Just minutes from our house are the remains of the Nakagusuku Castle, which as of 1972 was designated a National Historic Site, and at a cost of only Y400 per adult (the kiddies were free) it was definitely worth a visit.
According to the leaflet, this castle is one of the best preserved in its original state of the approximately 300 castle ruins found in the prefecture; Japan consists of 47 prefectures, Okinawa being one of them.
The castle has six enclosures with the walls constructed of Ryukyu limestone. Whats amazing about how the castle was constructed is that each piece of limestone is carved exquisitely and placed perfectly so that absolutely no mortar or cement is used. Despite the absence of such materials, they are so carefully jointed so not to impair the durability of the work.
This place is a lot bigger than either of us were expecting, it just went on and on; within the 6 enclosures were 3 wells – the availability of water within the castle walls added to the prestige and reputation of the castle, there is a large open space which was once used to train horses as well as 8 (or even more) places of worship.
The views were fantastic, the historic site runs from the north-western portion of Nakagusuku Village and up to the southern side of Kita-Nakagusuku Village, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean to the east and the East China sea to the west. Its even possible to see the sandy shores of Tsuken and Kudaka islands; Okinawa prefecture comprises of hundreds of Ryukyu islands.
It was a gorgeous winter day and we all enjoyed getting out of the house and so neat to see a small piece of Okinawa history. The only thing we would do different if we ever visit again, would be to pack a picnic to enjoy while admiring the views!