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Shurijo Castle, colored in the brilliant colors of vermilion, the center stage of the Ryukyu Kingdom

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The culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom era is brought back to life in the modern age

It is said that Shurijo Castle was constructed around the 14th century, however, the details are not known. Since becoming the royal seat in 1406 for King Sho Hashi who united the kingdom, the castle proudly served as the heart of the politics, foreign diplomacy and culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom for approximately 500 years until King Sho Tai, the last ruler of the kingdom abdicated the throne to the Meiji government. Through trade with China, Japan and Southeast Asia, various items were brought to the Shurijo Castle, where the distinct culture of Ryukyu blossomed through the arts such as lacquerware, dyes and textiles, ceramics and music.
The Seiden of Shurijo Castle was reduced to dust during the battle of Okinawa of 1945. In the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa, it was restored in 1992 with 18th century Shurijo Castle as the model.

Path to the Seiden

Kankaimon Gate

Kankaimon Gate

This is 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” Chinese envoys. It is also called “Amae-ujo,”

Zuisenmon Gate

Zuisenmon Gate

Zuisen means “a splendid and auspicious spring.” The gate takes its name from the Ryuhi spring just in front of it. It is also called “Hikawa-ujo.”

Nichiei-dai

Nichiei-dai

Placed in front of the “Roukokumon Gate” is a sundial called “Nichieidai”. It was placed in the exact same place as it was in the old times. It was used as a supplemental tool of the water clock.
It is said that in 1739, since the former water clock was considered imperfect, the first Nichieiki was manufactured and set in its place. Since then, this time system was in use until the abolition of feudal domains and the establishment of prefectures in 1879.

Ryuhi

Ryuhi

A water spring in front of the Zuisenmon Gate. It provided precious drinking water for the royal family and was also delivered to the “Tenshikan,” where the “Sapposhi” while in Ryukyu.

Roukokumon Gate

Roukokumon Gate

This gate was named for the water clock in the gate's turret, as “Rohkoku” means “water clock” in Chinese. It is also called “Kago-ise-ujo.” High-ranking officials would get off their palanquins here, out of respect for the king.

Tomoya

Tomoya

Restored based on old pictures and records.
Its original use is unknown.

Koufukumon Gate

Koufukumon Gate

On the east-side of this structure housed the “Okumiza,” managing the official registry records, and on the west was the “Jishaza” the office managing temples. It is also knowns as “Naga-ujo.” Presently, it serves as the castle's ticket counter.

Houshinmon Gate

Houshinmon Gate

The final gate leading into the “Unah”. There are three entranceways through this gate; the center was reserved only for the king and nobles. Another name for this gate is “Kimihokori-ujo”

The Bridge of Nations Bell (replica)

The Bridge of Nations Bell (replica)

This bell was hung in the Shurijo Castle Seiden in 1458. It is famous for its inscription emphasizing the spirit of trade and friendship upon which the prosperity of the Ryukyu Kingdom was blessed.(Replica)

Kyo-no-uchi

Kyo-no-uchi

This was the largest area where important rituals and observances were held. A number of Utaki, or worship sites were located in this area, and prayers by the goddess called Kikoe-Okimi were offered for the prosperity of the royal family, safe journeys on the seas and abundant harvest.

Iri-no-Azana

Iri-no-Azana

An observation deck constructed on the west-side of the castle walls, where one could observe Naha Port. It provides a panoramic view of the castle precincts, as well as the city of Naha and the Kerama Islands.

Suimui Utaki

Suimui Utaki

One of the places of worship within the castle precincts. It is the subject of many poetries recorded in“Omorosoushi,”the oldest Ryukyu collection of poetries. According to Ryukyu mythology, it is said to be “a sacred place created by gods.”

Keizuza and Youmotsuza

Keizuza and Youmotsuza

Keizuza was the office that managed the lineage records of the warrior class and edited compiled documents of the government, while Youmotsuza kept track of the goods and materials used within the castle grounds. Presently, it serves as a place to take a break and to get information about the castle.

Kobikimon Gate

Kobikimon Gate

During the Ryukyu Kingdom era, this gate was used to carry in materials for renovations in the castle buildings and for repairs on the stonework. At other times, it was generally barricaded with stones. Presently, it serves as the entranceway for the visitors' observation route.

Shop and Restaurant

Shurijo Castle Park Rest Center Suimuikan

The rest center offers information on the various cultural assets located within the park and in the surroundings of Shurijo Castle.
It also houses a service area with shops and restaurant for our visitors to enjoy and relax.

Restaurant“Suimui”Business Hours:

All year 10:00-17:00 (Last Order at 16:30)

Gift Shop “Bingata”Business Hours:

8:00 to 18:00 Year Round

Cafe “Ryuhi”Business Hours:

Apr. to Nov. 9:00-19:00
Dec. to Mar. 10:00-18:30

  • Exhibition RoomExhibition Room
  • Gift Shop “Bingata”Gift Shop “Bingata”
  • Restaurant “Suimui”Restaurant “Suimui”
  • Cafe “Ryuhi”Cafe “Ryuhi”

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