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Shikinaen (識名園) was constructed in the end of the 18th century as the second residence of the Ryukyu kings. It features beautiful, relatively simple, wooden palace buildings with Okinawan style, red tile roofs and a spacious Japanese style landscape garden with a central pond. While the garden is designed in a style seen elsewhere in Japan, the architecture and flora give Shikinaen a uniquely Okinawan flavor.

Shikinaen was completely destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa of 1945, but has been neatly restored in the postwar years. In 2000, Shikinaen was among the sites added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the title Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.

A pair of stone bridges lead across the pond

The garden can be viewed from a 300 meter circular path, which leads through a forested area before reaching the pond. Two stone bridges connect to a small islet in the middle of the water and allow visitors to cross from one side of the pond to the other. A small hexagonal pavilion stands on a second islet. Artificial hills surround the pond and give the garden more vantage points and character.

The palace building stands near the pond's shore. The beautifully wooden structure used to serve the entertainment of the royal family and important guests. Today, visitors can inspect the building's large tatami floored rooms that look out onto the garden.

Inside the palace
A guard house in the forest surrounding the pond

Access

By public transportation

Shikinaen Garden is one of the few attractions in Naha that is not accessible by the Okinawa Monorail. Instead it can be reached in about 20 minutes and for 230 yen one way from central Naha by bus numbers 2, 5 or 14. Among the three lines, bus number 5 can be boarded along Kokusaidori and bus number 14 at Naha Bus Center and Asahibashi Station.

By car

By car, Shikinaen can be reached in ten minutes from central Naha or 20 minutes from Naha Airport. Note, however, that the trip can take considerably longer during rush hours.

How to get to and around Naha

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 18:00 (until 17:30 from October to March)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Closed

Wednesdays (or following day if Wednesday is a national holiday or falls on June 23)

Admission

400 yen

Hotels around Okinawa Island

Recommended Hotels
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Okinawa Kenchomae
Reliable business hotel within walking distance of Kokusaidori Street and the monorail.
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Hotel JAL City Naha
Conveniently located in the center of Kokusaidori Street in Naha.
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Hotel Nikko Alivila
One of the best luxury resort hotels on Okinawa.
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InterContinental ANA Manza Beach Resort
One of the most popular beach resort hotels on Okinawa Island.
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JAL Private Resort Okuma
A leading beach resort in the sparsely populated north of Okinawa Island.
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Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: February 4, 2015