The Kingdom of the Ryukyus reigned over Japan's southwestern islands for about 450 years from 1429 to 1879.
Since 32,000 years ago, humans lived in the Ryukyu Archipelago, a chain of islands stretching from Amami-oshima in the north to Yaeyama Islands in the south. Political forces on these islands began to appear in the 12th century, a period corresponding to Japan's Kamakura era.
Through wars and reconciliation, local warlords known as "aji" were gradually reduced in number as power was consolidated by a few. Finally in 1429, Sho Hashi defeated the major ajis to establish a unified nation. This marks the birth of the Kingdom of the Ryukyus and the Sho Dynasty.
The Ryukyus gradually evolved. Through trade and diplomatic ties with China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, the Ryukyus developed as an ocean-faring nation, with Shurijo Castle as its political, economic and cultural center.
I took a shuttle bus from the hotel in Ginowan city to Naha airport. I stored my luggage in a prepaid locker. Then, I took a monorail, called "Yui-rail" from the airport to Shurijo station around 30 minutes. It's 18 minute walking distance from the monorail station to the entrance gate. I took a local bus and walked 5 minutes to the entrance gate.
龍があちらこちらにあしらわれています。龍神様の宿るお城です。 Dragons were used in several places in the buildings. Dragon God is staying in the castle.
首里城本殿の真上に龍神様の形をした雲が浮びます。 A dragon-shaped Dragon God's cloud appeared above the main building at Shurijo Castle.
琉球王が座した椅子。赤と金であでやかです。 The chair of the Ryukyu kingdom king. It's decorated with red and Gold and very colorful.
首里城から見下ろした那覇港。 Naha Seaport looking from Shurijo Castle
首里城 Shuri Castle 沖縄県那覇市首里金城町1-2番地 1-2 Kinjo-cho, Shuri Naha city, Okinawa tel:098-886-2020
入館料は大人800円。ゆいレールの1日乗車券（600円）を見せれば、入館料は600円に割引される。 Admission is 800 yen for adults. If you show Yui-rail's one day pass (600 yen), it will be discounted to 600 yen.
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