About Nakagusuku Castle

Nakagusuku Castle is a historic castle located in the central part of Okinawa Island, in the city of Nakagusuku, Okinawa, Japan. The castle is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its unique architectural style and historical significance.

Here are some key facts and information about Nakagusuku Castle:

  1. History: Nakagusuku Castle was constructed in the early 15th century, during the Gusuku Period of Okinawa’s history. The castle served as a strategic center of power for the Ryukyu Kingdom, and was used as a military stronghold and residence for Ryukyuan royalty.
  2. Design: Nakagusuku Castle features a unique architectural style that combines elements of Chinese and Okinawan design. The castle is built on a hilltop and is surrounded by two main enclosures, each with multiple gates and courtyards.
  3. Layout: The castle is organized into three main areas: the outer citadel, the middle citadel, and the inner citadel. The inner citadel, which was the residence of the royal family, is the highest and most central part of the castle.
  4. Size: The total area of Nakagusuku Castle is approximately 48,000 square meters (almost 12 acres).
  5. Restoration: The castle underwent extensive restoration in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of its original structures and features have been preserved.
  6. Access: Nakagusuku Castle is easily accessible by car, and there is a large parking lot available for visitors. The castle is also accessible by public transportation, with bus stops located nearby.
  7. Activities: Visitors can explore the castle grounds, view historical artifacts and exhibits, and take guided tours to learn more about the history and significance of Nakagusuku Castle.

These are just a few examples of facts and information about Nakagusuku Castle. Let me know if you have any other questions or if there are specific topics you would like to know more about!

History timeline of Nakagusuku Castle

Here is a brief history timeline of Nakagusuku Castle:

  • Early 14th century: The first fortification was built on the site where Nakagusuku Castle now stands, during the Gusuku Period of Okinawa’s history.
  • Early 15th century: The main structures of Nakagusuku Castle were built under the direction of a local chieftain named Gosamaru. The castle was used as a center of power for the Ryukyu Kingdom, and was also used for military purposes.
  • Late 16th century: The castle was attacked and partially destroyed by samurai from the Japanese mainland during the Invasion of Ryukyu.
  • Late 17th century: The castle was rebuilt and expanded under the direction of King Sho Shoken. Many of the structures that are still standing today were built during this period.
  • Late 19th century: The Ryukyu Kingdom was abolished and Okinawa became part of Japan. Nakagusuku Castle was abandoned and fell into disrepair.
  • Mid-20th century: During World War II, the castle was used by the Japanese military as a defensive position. It was heavily damaged by Allied bombing.
  • 1975: Restoration work began on Nakagusuku Castle, led by the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the University of the Ryukyus.
  • 2000: Castle was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as part of the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.

Today, Nakagusuku Castle is a popular tourist destination and a significant cultural and historical site in Okinawa. It continues to be an important part of the region’s history and identity.

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How to reach Nakagusuku Castle

Castle is located in the city of Nakagusuku, in the central part of Okinawa Island in Japan. Here are some ways to reach the castle:

  1. By car: The most convenient way to reach Nakagusuku Castle is by car. There is a large parking lot located near the castle, which is free of charge.
  2. By bus: There are several bus routes that stop near Nakagusuku Castle, including the number 30, 33, 46, and 56 buses. These buses can be taken from various locations on the island, including Naha City and other major towns. The closest bus stop to the castle is “Nakagusuku-jo Iriguchi.”
  3. By taxi: Taxis are available throughout Okinawa and can be a convenient option for reaching Nakagusuku Castle. However, they can be relatively expensive, especially for longer distances.

Once you arrive at Nakagusuku Castle, you can explore the castle grounds and learn more about its history and significance. Guided tours are available for an additional fee, and there is also a visitor center on site with exhibits and information about the castle.

Do's and Dont's at Nakagusuku Castle

Here are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Nakagusuku Castle:


  • Respect the castle and its surroundings: Castle is a historic site that is still important to the people of Okinawa. Be respectful of the castle and its surroundings, and avoid damaging any of the structures or vegetation.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: The castle grounds can be steep and uneven in places, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes and clothing that is appropriate for the weather.
  • Take photos: Castle is a beautiful and historic site, and taking photos is a great way to capture your experience. However, be sure to follow any posted signs or guidelines about where photography is allowed.
  • Learn about the castle’s history: Castle has a long and fascinating history, and there is much to learn about the castle and the people who built and inhabited it. Take the time to read signs, watch videos, and talk to staff members to learn more about the castle and its significance.


  • Touch or climb on the castle walls or structures: The castle walls and structures at Castle are very old and delicate, and touching or climbing on them can cause damage.
  • Bring food or drink onto the castle grounds: To help preserve the castle and its surroundings, food and drink are not allowed on the castle grounds.
  • Ignore safety warnings: Some parts of the castle grounds can be steep and slippery, and there may be safety warnings posted in certain areas. Pay attention to these warnings and take care to avoid any potential hazards.
  • Disturb the wildlife: Castle is located in a natural setting, and there may be wildlife in the area. Avoid disturbing any animals you may encounter, and do not feed them.

Highlights of Nakagusuku Castle

Nakagusuku Castle is a historic castle located in the Nakagusuku area of Okinawa, Japan. Here are some of the main attractions of the castle:

  1. Castle Walls: Nakagusuku Castle is known for its impressive walls, which are up to 8 meters (26 feet) high and made of Ryukyu limestone. The walls are said to be some of the best examples of castle walls in Japan.
  2. Turrets: There are several turrets located throughout the castle grounds, which were used for defense and as lookout points. These turrets offer beautiful views of the surrounding area.
  3. Gatehouses: The castle has two gatehouses, which were important for controlling access to the castle. The Kankaimon gatehouse is especially impressive, with beautiful carvings and a steep incline leading up to the gate.
  4. Sakima Art Museum: The Sakima Art Museum is located on the castle grounds and features a collection of art and artifacts from Okinawa and other parts of Japan. The museum has a beautiful garden area and a tea house that visitors can enjoy.
  5. Views: Nakagusuku Castle is located on a hill, and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. On clear days, visitors can see all the way to the sea.
  6. Cultural events: Throughout the year, Nakagusuku Castle hosts various cultural events, such as traditional dance and music performances. These events offer visitors a chance to experience Okinawan culture and traditions.

Overall, Nakagusuku Castle is a beautiful and historically significant site that offers visitors a chance to learn about the history and culture of Okinawa.

Frequently asked questions about Nakagusuku Castle

What is Nakagusuku Castle?
In the Nakagusuku region of Okinawa, Japan, there is a historical castle called Nakagusuku Castle. It was constructed in the fifteenth century and served as a crucial fortress for the Ryukyu Kingdom.
What are the opening hours for Nakagusuku Castle?
Nakagusuku Castle is open daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
How much does it cost to visit Nakagusuku Castle?
The entrance fee for Nakagusuku Castle is 400 yen for adults and 300 yen for children.
How long does it take to visit Nakagusuku Castle?
Visitors typically spend around one to two hours exploring the castle and its surrounding areas.
Is Nakagusuku Castle accessible to people with disabilities?
The castle grounds can be steep and uneven in places, which may make it difficult for people with mobility issues to access certain areas. However, there are some accessible paths and facilities available, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms.
Is it possible to buy food or drink at Nakagusuku Castle?
There are no food or drink vendors on the castle grounds, but there are some restaurants and cafes located nearby.