Read this before you go to Okinawa! Check out these six locations at Okinawa's Shurijo Castle Park

The Hackers
2018.10.29 1333 views

Shurijo Castle Park bore witness to the prosperous Ryukyu Kingdom that lasted for about 450 years, and the Park has a lot to share with today’s generation.

Shurijo Castle Park was registered as a World Heritage Site in December 2000, and is now a spot that people make sure they visit when they travel to Okinawa



Let’s take a look at some of the places you should keep in the back of your mind before you go to Shurijo Castle Park!


Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the place, and your trip will sure be that much more fun.

You will also find our suggestions on when it’s best to visit the spots^ ^




  • The Main Hall of Shurijo Castle

  • The Shureimon Gate

  • The Kankaimon Gate

  • The Ryuhi Dragon Sculpture

  • The Irino Azana Observatory

  • The Castle Illumination

  • Basic Information (admission fees, opening hours, etc.)

  • Things to do around Shurijo Castle



Main Hall of Shurijo Castle
*Paid Area



Painted in a vivid red, the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle was the biggest architecture in the Ryukyu Kingdom.

As the King’s residence, the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle was the center of politics, economy and culture


The space in the courtyard with tiles laid on the ground is called “Una”. The row of different colors on the ground served as marks for officers to stand in order during rituals.


Also, the thick road in the center is called “Ukimichi”, and only certain people, such as the kings and ambassadors sent by Chinese emperors were allowed to pass through it.


The main hall was constructed based on Chinese court architecture and Japanese architectural style,

but the unique shape of the staircase and the dragon pillars, both of which open up in the shape of ハ

, a Chinese character meaning “eight”, is unique to Okinawa.


As for now, this is how the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle looks like…


The outer wall of of the Main Hall is being repainted with lacquer.

→Repainting should be finished within 2018


Shurijo Castle is a piece of art painted with natural lacquer. To prevent the its vivid red from disappearing, it needs to be appropriately repainted with lacquer.


This is actually a very rare sight♪

While it is important to continue repainting Shurijo Castle, it is also important to pass down the repainting technique of old to today’s craftsmen.


It’s probably also very important to see up close work that connects the past to the future ^ ^


Also, the paid area inside the Main Hall offers free guided tours six times a day (in Japnese).

Learn about what’s inside the Castle with a guided tour!


▼Times for Guided Tours (each tour lasts about 50 minutes)

1st round 09:00〜

2nd round 10:30〜

3rd round 13:00〜

4th round 14:00〜

5th round 15:00〜

6th round 17:00〜

7th round 18:00〜(7th round available only in October and November.)


Reservations are not required. Please go straight to the South Hall / Guardhouse Entrance (paid area) for the round you wish to join.


Guided tours are also available in Japanese, English, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese with our free audio devices for rental.


Definitely give our audio devices a try if you would like to take your time enjoying the place or if you are from abroad ☆♪

Visit our information center on B1 of Suimui-kan to rent a free audio device.



The Shureimon Gate
*Free Area



Alongside the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle, the Shureimon Gate is a symbol of Okinawa!

The gate, which was built based on the Chinese pailou, is well balanced an elegant.


Together, the four Chinese characters writtenon the plaque decorated over the gate mean that “Ryukyu Kingdom is a country that respects courtesy”.


The Shureimon Gate can also be found on Japan’s 2,000 yen banknotes, which went into circulation in 2000.


▼You don’t really see the 2,000 yen banknote anymore in Japan besides in Okinawa.

→You can find the 2,000 yen banknote all over Okinawa, even when you withdraw money from an ATM at Lawson the convenience store♪


Did we mention that you definitely need to take some pictures here?!

A lot of people hold their cameras still here just to take a nice shot of the gate

Definitely take some pictures here with the blue sky and the red gate in the back ^ ^


▼Check everyone’s posts on Instagram!



The Kankaimon Gate
*Free Area



The Kankaimon Gate is the first gate you will run into in Shurijo Castle after pass through the Shureimon Gate.

The Kankaimon Gate, which literally translates to mean “The Welcome Gate”, was in the past used to receive

ambassadors from China or anyone who would visit the Ryukyu Kingdom, hence the Gate’s name.


The Kankaimon Gate consists of an oval arch gate in the center of a heavily curved wall, with a wooden oar sitting right over the gate.


