Shurijo Castle was the royal castle of the Ryukyu Empire and was the largest castle in Okinawa. During that time, it was used for the royal family to live in. It was destroyed in the Okinawa Battle of 1945 and also in the construction of Ryukyu University after the war. The reconstruction began in the late 1980s and by 1992, the main building was rebuilt on the remains. It is different from other castles in Japan because Chinese castle architecture influenced it. The design features dragons and squirrels, which symbolize the power and the prosperity of the royal family of China. In 2000 it was designated as a World Heritage Site along with the Ryukyu Empire's fortress and other remains. The World Heritage recognition is associated with the remains, not with the reconstructed architecture or the castle walls.
At Shurijo Castle Park visitors can go inside the castle. The park is divided into two zones, a paid zone and a free zone. The paid zone includes the main building of the Shurijo Castle. There are also many events held at the park where visitors can enjoy watching the Ryukyu Dance of the Ryukyu Emperor. In addition, there is an event in which visitors can try playing the shamisen, which is a traditional Okinawan instrument.
There are also restaurants where visitors can enjoy Ryukyu cuisine, and gift shops where they can buy traditional Okinawan crafts and other original park souvenirs.
Opening hours vary from season to season. The opening hours are 8:30 am to 6:00 pm from December to March and 8:30 am to 8:00 pm from July to September. Apart from this, the regular opening hours for all other months is from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. The castle is closed on the first Wednesday of July.
Public Transportation: Use the route bus from Shuri Station of the Yui Rail, and get off at Shuri-jo Park Iriguchi Stop or Shuri-jo-mae Stop. Car: It is approximately a 40 minute drive from the airport. There is a paid parking lot.
Image Gallery: Shurijo Castle Park
Description: Shurijo Castle Park
|Sights||Shurijo Castle Park (首里城公園)|
1-2 Shurikinjo-cho, Naha-shi, Okinawa
|Phone / Fax||Phone: 098-866-2020 / Fax: 098-866-2022|
|Closed dates||Specific dates|
|Admission Fee||Pay admission: 820yen|
Spring (March - May)Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
|Recommended target||Family Couples Groups Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller|
Map: Shurijo Castle Park