Shurijo Castle Park is a tourist attraction in Okinawa. Located on a hill at an altitude of about 120 meters overlooking Naha city, it was the center of the Ryukyu dynasty and the residence of the king. Unlike the common image of a Japanese castle, the royal castle colored in vermilion has a great impact! In 2000, the unique architectural style and stone framing technology that united Chinese and Japanese castle culture were considered to have high cultural and historical value, and it became a hot topic as it was registered as a World Cultural Heritage. Introducing a model course of Shurijo Castle Park!
What is Shurijo Castle Park?
Shuri Castle, the center of the Ryukyu Dynasty and the residence of the king, flourished for about 450 years. It was built from the end of the 13th century to the middle of the 14th century. The castle was destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, but later restored in 1992 and registered as a World Cultural Heritage in 2000. The Chinese, Japanese and Ryukyu architectural styles that are used is the highlight. Among them, the famous “Seiden” with its gorgeous decorations and the “Shureimon” with its 2000-yen bill design are famous. If you don't have time to cover all the parks, check out the recommended routes in this article! Shurijo Castle Park is on a small hill at an altitude of 120 to 130 meters, and there are many slopes, stairs and cobblestone roads in the park, so be sure to visit with shoes that are easy to walk in.
Perfect Touring Course around Shurijo Castle Park!
1: Start at “Shureimon”!
Start from Shureimon. This is the entrance to Shuri Castle in which visitors go through when they come in for the first time, and it has a Chinese architectural style. It is also the pattern of the 2,000 yen bill (Japanese yen).
2: A Place of Worship for Prayers of Safety! “Sonohyanutaki Ishimon”
A stone worship place where prayers for safety were made when the Ryukyu King went out, and it is a representative stone building.
3: Introduced from China about 500 Years Ago! "Ryuhi"
Named Ryuhi because of the water coming out of a dragon’s mouth, it was used as drinking water for the royal palace. The dragon sculpture came from China about 500 years ago.
4: "Zuisenmon" with a Yagura on Topt
A gate with a yagura on top. Although it was burned down in the war, it was restored in 1992. A pair of stone lions are placed on both sides of the gate as a talisman.
5: Kerama Islands on the Horizon! Superb View Spot! "West Azana"
An observation platform at an altitude of 130 meters. It is a superb view spot overlooking Naha city with a view of the Kerama Islands in the distance. In the old days, flags were raised and bells were rung informing the time.
6: Paid Zone from Here! "Okushoin"
A rest area used by the King. The garden in the back is restored based on old photos and materials, using excavated stalactites.
7: The Highlight of the Shuri Castle Tour “Seiden”
Here is the highlight of Shuri Castle. It is the place where the king would do politics and rituals. It is the largest wooden structure in the kingdom, and is said to have been influenced by the Forbidden City in China.
Take Advantage of the Multilingual App and Free Guides in Shuri Castle!
There is a free audio guide app to enjoy Shuri Castle's history, culture and stories. You can visit the main areas of Shurijo Castle Park, which are pre-mapped on the map in your smartphone guide, while listening to the stories (English and Chinese available). The voice guide “Sound Pencil” (English, Chinese, Korean) is a guide that can be played by placing a sound pencil over a point on the map. If you want to use it, please ask the staff at the general information center.
Access to Shurijo Castle Park
Naha Airport → National Highway 331 → To Naha city center National Highway 58 → Turn right at the night intersection → Go straight on prefectural road 29 to Shuri.
Naha Airport Station → Yui Rail → Shuri Station… Arrive at Shureimon in about 15 minutes on foot
※Route buses can also be used from the Shuri Station Bus Stop. The route is as follows.
Shuri Station Bus Stop → City Line (1, 14), Outer city Line (346) → Shuri Castle Park Entrance Bus Stop… Arrive at Shureimon in about 5 minutes on foot.
- Spot name: Shurijo Castle Park
- Street Address: 1-2 Kinjo-cho, Shuri, Naha City, Okinawa 903-0815
- Wi-Fi: Available at Suimuikan 1st floor, Keizuza, Yomotsuza, Hoshinmon
- Language: English, Chinese (Traditional or Simplified) , and Korean pamphlets available
- Ticket: 820 yen (for paid area: Seiden, Hoshinmon, Nanden, Bandokoro, Shoin, Sasunoma, Kugani-Udun, Yuinchi, Kinju-Tsumesho, Okushoin, Hokuden, Yohokoriden, Agari-no Azana), other areas are free
- Opening Hours:
- Free area (Kyukeimon, Kobikimon, Kyukeimon)
- April to June: 8:00 to 19:30
- July to September: 8:00 to 20:30
- October and November: 8:00 to 19:30
- December to March: 8:00 to 18:30
- Paid area (listed above)
- April to June: 8:00 to 19:00
- July to September: 8:00 to 20:00
- October and November: 8:30 to 19:00
- December to March: 8:30 to 18:00
- (※admission tickets sold up to 30 minutes before closing time)
- Closed: First Wednesday of July and the next day