Shuri Castle & Nakagusuku Castle
Trip Start Jan 25, 2009
6Trip End Jan 27, 2009
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Where I stayed
Tokyo Daiichi Hotel
On day 1, just after we arrived in Okinawa at half past one, we headed for DFS Okinawa in Omoromachi where we were supposed to rent a car. The monorail from the airport to DFS was comfortable, although we were starving because we had planed to eat a flight meal, but it was not served
The first destination was Shuri Castle located in Naha, which is the most touristy castle of Japan. It was rebuilt in 1992 and the original foundation parts are still under the ground. So the castle building itself is new and beautiful. Compared to the other castles of Okinawa, it is easy to imagine what original Okinawan castle was, because the other castles were all ruins without the main buildings. After we parked in the parking lot near Shurei-mon Gate, we walked up to the main buildings. In front of the gate, there was a stage which had Okinawan traditional dance shows. The shows were interesting, but we didn't have enough time to watch all the shows. Paying 800 yen per person for a admission ticket, we passed the gate to the main buildings. Immediately, we found the most picturesque building of Okinawa there, which had completely different appearance from those of Japanese castles. It was mainly colored in red and closer to the palaces I had seen in Korea and China
Shuri Castle Videos
The site also has an image archive.
It was almost six in the evening, when we left the castle. So it was time to go to our hotel, Tokyo Daiichi Hotel, in Okinawa City which was one hour far from the castle. The hotel was located on a hill, so the night view of the city from the 13th floor where we stayed was beautiful. Unfortunately, it was not convenient for shopping in Okinawa, even in a big city like Okinawa City
On the second day in Okinawa, first of all, we visited Nakagusuku Castle. We paid 300 yen admission fee and, just after that, we found cherry blossoms, Kanhi Zakura, blowing in late January in Okinawa, much earlier than the other parts of Japan. To tell the truth, we didn't expect it in Nakagusuku Castle, but in Nakijin Castle. That's why we decided to skip Nakijin Castle later. The castle was a beautiful ruin but much less popular than Shuri Castle, although it is also a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. However I guess some people like it better, because it inspires our imagination. Especially, the farthermost area of the castle park seemed like a real ruin, not restored part, and I liked it. The view of the Pacific Sea from the top of the castle wall was also great.