LOCAL OKINAWA ATTRACTIONS
Katsuren-jo site (Katsuren Castle Ruins)/Castle of a Mysterious Ryukyu Hero
Placed on a hill at the foot of Yokatsu Peninsula, guests find Katsuren Castle only 24 miles from our hotel. Here, they enjoy magnificent views surrounded by the beach and the emerald-green ocean. It is said that a hero who was intent on unifying Ryukyu used to live in Katsuren Castle from the beginning to the middle of the 15th century. He rose to become a regional chieftain and gained power through trade with overseas countries. However, his life is still shrouded in mystery. Think about the exploits of this legendary Ryukyu hero during your tour. You will find your visit here much more interesting.
Distance: Approximately 60 minutes by car using Okinawa Expressway | Website
Nakagusuku-jo site (Nakagusuku Castle Ruins)/Best Okinawa Stone Building
In the Nakagusuku Castle ruins, the remains of the castle overlooking Nakagusuku Bay of the Okinawa Main Island lie almost perfectly straight on a hill. It is said that a Ryukyu Kingdom general fortified the castle in middle in the 15th century. The castle is famous as almost the entire original castle remains in the existing Gusuku. The ramparts creatively take advantage of the geography using the latest techniques of the time and the beautiful curvature of the stone walls are evidence of the advanced fortification technology possessed by the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Distance: 53 miles/Approximately 60 minutes | Website
Nakijin-jo site (Nakijin Castle Ruins)/“Castle of God” surrounded by forests and ocean
Nakijin-jo is the site of castle ruins formerly belonging to a regional chieftain built prior to the unification of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Behind the castle ruins exists a utaki, which is a type of religious facility and as such Nakijin Castle is known as the “Domain of God”. The ramparts are approximately 3 to 8m high and 1.5 km long and comparable in size to those of Shurijo Castle where kings of the Ryukyu Kingdom resided. If you stand on the beautifully curved ramparts that flow along with the geography, Okinawa’s unique landscape of vivid color in contrast with the forests and ocean will surely catch your eyes.
Distance: 19 miles / Approximately 65 minutes | Website
Sefa-utaki/Greatest sacred site of the Ryukyu Kingdom
Sefa-utaki is a symbolic sacred site in Okinawa that is said to be a creation of the mythological Ryukyu god Amamikiyo. Men were prohibited from entering this site during the Kingdom era and inauguration ceremonies for Ryukyu's highest-ranking priestess were held here. Venturing through the triangle-shaped tunnel miraculously created by two rocks, one will find Okinawa’s most sacred altar known as Sangui. If you are lucky enough to experience the sunlight shining through the rock gate and the solemn air, you will be thoroughly immersed within its sacred atmosphere.
Distance: 48 miles/Approximately 95 minutes | Website
Shikinaen (Shikina-en Gardens)/Gardens integrating Chinese and Japanese styles
Located in the south of Shurijo Castle, Shikina-en Gardens was the second home of the Ryukyu Royal Family and was also called the "Southern Residence". It is possible to view the changing of the four seasons while strolling around the pond in the circuit-style gardens. The magnificent landscape, completed around 1800, reminds one of prosperity when the gardens were used for recreation by the Royal Family and entertaining envoys from overseas. A hexagonal Chinese-style Buddhist temple floats on the pond and there is unique atmosphere in the coexisting Chinese, Japanese, and Ryukyu styles.
Distance: 39 miles/Approximately 60 minutes by car using Okinawa Expressway | Website
Sonohyan-utaki Ishimon (Stone Gate)/See the detailed architectural patterns
Sonohyan-utaki Ishimon is a stone gate located on the premises of Shurijo Castle. The gate was created by a popular local stonemason in 1519, and except for the wooden door, the entire gate is made of stone. The decorations on the gate including those on both edges of the roof and the blazing flame pattern on the decorative balls are so detailed that they are comparable to wooden architecture. There used to be an Utaki, which is a type of religious facility behind the gate, and it is said that the kings of the Ryukyu Kingdom prayed for safe journeys here whenever they left the castle.
