Monday, February 11, 2013
Gusuku is the term for an Okinawan castle with characteristic dry stone walls, arched gates and courtyards.
Zakami Castle was built by Lord Gosamaru, who was also to later construct Nakagusuku Castle closer to Naha.
Zakimi Castle is believed to have been constructed between 1416 and 1422. Zakimi Castle is now ruined but impressive walls, courtyard layouts and arches remain and there are views out over the coast from the top.
Zakimi Castle was used by the Japanese military during World War II and was bombed by the invading US forces as a result. After the war the US used the site as a radar station. The ruins today are set in peaceful, natural countryside with many trees.
Zakimi Castle is north of Chatan and Mihama American Village off route 58 very close to the coast and Nirai Beach or south coming from Cape Zampa Lighthouse. Nearby hotels are the Okinawa Zampa Misaki Royal Hotel and the Hotel Nikko Alivila.
The Yomitan Village History Folklore Museum is located at the car park entrance to Zakimi Castle and has a large number of exhibits relating to Okinawan history and culture on display including clothing, pottery, weapons and a kamekoubaka (turtle back tomb) - a style of tomb unique to Okinawa.
Fom Naha the #29 bus will get you to Zakimi Bus Stop from where it is a short walk to the castle.
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Ryukyu Zakimi Castle Okinawa Naha
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