Just a short walk from Shuri Castle, the Kinjo Stone Road overflows with Okinawan character and charm. Think pretty tropical flowers, banana trees, shisa statues, traditional red-tiled rooftops, cats stretched out in the sun – it’s picturesque, even by Okinawan standards.
According to information displayed along the road, construction started in the early 1500s under the reign of King Sho Shin when Okinawa was the heart of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The road, originally 10 kilometers long, was mostly destroyed during the battle of Okinawa and unfortunately the 238-meter stretch at Shuri is now all that remains. It’s a great experience to follow in so many others’ footsteps, although 500 years of pedestrian traffic has inevitably left the surface very uneven and good shoes are recommended. It’s also steep, so while the local centenarians may skip past you without breaking a sweat, it’s a good idea to take a break, especially if the weather is hot. About halfway along the road, a traditional Okinawan house is open to the public and makes a lovely quiet place to catch one’s breath.
The Kinjo Stone Road offers a glimpse into old Okinawa and is filled with history. It makes a worthwhile addition to a day touring the Shuri Castle grounds or other interesting sights in the Shuri area such as the royal gardens of Shikina-en, Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum or the Daruma Temple.
2 Chome-84-3 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815
Open 24 hours, free entry
Paid parking available at Shuri Castle