Public transportation is not only very reliable in Japan, but also highly convenient. In Naha it is quite easy to follow, as there is only one line: the monorail. It runs from the airport to Shuri Castle through almost all of Naha. It’s build quite high above the ground with only 15 stops.
The castle of Naha, Shurijō, is located right on the final station of the monorail. From there it is only a few metres to the entrance. The Shureimon is a gate, that is depicted on the now seldom used 2000 yen bill, and it is one of the first attractions you come across.
The castle itself glows with bright red in the sun. The question about the original colour is red is still not sufficiently answered. It is nice and warm today, but not too hot. For walking around the castle gardens and grounds, a few hours should be planned. Since holidays are precious to me fun and enjoyment are the biggest points. Even though it was somewhat clouded and temperatures were only about twenty degree; for me it already felt like summer. I could not imagine doing this trip when it is really hot. We followed the path that was outlined by the stamp rally, to capture the impressions of the whole castle. It really is something. Although you can see the Chinese and Japanese influences, it is different from what I have seen so far. It is not hard to imagine, that Okinawa could be an independent country back in the day.
There are lots of gates and different buildings, each with their own purpose. Many of them served a celebratory or political function. The castle was the main governmental building of the Ryukyu kingdom. Most of its importance was the trade with all nations in the surrounding area. I will post a gallery with all the impressions and will add some captions later. This can unfortunately not be done with the app on the phone.
During our visit we seat down in the tea room and had some cups of Jasmine tea and traditional Okinawa snacks. After all the walking around it was a real treat.
After a hike half way through Naha we came to the Shikinaen (park/garden). That will go to a different post, which I might have to add after I return to Mito.
After we returned to the centre, is able to snap a picture of the monorail in the station, let’s just finfish the post with that.