Nakagusuku Castle is an important part of the history of Okinawa as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site, under the title “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Kingdom”. It is located in Kitanakagusuku Village, in the central part of mainland Okinawa.
Only ruins are left of Nakagusuku Castle, but this place was once the home of the legendary Ryukyuan commander, Gosamaru. Established in 1440, Nakagusuku Castle was a fortress built to defend against forces from Katsuren Castle in the east. Gosamaru was eventually defeated and the castle was burnt to the ground, leaving only the limestone walls.
Today, Nakagusuku Castle is a beautiful piece of history, covered in greenery and has an amazing view over the island. You can get a guided tour but you will have to make a reservation at least one week in advance and the tour is entirely in Japanese.
Only 50 meters away is the famous Nakagusuku Hotel Ruins, a hotel that was abandoned before being finished in 1975. Monks from the nearby Buddhist temple warned the owner of the hotel that the place was sacred ground and home to many graves, and after numerous accidents during construction of the hotel, the workers refused to continue. It is now an empty, half-finished building overgrown by vegetation.
If you like walking you can take bus 30 from Naha Bus Terminal and get off at “Nakagusuku Shogakko”. Walk up the hill (approx. 2km) and it will be on your left side. If you are going by car, take route 329 north (if you are coming from Naha or Nishihara) and turn left when you reach route 146 and it will be just up the hill. Pictures: © Okinawa Convention＆Visitors Bureau
Nakagusuku Castle 中城城（なかぐすくじょう）
Kitanakagusuku Village 北中城村（きたなかぐすくそん）
Katsuren Castle 勝連城（かつれんじょう）
Nakagusuku Shogakko 中城小学校（なかぐすくしょうがっこう）
Key phrases to show taxi drivers:
How much is it to Nakagusuku Castle? 中城城までいくらですか？
How long time does it take to Nakagusuku Castle? 中城城までどのぐらいの時間がかかりますか？