| Okinawa

A list of nine “must see” Okinawan World Heritage sites.

Okinawa has nine locations registered on the World Heritage list.
I am going to introduce you to all of them. These power spots and famous places could be overlooked if you didn’t know where to look. So I am going to explain to you what you’ll need to know to find them and enjoy the visit.
I recommend you have a tour guide. Then you can be exploring while listening to the explanation of what you are seeing.


A popular World Heritage site power spot!

Katsuren Castle ruins (勝連城跡) is one of the power spots registered on the World Heritage list.
The castle ruins tower into the sky. If you climb the stone steps leading to the castle you will be overlooking the city of Uruma and the sea.
Good walking shoes are recommended because the path was made difficult to walk on to protect the castle from invading soldiers.
【Spot name】 Katsuren Castle ruins
【Address】 3908 Katsuren haebaru Uruma-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.
【Closed on Mondays】 Open all year round.

See 360-degree panoramic views from the ruins of this World Heritage site!

Zakimi Castle ruins (座喜味城跡) is registered as a World Heritage site. On the West side you see the Zanpa Cape(残波岬) and to the North, you can see Island. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Kerama Islands(慶良間諸島).
Also, you will notice sleek walls and gates with beautifully curved arches.
In the winter, they light up the Castle making for a fantastic experience.
This is a really good view spot that’s reputation is high on the list of the Okinawa World Heritage Sites.
Enjoy your time on the hill, as you overlook the surrounding 360-degree views.
【Spot name】 Zakimi Castle ruins
【Address】 708-6 Zakimi Yomitan-son Okinawa

The most famous World Heritage site in Okinawa.

Shuri Castle (首里城) burned down due to damage in World War II. It was later restored as a national park and World Heritage site.
The fact that Shuri Castle Park is located on a hill is part of its charm.
Visit this place that is filled with history, such as Kyonouchi which is known as the holiest shrine in the Castle. Also, this is a great spot to overlook Naha.
It is a World Heritage site you want to visit at least once and it is easily accessible in Naha.
There is a volunteer tourist guide available to listen to while exploring.
You will be walking up and down cobblestone so wear comfortable walking shoes.
【Spot name】 Shuri Castle
【Address】 1-2 Shuri Kinjo-cho Naha-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 8:30a.m. to 6:00p.m. (months 12-3)

             8:30a.m.to 7:00p.m. (months 4-6 and 10-11)

             8:30a.m. to 8:00p.m. (months 7-9)

             ※ Admission ticket sales are closed 30 minutes before
【Closed on Mondays】 On the first Wednesday in July and the next day

Visit this sacred World Heritage site and show gratitude to the six Uganju!

Sefuautaki (斎場御嶽) a World Heritage site visited by many tourists and is one of the power spots of Okinawa.
This World Heritage site is a particularly spiritual land. It is an important place for people with deep faith in the god “Kaminchu.” When you first enter give greetings to the gods and show gratitude to the six Uganju. It should be a good opportunity to recharge your energy.
【Spot name】 Sefuautaki
【Address】 270-1 Chinenkudeken Nanjo-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 9:00a.m.-6:00p.m. (last admission 5:30p.m.)
【Closed on Mondays】 Once in May and twice in October, they are closed for 3 days.

Largest of the Okinawa Prefecture’s old castles.

Nakijin Castle ruins (今帰仁城跡) is located on Okinawa’s main island. It is the largest old castle in the Prefecture, which is registered as a World Heritage site. It is on a site approximately 300 feet above sea level overlooking the ocean. In the winter, it is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms.
It is really a large dynamic site that you can see from a distance. Its walls are reminiscent of the Great Wall of China.
【Spot name】 Nakijin castle ruins today
【Address】 5101 Imadomari Nakijin-son Kunigami-gun
【Hours of operation】 8:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. (last admission)
【Closed on Mondays】 Without

A World Heritage site that you don’t want to miss!

The World Heritage site of Shikina Garden (識名園) is where the Ryukyu Kings made their residence. During World War II the Japanese Army ammunition depot was located here. At the entrance, vegetation grows thick and dense. In the middle, they have Japanese circuit style garden with a wooden Palace. On the hill, there are banana orchards with a view of Naha City.
There is an old-fashioned flagstone path that is part of the World Heritage site. That you don’t want to miss.
Enjoy the many landscapes with the different seasonal flowers. Painting in the Park is popular. You may feel like having a picnic but unfortunately eating or drinking in the garden is prohibited.
【Spot name】 Shikina-en Garden
【Address】 421-7 Maaji Naha-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 4/1-9/30 9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.

             10/1-3/31 9:00a.m.to 5:30p.m.
【Closed on Mondays】 Wednesday

Explore the tombs of the Ryukyu dynasty
at this World Heritage site located in front of Shuri Castle!

The mausoleum of the Ryukyu dynasty (tamaudon) (玉陵) is a World Heritage site that is a 4-minute walk from Shuri Castle.
It was established as a national cultural heritage monument at the same time that the Us returned Okinawa Prefecture to Japan and was registered on the World Heritage list in 2000.
This is still the burial site for all of the descendants of Royal blood so try not to inconvenience anyone you see. If you encounter people near the outer burner please do not take photographs.
【Spot name】 Tamaudon
【Address】 1-3 Shuri Kinjo-cho Naha-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 9:00a.m.to 6:00p.m. (last entrance at 5:30p.m.)

A World Heritage site blessings spot where you can pray for the safety of your trip.

The Garden Gate of Sonohyanutaki (園比屋武御嶽石門) is a World Heritage site.
When you pass through shurei-gate of Shuri Castle, on the left side you see a wooden prayer space. Behind the stone gate, you see the sonohyanutaki. The god of Kings is enshrined here.
Blessings are communicated during a pilgrimage to the temple where they pray for safety on the road.
When the king had to leave the castle, he would come here to pray for a safe trip. Still today local residents come to pray for safe travel.
【Spot name】 sonohyanutaki-stone gate.
【Address】 1-2 Shuri Kinjo-cho Naha-city Okinawa
【Hours of operation】 (Free area) 8:00a.m. to 8:30p.m.

             (Fee Area) 8:30a.m to 8:00p.m.

     * Closing time varies greatly depending on the time. Visit the official site

     * Deadline for admission sales is closed 30 minutes before
【Closed on Mondays】 On the first Wednesday in July and the next day