Nakijin Castle Ruins

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in Okinawa Island
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The Nakijin Castle Ruins (Am, 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.

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Get There and Around

The Nakijin Castle Ruins are located on the Motobu Peninsula in northern Okinawa Honto, about 90 kilometers from Naha, and about a ten minute car ride from the Ocean Expo Park.

By Yanbaru Express Bus

The Yanbaru Express Bus directly connects the airport and city center of Naha with Nakijin Castle. Get off at Nakijin Joseki Iriguchi (AmՓ), from where it is a 15-20 minute walk uphill to the castle ruins. The one way trip takes about 2.5 hours and costs around 2000 yen. There are six round trips per day. In central Naha, the bus stops at the Prefectural Office (k), Tomari Port and Furujima Station along the Yurail monorail among other locations.

By regular buses

Take highway bus number 111 from Naha to Nago Bus Terminal (90 minutes, 2100 yen from Naha Bus Center; 105 minutes, 2190 yen from Naha Airport; 1-2 buses/hour) and transfer to bus number 65 or 66 that run counterclockwise and clockwise respectively in a loop around the peninsula. Get off at Nakijin Joseki Iriguchi (AmՓ, 45-60 minutes, 790-1000 yen, 1-2 buses per hour), from where it is a 15-20 minute walk uphill to the castle ruins.

By car

By car, take the Okinawa Expressway from Naha all the way to its northern end near Nago (1020 yen one way) and then follow regular roads across the Motobu Peninsula to the Nakijin Castle Ruins. In total, the journey takes about two hours one way (more during rush hours).

How to get to and around Okinawa Honto

Hours and Fees


8:00 to 18:00 (extended hours in summer)


No closing days


400 yen (castle and museum), 150 yen (museum only)



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Japan Guide Recommends:

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Okinawa Kenchomae

Reliable business hotel within walking distance of Kokusaidori Street and the monorail.

Agoda Booking

Hotel JAL City Naha

Conveniently located in the center of Kokusaidori Street in Naha.


Hotel Nikko Alivila

One of the best luxury resort hotels on Okinawa.


InterContinental ANA Manza Beach Resort

One of the most popular beach resort hotels on Okinawa Island.

Agoda Booking

JAL Private Resort Okuma

A leading beach resort in the sparsely populated north of Okinawa Island.

Agoda Booking

Tours and Experiences

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Page last updated: February 6, 2015