Shuri Castle (Shuri-jo) which is believed to have been built in the 14th century by King Satto who ruled here served as the proud and dignified center of Ryukyu Kingdom and its politics, foreign affairs and culture.With architectural influences from both China and Japan, the Castle shows its exceptional cultural and historical values in its unique stonework and architectural design. Thus, Shurijo was designated as a World Heritage Site in December of 2000, the 11th World Heritage Site within Japan. Many tourists visit the castle as one of the most important buildings in Okinawa.
Another World Heritage Site 'Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum' is your next destination. The Tamaudon which is surrounded by stone walls was built in 1501 into natural rock as a mausoleum for the kings of the Second Sho Dynasty by the third king of that dynasty, Sho Shin.
Before returning to the port, shopping time at Kokusai Street, the main street of Naha city. There are many souvenir shops as well as eating and drinking establishments lining both sides of the street. Every side street off of Kokusai Street has a unique atmosphere 'Heiwa-dori shopping arcade' and The Kousetsu Ichiba (public marketplace) with an old-style appearance and feeling and you'll find colorful local fish and Okinawa food. Tsuboya Yachimun Street has full of pottery shops and galleries and Ukishima and Sakurazaka streets have the new favorites with the young crowd. Enjoy your time to find memorable goods there. Dinner at your own at Kokusai Street.
What we will see
- Shuri castle - visit and folklore show
- Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum
- Kokusai Dori and nearby area: free time for shopping and dinner
What we will do
Our excursion in Naha starts with a visit to the Shuri castle perched on the hills east of the city centre overlooking the harbour.
It was the residence of sovereigns, government centre and religious seat of the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom and this fantastic complex of fortified buildings has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The vivid scarlet red of the buildings and tiled roofs are testimony to the influence of the Chinese culture.
In the afternoon, we get the chance to see a traditional dance show inside the castle which makes the atmosphere of this timeless place even more evocative.
Our next stop is the Tamaudun royal mausoleum built in 1501 as a symbol of royal power to welcome the mortal remains of sovereigns. It is made entirely of limestone and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We then reach Kokusai Dori, Naha’s high street which is 2 km long and filled with shops, restaurants and cafés. Here, we have some free time to explore the city centre at our leisure.
The entire area surrounding Kokusai Dori is perfect for a stroll dedicated to shopping and good food: we can take a peek at the Makishi market with its meat and fish stalls, take advantage of the restaurants on the first floor to enjoy local dishes or venture into the Tsuboya district were many pottery workshops and shops are located.