Japanese Language Blog

Outstanding Okinawa Sites Posted by on Jun 12, 2011 in Culture

Okinawan culture is a rich culture with a long history. There are still some remnants of Okinawa’s past that tourists can visit today. For instance, there’s the Shikinaen (識名園), which was a garden where the royal family relaxed and entertained guests. The Shikinaen is a garden that is distinctly different from the other gardens of Japan. It’s a rare and unique example of how Okinawan culture is independent from the culture of modern day Japan.


The Sonohyan Utaki Ishimon (園比屋武御嶽石門) is a stone gate that is considered sacred. To this day the locals of the area come to the gate to pray. When the Sonohyan Utaki Ishimon was first built in 1519, it was opened for the king. From then on, the Gate was only opened for kings. Today, the gate is closed, but it is still a place that is very much admired by visitors. The Sonohyan Utaki Ishimon is a major example of traditional Okinawan architecture and is therefore an important tourist locale in Okinawa.

The Tamaudun (玉陵) is a mausoleum of the past kings, queens and princes of what is now present day Okinawa. The royal remains of the dead are still entombed in the mausoleum. The kings and queens are buried in the eastern part of the complex and the princes and the other members of the royal family are buried on the western end of the mausoleum. The defining piece of Okinawan architecture is the shisa (シーサー) or stone lions that guard the mausoleum.


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  1. Dave Cooling:

    This is wounderful. Okinawa is my second home. I have family there that I miss so very much.