【Okinawa Travel Info】Tourist information for Okinawa,Japan

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《We'll be in the New Year's holiday from》 December 28th (Thu), 2017 - January 4th (Thu), 2018
Reservations will be accepted until Noon(Japan time) of the 27th for the year.Reservations and inquiries sent to us later than that will be replied after January 5th, 2018.

Sightseeing

Around ShuriNaha

[ID:13203]Shurijo Castle Park

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Cardinal world heritage in Ryukyu kingdom's glory.Shurijo castle was the administrative center of the Ryukyu kingdom, and was the focal point of foreign trade, as well as the political, economic and cultural heart of the Ryukyus. In 2000, along with other gusuku and related sites, it was designated as the 11th UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique structure and architecture that have combined Japanese with chinese styles.

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Basic Information

Name Shurijo Castle Park
Address 1−2kanagusuku-cho, syuri, naha-shi, okinawa 903-0815

(〒903-0815 沖縄県那覇市首里金城町1-2)
Access If you're arriving by car or taxi, please ask the attendant if there is a space available in the Suimuikan underground car park.

MAPCODE-HR: 33 161 526*71
*"マップコード" and "MAPCODE" are registered trademarks by DENSO corporation.
Phone
Shop Hour April - June 08:30 - 19:00 Last Entry: 18:30
July - September 08:30 - 20:00 Last Entry: 19:30
October - November 08:30 - 19:00 Last Entry: 18:30
December - March 08:30 - 18:00 Last Entry: 17:30
Closed first Wednesday and Thursday of the July
Price 【General】
Adult/ ¥820
Child (High school)/ ¥820
Child (Elementary and junior high) / ¥310
Free for under 6 years old

【Group of 20 or more】
Adult/ ¥660
Child (High school)/ ¥490
Child (Elementary and junior high)/ ¥250

【Yearly pass】
Adult/ ¥1,640
Child (High school)/ ¥1,240
Child (Elementary and junior high)/ ¥620

※Discounted group tickets must be purchased together.
※Free of admission for disabled ID holder. One attendant is also free.
※College ID holders must show their ID for discount.
Payment method VISAMASTERJCBAMEX銀聯

Duration
Language(MENU) English / 繁體中文 / 简体中文 / 한국어
WiFi
Other features There is underground parking on the B1 and B2 floors of the Suimuikan.
Fee: Large car / ¥940、Small car / ¥310
Parking lot opens: April - June 8:00~20:00 / July - September 8:00~21:00 / October and November 8:00~20:00 / December - march 8:00~19:00
*Toll parking lot nearby in case it's full.

Cardinal world heritage that shows prosperity of the Ryukyus

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Shuri castle that was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, was reconstructed in 1992. It is now the proud symbol of the Ryukyu heritage and visitors can take a trip back in time surrounded by the impressive residence of the Ryukyu royalty. It is located on top of a hill at the height of 120-130 meters. It stands on the top of a hill where the whole Naha town can be seen from and had been admired as a holy place as well. The Shuri castle park is the restoration of the Ryukyu Kingdom itself including slopes, staires and stone-paved road which will make it easier with stable shoes to walk on.

Shureimon

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The term Shurei means ‘observation of the proprieties’. The plaque on the gate is inscribed ‘Shurei-no-kuni’ (Land of Propriety), in praise of the refined manners and proprieties of the Ryukyus. Of the many stonewalls and gates in shurijo Castle, Shureimon best exemplifies the castle’s style, with its balance of design and elegance. It is a Chinese turret gate.

In addition to their official names, many gates and buildings in Shurijo Castle have nicknames that reflect the poetic sense of bygone Ryukyu. Shureimon was formerly called Shurijomon, and fondly referred to as ‘Ii-no-ayajo’ by commoners, meaning the beautiful gate above.

 

The gate was first built sometime between 1527-55 during the reign of King Sho Sei, fourth ruler of the second Sho Dynasty. Although designated a national treasure in 1933, the gate was lost in the Battle of Okinawa. The present gate was restored in 1958 and has served as a tourist destination symbolizing Okinawa. The picture of the gate is printed on the 2,000-yen bill in commemoration of the year 2000.

