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Okinawa is home to a unique culture that differs considerably from that of mainland Japan. Until the islands were invaded by the Satsuma domain (present day Kagoshima Prefecture) in 1609, Okinawa existed as an entirely separate country from Japan, known as the Ryukyu Kingdom.

After the invasion, the Ryukyu Kingdom served as a tributary state to Japan, but continued to be governed by the royal family from Shuri Castle. It was not until 1879, a few years after the Meiji Restoration, that the kingdom was abolished and incorporated into Japan as Okinawa Prefecture.

The castles of Okinawa, known as "gusuku" in the Okinawan language, are among the most vivid monuments that testify to the unique cultural and historical heritage of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In the year 2000, five castles and four related sites were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the collective title of "Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu".

Castles

Shuri Castle

Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

Katsuren Castle Ruins

Zakimi Castle Ruins

Nakijin Castle Ruins

Related Sites

Tamaudun Mausoleum

Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate

Shikinaen Garden

Sefa Utaki

Getting there and around

The castles are spread across Okinawa Honto. See their individual pages for access details.

How to get to and around Okinawa Main Island

Hotels around Okinawa Island

Top rated on Okinawa Island
Budget:
    • Condominium Felicita Naha
      Budget-friendly
      Condominium Felicita Naha is situated in the centre of Naha, just 3.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. The apartment, set in a building dating from 2017, is 1.5 km from Yachimun Street and 3.5 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. This air-conditioned apartment features 1 bedroom and a bathroom equipped with a bath and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV is featured. Off-site paid public parking is available nearby. Shuri-jo Castle is 3.7 km from the apartment. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from Condominium Felicita Naha.
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    • The LANAI HOSTEL
      Budget-friendly
      In a prime location in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, The LANAI HOSTEL is located 2.1 km from Naminoue Beach, 2.4 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. With a shared lounge, the 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. At the hostel every room is fitted with bed linen and towels. The LANAI HOSTEL offers a sun terrace. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Yachimun Street, Sakaemachi Arcade and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from The LANAI HOSTEL.
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    • Hotel Collective
      Luxury
      Hotel Collective features a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Naha. Each accommodation at the 5-star hotel has city views and free WiFi. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, bathrobes and a desk. At the hotel every room has bed linen and towels. Continental and ? la carte breakfast options are available every morning at Hotel Collective. The wellness area at the accommodation is comprised of a sauna and a hot tub. Popular points of interest near Hotel Collective include Naminoue Beach, Yachimun Street and Shijo Hondori. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the hotel.
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    • La Passione Boutique B&B
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a terrace, La Passione is a secluded bed and breakfast in Naha. Guests can take a 10-minute walk to Naha Kokusai Dori or go to Jogaku Park, a 4-minute walk from the property. Bicycle hire is available upon reservation. All rooms have an electric kettle and a refrigerator, while some rooms are equipped with a private bathroom. A hairdryer is provided on site. Extra amenities include face tissues, cotton buds, hand soap, body soap, hair shampoo and conditioners. Guests can enjoy Western-style breakfast at La Passione. Luggage storage is available on site. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 500 meters away from La Passione, while Makishi Public Market and Yachimun Street are both a 10-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, a 20-minute taxi ride from the property.
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    • Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street
      Budget-friendly
      Located within 1.2 km of Naminoue Beach and 3.7 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum, Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street provides rooms with air conditioning and a shared bathroom in Naha. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All units in the capsule hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. At Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street every room comes with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 2-star accommodation with a sauna. Yachimun Street is 1.6 km from Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 2.7 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the capsule hotel.
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    • 美らガーナハウス壷川
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Naha, near Naminoue Beach, Manko Park and Okinawa Prefecture Government, 美らガーナハウス壷川 features free WiFi. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also provided, as well as a kettle. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 6 km from the apartment, while Yachimun Street is 2.3 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 3 km from 美らガーナハウス壷川.
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    • Villa Coast Nishimachi - Guesthouse in Okinawa
      Budget-friendly
      Located just a 7-minute drive from Naha Airport, Villa Coast Nishimachi houses self-contained accommodations with free WiFi connection. The apartment houses a shared lounge with drinks and snacks vending machines. Each room is fitted with a full kitchen with a microwave and a washing machine. All rooms have air conditioning, a working desk and a flat-screen TV. Featuring a bath, private bathroom comes with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. From the apartment, a convenience store is within a 2-minute walk. There are numerous local restaurants and shops within 15 minutes walking distance around the apartment. Naminoue Beach is a 10-minute walk and Asahibashi Station is a 13-minute walk away.
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    • Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku
      Mid-range
      Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku is situated in Naha, within 2.1 km of Senaga Kaichu Road Beach and 8 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum. Featuring a shared lounge, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking is available on site. All rooms have a safety deposit box. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. Staff at Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku are available to provide advice at the 24-hour front desk. Naha Air Base is 2.3 km from the accommodation, while Yachimun Street is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 1 km from Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku.
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    • Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya
      Mid-range
      Located in Naha, 2.5 km from Naminoue Beach, Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is situated 3.8 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum, 2.3 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa and 4.3 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. Every room is equipped with a balcony. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, slippers and a wardrobe. The private bathroom is equipped with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. The rooms will provide guests with a stovetop. An American breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Popular points of interest near Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya include Yachimun Street, Noren Central Market and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the accommodation.
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    • Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji
      Luxury
      Ideally situated in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji is situated less than 1 km from Naminoue Beach, 3.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.3 km from Yachimun Street. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Private parking is available on site. The rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. All rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. Popular points of interest near Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji include DFS Galleria Okinawa, Tomarin - Tomari Port Terminal and Fukushu-en Garden. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the accommodation.
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