It has been raining everyday for the past 7 days, its been a little tough to just go somewhere due to the crazy weather but we managed this week! Hopefully we can keep it going. Our next stop was Shurijo Castle. It was only a 25 minute drive located in Naha so we decided sure why not let’s go on an adventure in the rain. When we arrived there there were signs letting us know where to park. It was a parking structure and we had to back into the parking spot. Danny was driving so he did it like a pro. Moving right along. The trip around the park is free the only place where you have to pay to enter is the Shurijo Castle Seiden and all the perks that are in that space. Plus side the admission to the area is only ¥820 and for an annual pass its ¥1640 so its not bad at all. Its really worth paying though, they take credit cards only ¥ though. But they have a currency converter by the parking structure and an atm.
Before we start the journey a little history of the castle through the pamphlet. The Shurijo Castle had flourished as the center of politics, diplomacy, and culture in the Ryukyu Kingdom. The castle was destroyed many times throughout its history. It was restored as a national park in 1992 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration and has regained its splendid appearance.
We started our adventure through the parking structure. We got a stamp book in the beginning and there are stops in the park to stamp where you are in the book. It was raining too hard to do this; next time we go we’ll probably do it since we bought and annual passport. I will be going into details in every picture if you’re all interested in what each structure is and some history (which is directly taken from the pamphlet that was given to us in the beginning of our journey)! Joins us through our pictures!
This gate was built in the reign of King Sho Sei (1527-1555). On the placard is inscribed “Shurei no muni,” meaning “A Land of Propriety.”
Sonohyan-utaki Stone Gate:
The king would pray in front of this stone gate and pray for a safe journey upon his departure from the castle.
The front gate of the Shurijo Castle. It was named Kankaimon as a way of welcome to the visitors to the castle, such as the “Sapposhi,” the Chinese investiture envoys.
Zuisen means “a splendid and auspicious spring.” The gate takes its name from the Ryuhi spring just in front of it.
It was raining so hard at this point but no rain was going to stop us!
The Tomoya was restored based on old pictures and records.
What’s a trip to a castle without a selfie!?
We got there right on time to see dances! Also, they had a screen where everything was translated.
On the east-side of this structure housed the “Okumiza,” managing the official registry records and on the west was the “Jishaza” the offices managing the temples.
Shurijo Castle Seiden: (paid admission part)
Shurijo Castle was the royal seat of the Ryukyu Kingdom for approximately 500 years. It served as the Kingdom’s political economical and cultural core. This site was designated as a World Heritage Site in December, 2000. The 11th World Heritage site within Japan.
We went inside a building next to the castle we were not allowed to take any pictures or video. It was almost like a museum. But within the building there was a tea house and we only paid ¥320 for a traditional tea ceremony, we were allowed to take pictures of that. Also, we were not allowed to wear shoes in any part of this area.
This was used to communicate with the government and the residence space. Boundaries were set between these two.
Inside the castle Seiden:
Model of the Castle:
This was the largest area within the castle grounds where important rituals and observances are held.
The end of our journey. It was so much fun and definitely worth it even though it was raining like crazy. If you all want to see more pictures aside from the ones here just click on the link provided. If you have any questions regarding the Castle please feel free to leave a comment. Help you all enjoy the post and feel free to share.