Enkakuji Temple Ruins and Benzaitendo in Shuri

I drove to Shuri Castle from Kokusai Street in Naha where I stayed. Enter Shuri according to the car navigation system and look for a parking lot from the Shurijo Castle Park Management Center, but no parking lot is full.

When I had no choice but to go around Shurijo Castle, I found a small parking lot on the street (Tokura-dori) on the north side of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. There seemed to be few people coming to this side, so it was empty.

Even if you park your car here, it will take less than 10 minutes to reach Shuri Castle. We headed for Shurijo Castle through a narrow street called Ryutan – dori .

Enkakuji Temple

It is said that Enkakuji Temple was the head temple of the Rinzai sect and was built in imitation of Enkakuji Temple in Kamakura. Only a few parts, such as the main gate, have been restored. The stone walls are beautiful, typical of Okinawa.

Enkakuji in Shuri
Enkakuji in Shuri

Benzaitendo

Benzaitendo is located on a small island in Enkanchi Pond just below the slope leading to Shurijo Castle. It was originally built to store scriptures given by King Yi Ju of Joseon.

Later, the scriptures were destroyed by fire due to the invasion of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma, and a statue of Benzaiten was enshrined instead.

The end of the bridge that spans Enkanike Pond and leads to a small island where Benzaiten-do is located is called Tennyo Bridge and is designated as an Important Cultural Property. It can be crossed, but it seemed to be quite painful.

沖縄・首里の弁財天堂

The road from Benzaitendo to Shurijo Castle is surrounded by a lot of greenery. The path lined with subtropical plants is very refreshing. Most tourists don’t come to this side, so it feels like a great deal.

首里城

Also, why are there geese around Enkanike Pond? The birds are kept free-range, and the children were overjoyed to be able to interact with the birds unexpectedly.

首里城

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