5,000 community members, including service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and Okinawan locals, enjoyed a day filled with live music, a selfie booth, e-bike tours, games, children’s attractions, refreshments, and more.
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The III Marine Expeditionary Force Brass Band performs at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. More than 5,000 community members, including service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and Okinawan locals, enjoyed a day filled with live music, a selfie booth, e-bike tours, games, children’s attractions, refreshments, and more. (Photo Credit: Ichiro Tokashiki, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Torii MWR Arts and Crafts team member Tadasu Sueyoshi makes balloon animals for children at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan.
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Torii MWR Arts and Crafts team member Tadasu Sueyoshi makes balloon animals for children at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. (Photo Credit: Natalie Stanley, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
An “Eisa” dancer prepares for his performance at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. Torii Station was opened to the public for the day to share in the festivities and strengthen the spirit of friendship with the Okinawa community.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An “Eisa” dancer prepares for his performance at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. Torii Station was opened to the public for the day to share in the festivities and strengthen the spirit of friendship with the Okinawa community. (Photo Credit: Natalie Stanley, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese children play a game of cornhole at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. More than 5,000 community members, including service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and Okinawan locals, enjoyed a day filled with live music, a selfie booth, e-bike tours, games, children’s attractions, refreshments, and more.
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese children play a game of cornhole at the U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Spring Festival April 20, 2024, at Torii Station, Japan. More than 5,000 community members, including service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and Okinawan locals, enjoyed a day filled with live music, a selfie booth, e-bike tours, games, children’s attractions, refreshments, and more. (Photo Credit: Natalie Stanley, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

TORII STATION, Okinawa – A daylong festival aimed at strengthening the spirit of friendship between the Army and its host-nation community drew 5,000 visitors, including Okinawan locals, here April 20.

The Spring Festival offered service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and off-post guests a day filled with live music, a selfie booth, e-bike tours, games, children’s attractions, refreshments, and more.

“This event bridges the gap between the military and local civilians,” said Lt. Col. Rachel Bowers, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa. “It brings us together as a full community living in Okinawa and gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation for our Okinawa community.”

For Marine Staff Sgt. Christian Smith, assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, the event was an opportunity to interact with the community and enjoy family time.

“We have been on Okinawa for a month [and] we wanted to get out and explore the island some more today,” Smith said. “The event has been awesome, the kids love it, and we’re having a great time. I like all the opportunities here on Okinawa for families.”

Spring is a busy season for festivals on Okinawa, and the USAG Okinawa leadership said they were honored to host an event that welcomed the local community.

“We are the Army’s home on Okinawa, and we work hard on it every day,” Bowers said. “This event was our way of giving back to the community and having a chance to just relax for the day.”