The Nakijin Castle Ruins (今帰仁城跡, Nakijinjōato) are located on the Motobu Peninsula of northern Okinawa Honto and are among the UNESCO World Heritage designated Castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In contrast to other castles on Okinawa, Nakijin Castle stands in an area of low population density with lush forests, that bestow the ruins with a unique atmosphere.
Nakijin Castle was built in the late 1200s. During the Sanzan Period (1322-1429), Okinawa Honto was divided into three kingdoms: the Hokuzan in the north, the Chuzan in the middle and the Nanzan in the south. Nakijin served as the castle of the Hokuzan king until it was taken over by the Chuzan on their way to unifying the island and forming the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Besides the castle ruins stands the Nakijin Village History and Culture Center with a small museum displaying items unearthed on the castle grounds, such as Chinese pottery, coins and documents. There are also exhibits about everyday life and culture of Nakijin Village.