Distance: 39 miles/Approximately 60 minutes by car using Okinawa Expressway | Website
Shuri-jo site (Shurijo Castle Park)/Symbol of the Ryukyu Kingdom
The Shurijo Castle will be closed from October 31st, 2020 onwards due to the recent fire. Please visit the official website for further updates.
Shurijo Castle was once the residence of kings and prospered as the center of politics/diplomacy/culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The original artwork created by the integration of Japanese and Chinese architectural styles can be found throughout the castle. The Seiden or Main Hall located in the center of the castle is the largest wooden structure in Okinawa and the magnificent richly-colored decorations were created by gathering the best Ryukyu architects. A stroll inside the exotic castle is a reminder of the prosperity of the kingdom and reminds one of that bygone era.
Distance: 39 miles / Approximately 60 minutes by car using Okinawa Expressway| Website
Tamaudun (Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum)/Stone tombs of the Ryukyu Kingdom’s Royal Family
Tamaudun is the mausoleum of the Ryukyu Royal Family which ruled the Ryukyu Kingdom for approximately 400 years. Three inner chambers surrounded by rock walls were created by carving out holes directly in the natural rock. The atmosphere is solemn, and the ceiling is covered with boards engraved with the Royal crest and peonies, etc. The appearance of the palace motif is very interesting. Moreover, there are stone lion-dog statues which protect the mausoleum on the top of the towers to the right and left. A visit here is like a journey to a different time.
Distance: 39 miles/Approximately 60 minutes | Website
Zakimi-jo site (Zakimi Castle Site)/Elegant curved ramparts is a must-see
It is said that Zakimi-jo Castle was built by a famous fortifier (person responsible for designing/constructing castles) on a 125m hill in the 15th century. From the hill, one can see as far as the western coast of Okinawa. The elegant curves of the ramparts are strategically structured and are difficult to destroy so as to prevent intrusion by enemies. The arch gate where wedge-shaped stones were set is a unique design not found in other Gusuku (castles). This place is indispensable for viewing the history of construction of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Distance: 26 miles/Approximately 60 minutes by car using Okinawa Expressway| Website
The entire prefecture of Okinawa is famous for its warm climate and beaches. Nago area where the hotel is located are known for many beautiful beaches and marine activities.
Available marine activities nearby the hotel:
- Scuba diving/Snorkeling
- Jet Skiing
For more information or arrangements, please contact concierge.
Kise Country Club
The woods course is surrounded by a deep mystical forest, while the ocean course brims with a resort atmosphere commanding a view of the radiant blue sky and the distant sea. Come to this vast and exciting deeply verdant campus. The course features exuberant and challenging undulation, rich in strategy.
Distance: 0.4 miles/Approximately 2 minutes by car
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, with the colorful paintings of coral reefs and tropical fish, is home to a few of the world’s largest fish, the whale sharks, and world famous manta rays. The aquarium has three theme zones. Entering from the 4rth floor entrance, visitors discover the sea of corals. The Kuroshio (the Japan Current) zone has the world biggest acrylic panel (8.2 m in height, 22.5 in width and 60 cm thick). There is also the deep-sea world zone with its luminescent living creatures. A total underwater experience while staying on the ground!
Distance: 21 miles/Approximately 60 minutes | Website
Suggested Seasonal Activities
The climate in Okinawa is subtropical and mild weather in winter. You will find a variety of activities and events whenever you visit throughout the year.
April to November
- Trekking in Yambaru forest with nature guide - Temperature is about 20-25 degrees Celsius from March to April and perfect weather to walk in the forest.
- Make the most of tropical sunshine at the beach or swimming pool for the rest of the day. Variety of marine activities is also available.
December to March
- View the earliest cherry blossom in Japan - Nago area where the hotel is situated is known for beautiful cherry blossom and sakura festivals are also held every year. Generally it is in a full-bloom late January to early February depending on the year.
- Join whale watching tour - January to March is the best season to watch one of the largest creatures on earth in their natural habitat.
Trekking and Kayaking
Northern of Okinawa is known for untouched and preserved deep forest, commonly called the area "Yanbaru". Join one-day tour for trekking in the rainforest or kayaking along mangroves, you will have an opportunity to see rare animals and plants which you can only find in Okinawa.
Available nature activities near by the hotel:
- Forest walking
- Jangle Trekking
Tours can be arranged through our concierge.