Shuri Castle (Shurijo)
Shuri Castle is one part of the Castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the only castle of the era that has been rebuilt to its former splendor. Visit the on-site museum, which offers with exhibits about Japanese history, then wander through the grounds and explore the buildings.
Highlights include the ornate Sonohyan-utaki stone gate, built during the reign of King Sho Shin. Make sure to visit the opulent interiors of the North Hall (Hokuden) and South Hall (Nanden), which feature replicas of the king's throne and crown.
Things to Know Before You Go
Shuri Castle is popular with visitors interested in Japanese history.
Visitors need to remove their shoes to enter.
The castle is wheelchair accessible.
If you want to leave and re-enter later, get a re-entry stamp before you exit.
Bring a camera to capture the views of Naha from the castle’s hilltop perch.
How to Get There
Shuri Castle is roughly a 5-minute bus ride—or 15-20-minute walk—from Shuri Station on the Okinawa Monorail. From Shuri Station, you can also take a bus to the Shurijo Mae stop. To reach the castle from central Naha, take bus number 1 or 14 and get off at the Shurijo Koen Iriguchi stop.
When to Get There
The castle grounds are open from early morning though mid-evening, all year round, with slightly extended hours during the summer. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. The castle is busiest on weekends and on Japanese national holidays.
After visiting Shuri Castle, head to Shuri Ryusen, a few minutes’ walk away. The store and workshop preserves traditional Okinawan dyeing techniques, including bingata, a form of resist dyeing that uses stencils, and dyeing with painted coral. Purchase souvenirs, or take a workshop and dye your own fabric to take home.
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