Okinawa part 4 - Shuri Castle!

Hi everyone! How is your week so far? I'm getting so many calls at work, it's driving me right up the wall. I don't like talking on the phone and I'm so shy, how did I end up working with customers so much? I was looking over my recent posts and there's such long gaps between them, I didn't realize time is going by so quick! I'll try to post at least 3 times a week from now on, though like I mentioned before it's hard for me to generate new post material, I have lots of ideas and plans haha.

But today I will finish up my Okinawa mini-series by talking about the Okinawa castle Shuri Castle, its the main one and there are some smaller castle ruins around Okinawa. One thing important to know is that Okinawa was not always part of Japan. They were a separate kingdom called the Ryukyu until 1609, when they were invaded by Kagoshima island. They remained a separate state from mainland Japan until the Meiji restoration. Though there some elements that overlap from Chinese and Japanese culture, Okinawa's culture is very unique.

The Shuri Castle is a restored castle located on the main island of Okinawa in Naha in the Shuri district which was the former capital of the Ryukyun kingdom. The castle was built in the 1300s and subsequently burned down several times. The current restoration was completed in 1992 and features gardens, a museum, and guided tours throughout much of the main buildings.

The main Castle building
Luckily the day I visited they were having a traditional dance exhibition, I found it to be very interesting as they preformed a great variety of court dances. As they were dances preformed for royalty they were quite subdued compared to the Eisa dances I saw at Okinawa World. After that me and my friend went on the tour of the castle buildings, we had to remove our shoes while inside naturally, and there are plenty of info signs written in English so it's easy for people like me who don't speak Japanese to know what's going on haha.

Throne room
I appreciate this cute anime guy mascot
Scale model of the castle
I particularly liked the throne room, I wish I could have seen more rooms particularly private rooms/bedrooms cause I like that feeling of stepping into a far off time. After the tour you can stop in the last building (on the left) that houses a small museum with dioramas artifacts and a small gift shop. There's a lot of information crammed into the tour and museum but the pace of it makes it go quickly! The last thing we did before heading out was take a stroll through the gardens.

I can safely say Shuri Castle was one of my top castles I visited in Japan for sure, and it's something you can't miss while you are visiting Okinawa. Next we headed off to America Village, so that will be my next and last post in the Okinawa mini-series. It's sad we are getting close to the end now!
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