Sonohyan-utaki Stone Gate

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Built of Ryukyu limestone, the gate served as a site of worship where the King prayed for a safe journey before his departures. Though shaped like a gate, it is not for humans, but rather serves as a link to the gods.

The plaque set above the gate indicates that it was built in 1519 during the reign of King Sho Shin. It was reportedly constructed by a master Ryukyuan stonemason, and was designated a national treasure in 1933. The gate was severely damaged during the Battle of Okinawa and restored in 1957. It is now a designated important cultural asset by the national government and was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Kankaimon

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Kankaimon is the first front gate to Shurijo Castle. The word ‘Kankai’ means welcome.

The gate was named to express welcome to the investiture envoys that visited Shurijo Castle as representatives of the Chinese emperor. Kankaimon is the first gate located on the outer wall of the castle, which is surrounded by double walls. The gate is also referred to ‘Amae-ujo’. ‘Amae’ in ancient Ryukyuan means joyful.

First built around 1477-1500 during the reign of King Sho Shin, the gate was burned down during the Battle of Okinawa and restored in 1974.

A wooden turret sits atop a stone arch, an architectural style also seen in Kyukeimon and Keiseimon. Shisa stone lions sit on both sides of the gate to keep away evil spirits.

Ryuhi

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dragon sculpture. It provided drinking water for the palace. While the Chinese investiture envoys stayed in Okinawa, these waters were delivered daily to a guesthouse called ‘Tenshikan’ near the port of Naha. The dragon sculpture came from China in 1523, and what you see here is an original that dates back some 500 years.

瑞泉門(ずいせんもん)

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‘Zuisen’ means great, auspicious fountain. Zuisenmon gate was named for the Ryuhi spring located to the right in front of the gate. This is the second gate to the Castle.

The gate is also called ‘Hikawa-ujo’. ‘Hi’ is a water conduit to draw water from a river or spring, or to direct rainwater from the roof to the ground. ‘Kawa’ or ‘ka’ in Okinawan means a well, spring or river. The word ‘hikawa’ thus combines these meanings.

Built circa 1470, the gate was burned down during the Battle of Okinawa and restored in 1992. A pair of stone lion figures can be seen on both sides of the gate to ward off evil.

Unlike the stone arch of Kankaimon, Zuisenmon is made of two walls with a turret on top. This type of gate is commonly found in Japanese castles, but the plaque in the center of the turret inscribed with the word ‘Zuisen’ adds a distinctively Ryukyuan flavor.

Roukokumon

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‘Roukoku’ means water clock in Chinese. This third gate to the Castle was also called ‘Kagoise-ujo’, or palanquin-boarding gate, because senior court officials arriving at Shurijo Castle would alight from their palanquins here out of respect for the King. It was first built during the 15th Century.

It is said that a water tank was installed in the turret on top of the gate, and the amount of water dripping was used to measure time. At certain hours, the official in charge struck the drum to tell time. Officials at the Agari-no-azana, Iri-no-azana and Uekimon would hear the drum and ring large bells to announce the time to those in and around the Castle.

Referring to this custom, a 1456 Korean record says, “[the Ryukyuan custom] is no different from ours.”

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The Shuri castle’s architectural design and vermilion color differ significantly with those of castles on mainland Japan. It has red-colored tiles on the two-layered roofs, which are set in white lime, retaining a beauty unique to Okinawa.

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1. Shurijo Castle
2. Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate
3. Tamaudun
4. Shikina-En Gardens
5. Nakijin Castle
6. Katsuren Castle
7. Zakimi Castle
8. Nakagusuku Castle
9. Sefa Utaki

Map

Name Shurijo Castle Park
Phone
Address 1−2kanagusuku-cho, syuri, naha-shi, okinawa 903-0815

(〒903-0815 沖縄県那覇市首里金城町1-2)
Access If you're arriving by car or taxi, please ask the attendant if there is a space available in the Suimuikan underground car park.

MAPCODE-HR: 33 161 526*71
*"マップコード" and "MAPCODE" are registered trademarks by DENSO corporation.

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