Okinawa Trip without Car: Part 2: Shurijo Castle Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

首里城公園 アイキャッチ画像

[Introduction]

I traveled to Okinawa for four days and three nights. This time, I visited Okinawa Main Island, mainly Naha area. My concern was that I don’t drive, which might make my trip difficult, but I enjoyed the trip very much by using monorail and taking bus tours. In this article, I will write about Surijo Castle Park as part of Day 1.

[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1: Fly to Okinawa
* Day 1: Surijo Castle Park [This article]
* Day 1: Surijo Castle Park (Light-up)
* Day 2: Naminoue Beach & Fukushuen Garden & Shikinaen Garden
* Day 2: Kokusai Street
* Day 2: Kokusai Street (Night Walk)
* Day 3: Kouri Island
* Day 3: Churaumi Aquarium
* Day 3: Busena Marine Park
* Day 3: Mihama American Village
* Day 4: Sefa-utaki & Mibaru Beach & Himeyuri Peace Museum
* Day 4: Ashibinaa & Chura Sun Beach
* Day 4: Senagajima Umikaji Terrace & Return Home

[Travel Date]
2016.07.01-04

[Main Part]

Shuri Station

I reached Shuri Station to visit Shurijo Castle Park.Shuri station1

There are buses between Shuri station and Shurijo Castle Park, but it takes just about 15 minutes on foot and there are several tourist spots on the way, so I decided to walk to Shurijo Castle Park.Shuri station2

Ryutan Pond

To begin with, I stopped by Ryutan Pond.Ryutan Pond

Ryutan Pond is an artificial pond built in 1427. You can see Shurijo Castle over there as well.Ryutan Pond Shurijo Castle1

Shurijo Castle is lighted up in the evening and Ryutan Pond is famous as its viewing spot, so I will revisit it later.Ryutan Pond Shurijo Castle2

Tamaudun

Then, I visited Tamaudun.Tamaudun1

Tamaudun is a royal mausoleum of the Ryukyu Kingdom.Tamaudun2

It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on December 2, 2000, as a part of the site group Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.Tamaudun3

Shurijo Castle Park

Now I arrived at the entrance of Shurijo Castle Park.Shurijo Castle Park Information center1

Shurijo was the castle for the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which existed for 450 years from 1429 to 1879. It was destroyed in 1945 and then reconstructed in 1992. In 2000, along with other gusuku and related sites, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I will start going around Shurijo Castle Park with Shureimon Gate.Shurijo Castle Park Shureimon Gate1

Shureimon Gate is one of the most famous spots in Shurijo Castle Park along with Seiden, so lots of tourists took photos here.

After passing through Shureimon Gate, many visitors headed to Seiden, but I just took a side walk.""

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I came to Benzaitendo and Enkanchi Pond.Shurijo Castle Park Benzaitendo Enkanchi Pond

I retuned to normal route and headed to Seiden. There were several gates before reaching Seiden. This is Kankaimon Gate (the first gate).Shurijo Castle Park Kankaimon Gate

Zuisenmon Gate (the second gate).Shurijo Castle Park Zuisenmon Gate

Roukokumon Gate (the third gate).Shurijo Castle Park Roukokumon Gate

Koufukumon Gate (the fourth gate).Shurijo Castle Park Koufukumon Gate

I took a side walk again.""

Shurijo Castle Park Iri-no-Azana1

I stopped by Iri-no-Azana, an observation deck from which visitors can see Naha city.Shurijo Castle Park Iri-no-Azana2

I returned to normal route.""

Shurijo Castle Park consists of free area and paid area, and visitors needs to pay admission beyond this point.""

The paid area includes Seiden, which is the representative building in Shurijo Castle Park. I looked forward to seeing it.

However, I found Seiden was under construction.Shurijo Castle Park Seiden1

Lacquer recoating work has been conducted since April 2017 and will continue until the end of 2017. If you plan to visit Shurijo Castle Park, please be careful about recoating work.

In the pai area, there are several buildings including Seiden, Nanden and Hokuden, and visitors are able to enter them, though photo taking is allowed only at designated areas.

Here are photos of inside Nanden and Seiden.""

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Shurijo Castle Park Seiden2

Shurijo Castle Park Seiden3

Shurijo Castle Park Seiden4

Other snaps in the paid area.Shurijo Castle Park garden

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In Hokuden, miniature model Shurijo Castle was displayed.首里城 模型1

首里城 模型2

After leaving the paid area, I walked around a free area in the north, which has been recently opened. Here are some snap photos.""

Shurijo Castle Park1

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Shurijo Castle Park2

Shurijo Castle Park3

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Then, I passed Shureimon gate andShurijo Castle Park Shureimon Gate2

left Shurijo Castle Park temporarily.Shurijo Castle Park Information center2

[Closing]

That’s it for the article about Shurijo Castle Park as part of Day 1 of my Okinawa trip.

In terms of photo taking, it was sad that Seiden was covered with protective sheets due to recoating work, but as a whole there was still plenty to see in Shurijo Castle Park. In particular, the new area I visited at the end was very photogenic and I would recommend it 🙂

In the next article, I will write about light-up at Shurijo Castle Park as part of Day 1.

[Map]

[Related Link]
Visit Okinawa Japan – Official Travel and Tourism Information
Okinawa Labo
Shurijo Castle Park

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