Shuri Castle was the main palace of the Ryukyu kingdom from 1429 to 1879. The current castle is a reconstruction of the original which was destroyed during the war. In addition to the visit of the castle keep, traditional Okinawan dance demonstrations are given for free on the premises of the castle.
Sefa Utaki is a historical sacred site that was once one of the most sacred place of worship for Ryukyu people. It is apparently where the goddess of creation came down to Earth. The sacred site is kept in a natural state. Many walking paths lead to impressive rock formations through the dense forest.
The cave of Shirumichu is though of being the place where gods Shirumichu and Amamichu, the creator gods of Okinawa, gave their first birth. It is now a popular place to pray for pregnancy and safe delivery.
Zakimi Castle is a Ryukyu castle in Okinawa whose walls and foundations have been restored. The castle was built in the 15th century and belonged to the famed general Gosamaru. The site is now a UNESCO world heritage site and is open to visitors for free.
This small piece of land attached to the island of Hamahiga in Okinawa is a sacred site of the Ryukyu religion. It is known as the tomb of Amamichu, the creator god of Okinawa. A small shrine on the island is dedicated to the god.
The Nakijin Castle ruins are the remnants of an important castle of the Ryukyu kingdom. Interestingly, one of the upper levels of the castle was a sacred site accessible only to women in order to maintain the site’s purity. Nowadays, a museum featuring artifacts excavated on the premises of the castle is located next to the ruins.
Katsuren castle was built on a hill overlooking the Katsuren Peninsula. Nowadays, only the stone walls that were once protecting the castle against intruders remain. In ancient times, the local government controlling the castle was conducting trade with foreign nations, as evidenced by the Roman currency found during excavations. The castle site is now well known for the beautiful scenery it offers to its visitors.
Gassho Mura (Village) is a touristic attraction in Gero which features traditional Japanese farmhouses that were moved to Gero and preserved as a museum, recreating a typical mountain village of the old days. The Gassho houses feature a steep triangular roof made of dried vegetation. In addition to the traditional Japanese farmhouse, the village also features beautiful gardens.
Takayama Jinya is a former government building that was under direct governance of Edo (previous name of Tokyo). The building is now a museum open to visitors. Most of the rooms are tatami rooms that once served as offices and meeting rooms but there is also a peculiar room that was used by the lord to interrogate/torture suspected criminals.
The origins of Sakurayama Shrine in Takayama date back to the fifth century. Nowadays, the shrine plays an important role in the celebration of the Takayama festival (Takayama Matsuri) when large floats are pushed through the streets of Takayama. The Sakurayama Shrine is located on a hillside and is surrounded by large trees which confer to the site a serene atmosphere. Nearby, a museum features several festival floats on display and another boasts an impressive selection of small-scale replicas of the Nikko historical sites.