Posted by: popsgurl44 | April 1, 2009

Nakijin Castle Ruins and Museum

 

Najikin Gusuku walls.

Nakijin Gusuku walls.

Nakijin Castle or Nakijin gusuku – castle (Ryukyuan). In the Fourteenth Century, the Ryukyu Islands were broken into three sections.  Nanzan to the south, Chūzan in the central area, and Hokuzan in the north. Nakijin was Hokuzans’ fortress. The fortress now mostly in ruins is home to groves of what the Okinawan people call Utaki-or sacred places. These are places for the worship of gods and ancestors, much like a Church or Temple today.  (Special thanks to Wikipedia and Yahoo Translation-I am a research freak! ) 

 

 

Our Great Wall

Half way Views.

 The Ruins site is beautiful and basically untouched by modern architecture. You can walk through and climb the steep steps all throughout the castle. There is a full scale model at the bottom of the entrance. I do recommend sneakers or hiking boots, due to the nature of some of the walkways and steps being untouched or rebuilt.

Only part of the steps! LOL :)

Only part of the steps! LOL 🙂

During February, Okinawa and Mainland Japan are in bloom with “Sakura” or Cherry Blossoms. Festivities are found all over Okinawa celebrating the “Sakura”, as well as witnessing the beautiful trees in bloom.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

This alone made for great photo opportunities!  Being the very much camera crazed tourist, I jump at moments like this!

 

 

The girls sniffing the "Sakura" flowers!

The girls sniffing the "Sakura" flowers!

We were lucky enough to enjoy the Cherry Blossoms, in bloom, during our visit. Added Bonus. The Ruins itself was breath-taking.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

There also is a museum on site. The musuem is filled with all kinds of interesting things. Pictures of the excavation, tools used during the 14th century, artifacts found on site. Most things are solely in Kanji, but give you great photo ops and interesting stories about what you think it is!   We didn’t stay too long, for the sake of bellies craving lunch after our castle hike. 

 

 

 

Tools found at the site. Najikin Ruins Museum

Tools found at the site.

Our exploring buddies and good friends (Cindy, Brandon and their kiddos) took the trek with us to Nakijin Castle. It is a bit of a drive from our base, but I think the pictures will prove, very much worth it! We made a day of it. We even stopped by the Pineapple Park on the way home and bought some Pineapple Wine. (I’m saving that for another post….Ooo..the suspense!)

One view from the top.

One view from the top.

 

 

It was so busy, the day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, that they had shuttle busses to and from parking. That was another added bonus, with 4 adults, 2 excited kids, 1 toddler and a 1 week old! I do recommend a baby sling or carrier because you cannot bring strollers through the Ruins sites. The museum, on the other hand, is stroller accessible.
The site can take a bit out of you if you’re not used to it. You should really see how many steps there are. It’s amazingly still very much intact!  Definitely, great for the thighs! Our Marine husbands had no problems, of course! –hint of sarcasm…. nah!

On the way back down the steps. Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms.

On the way back down the steps. Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms.

Again, I tell you, the view from the top is worth it! (and I am very much terrified of heights, so this means a lot) Plus we got that much needed workout. See how many added bonuses we got on this trip!

What the girls called "The Great Wall"

What the girls called "The Great Wall"

 I will be returning to the site soon. I forgot to buy my souvenirs from their little gift shops. Also, we did notice tours going on. We are unsure if there are English tours but I will try my best to find out on my next visit. I would really like to know more on the sites history. It would also be great to see if we guessed right, on some of those artifacts in the museum!

 

 

 

Green and Serene

Green and Serene

Due to my camera not arriving here the way I expected it to.(It’s in much need of repair)- I called in for re-inforcements.  With permission to steal her photos, Cindy has so graciously added some of her great shots. I was using the hubs iffy, not like mine, type of camera.  Yes, I’m that picky when shooting photos. OCD-ish even! Thanks for all your photos Cindy!

 

 

 

The entrance/exit and random couple.

The entrance/exit and random couple.

 If you are interested in more info on the site let me know. I don’t remember how much it cost to get in but I’m pretty sure it was no more the 500 yen per person. Kids were cheaper. I will be putting in my edit after our 2nd visit up there. Hope you go check it out!

At the entrance/exit--Konnichiwa! Arigato Gozaimasu!

At the entrance/exit--Konnichiwa! Arigato Gozaimasu!

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. These pictures are outstanding. I did not realize that you had a musuem. I have been to the ruins about 9 times while I was on military duty at MCAS Futemna

  2. Thank you! As you can see the photos where taken not only by myself but Cindy as well. I hope you enjoyed your time in Oki while you were here. I am unsure about the museum and how long it’s actually been there. Hopefully I will have some more updates on that when I go back and take a tour. Thanks for the comment!


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