I’ve been in Okinawa 2 years already and I had never been to Shuri Castle. Shuri Castle and the Churaumi Aquarium seem to be the 2 places that everybody always visits after they get here, so I’m not really sure how we hadn’t gone yet. So, the day after the last typhoon cleared, Little Missy, my mother-in-law, and I headed that way.
Shuri is the name of the former capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Shuri Castle served as the administrative center and residence of the Ryukyu kings for several centuries until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. Shuri Castle was originally built in the 1300’s.Wars and fires destroyed it numerous times over the years, with the most recent being in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1992 based on photographs, records, and memory.
There are multiple gates to get to the main buildings, with the most popular being the Shureimon Gate.
The main hall is the Seiden. The Una Plaza is in front of the hall with the North and South Halls on either side.
The North and South Hall are full of various exhibits, paintings of all the kings, and archeological finds. We also had Japanese tea in the South Hall. We met some interesting people there. You never know who speaks English and my Japanese is pretty much worthless, so I don’t initiate conversation. The two men across from us did start talking to us. It’s always so neat to hear people’s stories.
The main hall was set up how it would have been way back when. It was very red and very ornate.
Back outside, we started to walk along some of the exterior walls, but it started to pour on us and it didn’t let up. We saw the majority of it, so we ended up leaving.
There are a couple other related sites nearby that I wanted to check out too, but the rain didn’t allow it. The Tamaudun Mausoleum is the mausoleum for the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Shikinaen Gardens were the second residence of the royal family.