A short walk down the street from the Shuri Castle grounds brings you to another UNESCO World Heritage site known as the Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum. It was built around 1500 during what’s known as the Golden Age of the Ryukyu Kingdom and follows the tradition in Okinawa of building large stone tombs to house the bones of the deceased. This tomb is particularly impressive as it houses the bones of past Ryukyu kings and their families.
It’s worth the walk from Shuri if you’re interested in Okinawan history and have some time to spare. The mausoleum consists of three separate tombs housing bones of Kings, Queens and other family members in separate chambers. The tombs are decorated with animals from Chinese fiction such as dragons and lions which should keep the younger kids entertained as they try and spot the different figures.
Entrance into Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum is 300 yen and this includes both the mausoleum and a small museum which displays photographs of the site before the Battle of Okinawa and subsequently during its restoration. Parking is only available up at Shuri Castle but that should be fine assuming you’ve been there first. The staff were kind and happy to see us and it made for an interesting stop as we walked around the historic area of Shuri.
1 Chome-3 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815
Open 7 days 9.00 – 18.00 (last entry 17.30)
Entry – 300 Yen (Cash only)
Parking available close by at Shuri Castle