Shuri Castle - Okinawa, Japan

Shuri Castle (Shuri-jo) is the well-known sightseeing spot in Okinawa. It is a registered world heritage that embodies the Ryukyu Kingdom so the tourists who visit Okinawa will visit here. Mostly Shuri Castle is a must-see in tour program. You can join the daily tour or take the monorail to this castle by yourself. Some events are held at this site i.e. Shurijo Castle Festival. 

Monorail Shuri Station, South Exit and 15 minutes walks or take bus no. 7 or 8 and 5 minutes walk.
(One Day Pass 800 yen, 2 Day Pass 1,400 yen)
I decided to walk from Shuri Station. 

Get off Shuri Station. Go Straight, cross the road. 

Go straight follow the yellow sign.

When you see Lawson, turn left and go straight. FYI, there is Blue Seal (popular ice cream) shop next to Lawson. 

If you take the bus no.7 or 8, please check bus timetable here. Bus stop is Shurijo mae.
If you take the bus, bus stop is close to this Shureimon gate.
Bus fare is 150 yen (monorail day pass gives you discount 20 yen), 2 minutes walk. If you come with a group of 4 people or more, you can take the taxi. Taxi fare starts at 550 yen.

After turn left at Lawson, go straight. The gate on below photo is Kyukeimon; one of exit gate. 

On your right side is Benzaitendo and Enkanchi. If you are interested in stamp collecting rally, there are 2 stamps at this point.

There are a lot of stamps around Shuri Castle. You can pick up this kind of stamp poster for collecting stamp at 2 points which are near ticket office and Shureimon. It's fun activity even I'm not a child. 

Sample of stamp collecting.

This is the Kankaimon; Entrance gate.

Keep going, the stairs are a little bit slope. 

Turn back and you will see the beautiful city view.

There are free and paid areas.
Shurijo Castle Park Paid Admission Zone are as follows:

1. Houshinmon
2. Nanden / Bandokoro
3. Shoin / Sasunoma
4. Okushoin
5. Kugani-Udun
6. Seiden
7. Hokuden

Buy the ticket first. There are ticket counter and ticket vending machines.
Ticket vending machine is convenient and faster but mostly the tourists still buy the ticket from the counter. If you have monorail pass, buy the ticket at the counter.
There is toilet near the ticket counter.

Admission Fee:
Adult 820 yen (Monorail Day pass discount, 660 yen)
High school 660 yen
Junior High and Elementary School 310 yen  (Monorail Day pass discount, 250 yen)
5 and under  Free

Opening Hours

Apr. to Jun. (8:30 to 19:00) Last entry:18:30
Jul. to Sep. (8:30 to 20:00) Last entry:19:30
Oct. to Nov. (8:30 to 19:00) Last entry:18:30
Dec. to Mar. (8:30 to 18:00) Last entry:17:30

Shurijo Castle served as the proud and dignified center of Ryukyu Kingdom and its politics, foreign affairs and culture. With architectural influences from both China and Japan, the Castle shows its exceptional cultural and historical values in its unique stonework and architectural design. Thus, Shurijo was designated as a World Heritage Site in December of 2000, the 11th World Heritage Site within Japan (Ref. Shurijo Website).

On the day I visited Shuri Castle, it was under maintenance at the front of Seiden like this. It's pity that I could not take beautiful picture. Next month, there are more areas for maintenance. You can check the information here.

You must take off your shoes before going inside Seiden. The staff will give you a plastic bag for putting your shoes and return the bag when you exit. The photography is prohibited except this area (below photo) only. The first floor is called Shichagui where the King himself conducted his political affairs and ceremonies. 

After got off Seiden, move to another building. In this building has toilet and souvenir shop.
There are other interesting sightseeing spots around Shuri Castle. You can take your time to walk around. I exited at Kyukeimon Gate which is not far from Benzaitendo and walked to monorail station. If you are tired from walking, you can take the taxi or bus.

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