Okinawa’s World Heritage Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

I was ashamed to say that I didn’t know that there was a medieval castle with stone walls in Okinawa until it was registered as a World Heritage Site. The fact that there was a time when multiple dynasties fought for supremacy in Okinawa is somehow different from the image of a peaceful southern island. Had it not been for the power struggle, there would have been no need for such a strong stone wall.

Tours to visit Nakagusuku


Nakagusuku was on top of a small mountain. After driving up the hill, there was a parking lot, and there was a stone monument indicating Nakagusuku. Nakagusuku Castle is said to have been built during the reign of King Sho Taikyu (1454-1460), but the actual date is unknown.

Nakagusuku is long and narrow along the ridge. is on the opposite side of the parking lot. To get there, we will go around through the paved road made one step below the castle walls.

In front of the entrance of the castle is a wide grassy area. If you look closely, you can see the sea on the other side. It was supposed to be Nakagusuku Bay, but unfortunately it was raining lightly on this day, so I couldn’t see the color of the sea like a tropical country.

You can see a gama (cave) under the quay. According to excavations, this was once a blacksmith’s workshop. Were you making weapons or something?

A corner of the castle wall protrudes upwards. It’s a beautiful stone structure, but the stones look like limestone made from coral.

Entering the castle. The area where stone walls are piled up on both sides is the same as a castle in mainland Japan.

Nakagusuku consists of several enclosures separated by ramparts. There is an arched gate on the wall between Guo. There is no arch tradition in the mainland, so it is a valuable item.

The topmost enclosure is spacious. Speaking of mainland castles, it would be Sashizume Honmaru. It seems that the castle in Okinawa did not have a castle tower, so it must be the Honmaru palace.


When Commodore Perry stopped by in the Edo period, he was surprised at the high level of masonry technology, including this arch. It sure is beautiful.

Looking up at Nakagusuku from the back gate, it looks like this. At first glance, it looks like the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.







2 responses to “Okinawa’s World Heritage Nakagusuku Castle Ruins”

  1. […] 現存する中村家住宅が建てられたのは18世紀中ごろと伝えられています。近くにある中城同様に沖縄の石灰岩で作られた石垣で囲われています。下の写真が外から入り口を見たところ。 […]

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