Enjoy a World Heritage Site right here in Okinawa!
by Louise Dupuy
Nakagusuku is a 15th Century castle located in Kitanakagusuku. Sadly a remnant of its former self, the castle served as a stronghold by commander Gosamaru, in defence against attacks from the east by Lord Amawari. In 2000, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site, and there’s enough of it left to enjoy today.
There’s a small entrance fee (400 yen for adults), then you’re in! Facilities include an information desk (they have leaflets in English as well as Japanese), a small restaurant, bathrooms and vending machines for drinks. There’s ample parking too, and it’s only a short walk to the entrance. A large sign with a map of the ruins greets you, informing you that it is indeed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, it’s considered to be in the top 100 most famous castles in all of Japan.
The grounds are incredibly tranquil, however paths are sometimes non existent or steep, so small children, the elderly and handicapped folk may sadly struggle. There’s also no safety barriers, and parts of the ruins can be walked over, be mindful of slip hazards and heights! Although it is a ruin, there’s a surprising amount of the original structure left, and you can certainly get a good idea of how it looked back in it’s prime.
On top of the great history lesson, you can expect some great views. walk along the top of the ruins to get a breathtaking panorama. Take in the nearby shrine, abandoned building (said to be haunted) and of course, the ocean. If you’re a botanist, you’ll surely enjoy the rich and diverse flora. Not too much in the way of child friendly activities, but with all the walking required, it’ll at least tire them out.
Worth at least 2-3 hours of your time.
Cost: 400 yen per adult
Mon – Sun : 08:30 to 17:00
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503 Ogusuku, Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa, 901-2314