Notice how the mansory of the Kankaimon Gate is made with the Ryukyu limestone from the Castle’s wall.The arch gate is a smooth fan-shaped gate that, when seen from below, has only a few stones and beautiful stone joints♪


The two stone lions found on either side of the Gate are meant to drive evil spirits away

This is also one location where a lot of people want to take some pictures ♪



The Ryuhi Dragon Sculpture
*Free Area



Go through the Kankaimon Gate and take the staircase on the right side of the Zuisenmon Gate, and you will see the Ryuhi Dragon Sculpture.


Legend has it that people living in the royal palace used to drink the water coming out of the dragon sculpture.


The Ryuhi Dragon Sculpture was partially damaged in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, and was later placed back into its current location after repair.

Among all the sculptures you can find in the Castle, the Ryuhi Dragon Sculpture is the only one that dates all the way back to the Ryukyu Kingdom.


When you actually pay the location a visit, make sure you give this super ancient piece a good look!



The Irino Azana Observatory
*Free Area



The Observatory

is located on the west side of the Castle.

From here, you can look out over the city area of Naha, including Shurijo Castle, and overlook the Kerama Islands, etc. on the far horizon.


So THIS is where all the kings and officials back in the day stood to see people going about their lives while bearing witness to the passage of time.



You can see different views from the Observatory going there at different times of the day, so feel free to go whenever ♪

When you go to Shurijo Castle, make sure you pay the Observatory a visit and enjoy the gorgeous views it has to offer (*´-`)



The Castle Illumination
*Free Area



Shurijo Castle still glows in all its glory after dark!☆

The Castle Illumination goes on from sunset and lasts until 24:00 every day.




The Castle, with its vivid red that shines in the blue sky, goes against the pitch black of the sky, paints a picture of fantasy( ´∀`)



Young visitors can have fun going through the stamp rally in Shurijo Castle and, as for those who need to take it slowly, a barrier-free course is available, too.

Shurijo Castle is a place for all. Feel like giving this place a try now?♪



<Basic Information of Shurijo Castle>

Admission Fees Adult   820 yen

High School Student  620 yen

Elementary and Junior High School Student 310 yen

Child under 6  Free

※Applicable for:Inside of the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle, the Hoshinmon Gate, the South Hall, the Guardhouse, the Study, the Sasunoma Tea Room, the Golden Palace, the Yuinchi Worhship Place, the Kinjutsumesho Attendent Crew Room, the Inner Study, the North Hall

Open(For Free Areas) April~June   8:00~19:30

July~September   8:00~20:30

October~November 8:00~19:30

December~March  8:00~18:30

※Applicable for:The Kankaimon Gate, the Kobikimon Gate, the Kyukeimon Gate

Open(For Paid Areas) April~June   8:30~19:00

July~September   8:30~20:00

October~November 8:30~19:00

December~March  8:30~18:00

※Applicable for:Inside of the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle, the Hoshinmon Gate, the South Hall, the Guardhouse, the Study, the Sasunoma Tea Room, the Golden Palace, the Yuinchi Worhship Place, the Kinjutsumesho Attendent Crew Room, the Inner Study, the North Hall

Closed First Wednesday of July and next day
Parking Lot Available・Paid Parking
マップコード 331 614 97*28
Address 〒903-0815


Remarks Site of Shurijo Castle Park



Things to do


Visit Shuri Ryusen, located about 5 minutes away from Shurijo Castle by car.

This is a famous store where you can try dyeing corals

^ ^



Cover coral fossils washed up to the beach with a piece of cloth you wish to dye, and dye it with your favorite color and shape.



You can find two identical corals in this world

Finish it up with a unique, gentle texture.っ♪


→We finished the world’s one and only cloth wrapper!


You won’t be able to get these from the souvenir store. How would you like giving coral dyeing a try at Shuri Ryusen?♪


▼Coral Dyeing 【Japaneset Towel or Cloth Wrapper


▼Coral Dyeing【Tote bag】


▼Coral Dyeing【T-shirt】



<Basic information of Shuri Ryusen>

Parking Lot Available・Free(5~7cars)
Business Hours 9:00~18:00(Last entry at 17:00)
Holidays Open all year round
Map code 331 607 40*5
Adress 〒903-0825



■Recommended Tours for Okinawa

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