Katsuren Castle is a gusuku located in the eastern part of central mainland Okinawa. Built in the 13th century by the ruler of the Katsuren area, Amawari, this castle was in use for almost 400 years. After being attacked by the Ryukyuan army it fell under the control of the Ryukyuan Kingdom. Katsuren Castle became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
Unlike Nakijin Castle, Katsuren Castle is a place free to visit anytime of the day, and it is more treated as a park than a theme park. After climbing the hill up to the top there is an astonishing view over Uruma City, Okinawa City and the Pacific Ocean.
On the other side of the street from Katsuren Castle is a tourist center where you can get more information about the area, as well as book tours. Most of the information is in Japanese, so it might be a good idea to bring a Japanese speaker if you are not familiar with the language yourself.
If you are going by car, I suggest taking route 330 until it ends in the north. Continue straight on route 75 for a while and turn right on route 16. Just continue on route 16 and Katsuren Castle will be on your right and the tourist center on your left. If you are taking the bus, get on bus 52 at Naha Bus Terminal and get off at Katsuren Danchimae. The bus trip takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus a 5 minute walk from the bus stop. Walk in the same direction as the bus is going. Pictures: © Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau
Katsuren Castle 勝連城（かつれんじょう）
Uruma City うるま市（うるまし）
Okinawa City 沖縄市（おきなわし）
Katsuren Danchimae 勝連団地前（かつれんだんちまえ）
Key phrases to show taxi drivers:
How much is it to Katsuren Castle? 勝連城までいくらですか？
How long time does it take to Katsuren Castle? 勝連城までどのぐらいの時間がかかりますか？