| Okinawa

The stone paved road in the town of Shuri Kinjo

If you explore the Shuri Castle, stop by and see the cobblestone road in the town of Shuri Kinjo.

For those who are traveling by monorail, it is recommended to rent a bicycle at the rental bicycle shop “pottering Shuri” about a 1-minute walk from the Shuri station. If you show them a 1 day pass or your ticket that you got stamped when leaving the Shuri Station, you will receive a 200 yen discount on a bicycle rental.
These bikes are equipped with electric pedal assistance. It makes biking up the many hills of Shuri easy.
When you rent a car you are allowed free parking in “traffic square” in the town
traffic square
This is the entrance of the traffic square. Don’t miss it!
One problem! Since the parking is free it tends to fill up quickly.
In which case you can use the additional paid parking lot or the free parking across the street from Kinjo dam.
Just outside the traffic square, you will see this well.
There are many springs in Shuri, so the old wells have been left here and there. However, many of the old wells were covered up when the road was covered with asphalt. There are still some working wells in the area. It is a beautiful area so if you have time it is fun to take the spring water tour.
This is the entrance of the Nakano River (in Okinawan language, Nakanuka).
In the back, there is a well which is constructed of masonry.


History that has been hidden in the ”Madama Michi”

You might recognize this place from your guide book. In fact, this stone-paved road is referred to as the “Madama Road (Madama michi)”.
A long time ago the Ryukyu (former name of Okinawa) king used this road to send soldiers quickly to the Naha Port.
Some people might think that they were no weapons in Ryukyu. In fact, this is not historically accurate. There were many organizations, such as the defense forces called the “Hiki” to protect Naha in what was called a three-shift system.
It was also a place used in preparation to fight against a foreign invasion. Even when the Satsuma (former name of Kagoshima) invaded in 1609, Naha was successful in driving them out.

The king [ Shō Nei ] was agonizing because he had to choose whether or not to surrender.
Some of warlords wanted to fight more, but the decision was made to surrender.
Before World War II there were many cobblestone roads in the area but many were lost as a result of allied forces bombing. However, since Shuri Kinjo town was at a high altitude and shielded by Shuri Castle, their cobblestone roads did not suffer much damage from naval bombing from the sea. It is said that it was a miracle that the cobbled remained.

When tired of walking take a break in the village shop

n the middle of the stone-paved road, there is a traditional wooden house called “Kanagusuku no Muraya”.
This place is used as a public meeting hall for Shuri Kinjo town residents’ association. During the day, it is used as an open resting place for travelers.
Shuri Kinjo
“Kinjo river” near the “Kanagusuku no Muraya” is worth seeing!
Kinjo river

Go to see the great tree of the 300-year-old

One of the attractions to see when walking in the town of Shuri Kinjo is the Great Akagi Tree. It is over 300 years old.
There are three ways you can take to get to the tree. Let me introduce to you two ways to go.
This first route is very common. To enter, take a left at the Ishigantou (石敢當) sign and go up the crank- shaped alley as far as it will go.
Kanagusuku no Muraya
Another route to enter is up the stone-paved road marked with sign for “Kanagusuku no Muraya”.
This also is a narrow alley.
Protected by the big tree Akagi, there is Utaki (at the bottom left of the photo). Utaki is considered as a sacred place by locals. Even now the local people take care of this important place.
At roof of the Great Akagi Tree, there is this sign which says ”if you have something to wish for, you should make your wish here. You are allowed one wish per year”
Akagi Tree

You should not hurry like a regular tourist in this special place. Take your time while listening to the sound of   the wind shaking the leaves of Great Akagi Tree,