View looking up at the Katsuren Castle ruins

Photo:kanegen via Wikimedia Commons

Katsuren Castle Ruins in Okinawa

The Katsuren Castle Ruins can be found in Uruma, Okinawa. In the Okinawan language, the word for castle is gushiku. We will introduce the features of this world heritage site.

Katsuren castle is said to have been founded by Amawari, a lord of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

This is the oldest castle in Okinawa and it was built around the 12th century.

Katsuren Castle Ruins sit on top of a small hill near the sea, so the view from there is superb. You can see Nakagusuku Bay to the south and Mid-Sea Road to the east.

Photo by Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr

Mid-Sea Road

Photo by Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr

There are steep steps to the top of the castle.

The Entrance of the Third Kuruwa

Kuruwa refers to the walls of a Japanese castle.

The Second Kuruwa



It is said that the main building and the treasure house used to be there.

The Entrance of the First Kuruwa



The First Kuruwa

This is where the view is the best. You can look over the deep blue ocean of Okinawa.

This is Nakagusuku Bay.



The wall of the castle is built just like a sheer cliff using hewn stone of Ryukyu limestone.



The outer citadel Ninomaru is dedicated to Amawari.



The foundations of the main building is an important place. It is where political affairs were administered and it was considered the brain of Katsuren Castle.

A well called Nakama Nuka was built in order to improve people's lifes.



Since there was no water in the castle, the well was very valuable. Amawari made many reservoirs and wells, and was considered as a wise ruler by local people who were suffering from the shortage of water.

There is a resting area where you can relax after seeing Katsuren Castle Ruins. Souvenirs are also available.

Address: 3908 Katsuren Haebaru, Uruma, Okinawa
Parking: Available (free of charge)
Washroom: Available
Open: from 9:00 to 18:00
Directions: About 1 hour from Naha airport
Admission: Free

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