Nakagusuku Castle

From Jcastle.info

Naka01.jpg

History

Nakakgusuku Castle was built by Sakinakagusuku Aji in the mid 14th Century and expanded upon by Gosamaru in the early 15th Century. Gosamaru was moved to Nakagusuku by the king to check the rising power of Amawari Aji in Katsuren Castle. In 1458 the castle fell to attacks by Amawari the lord of Katsuren Castle. The castle is made up of 6 baileys, each of a different elevation. It is said that Commodore Perry was impressed by the strength of the castle and the engineering displayed in its construction.


Visit Notes

viewer donated


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Gallery
  • stone wall
  • stone wall and arched gate
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • Main Gate or Seimon(正門)
  • Model of Nakagusuku Castle
  • South Bailey
  • Gun Loop
  • Second Bailey
  • Third Bailey


Castle Profile
English Name Nakagusuku Castle
Japanese Name 中城城
Founder Sakinakagusuku Aji
Year Founded mid 1300's
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Castles, UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access 50 min by bus from Naha Bus Terminal; 5 min taxi
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.wonder-okinawa.jp/002/001/e nak.html
Location Nakagusuku, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 17' 2.40" N, 127° 48' 5.18" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2015
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Admin Visits viewer donated


3.88
(8 votes)
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avatar

RaymondWHatamoto

6 months ago
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Added 6 photos including ones showing a model of Nakagusuku Castle and a gun loop, which I mentioned in an earlier e-mail below. I have also added coordinates for the photos, showing where the photos were taken. The yellow flowers seen in the South Bailey are from the Leopard Plant or Tsuwabuki in Japanese. These flowers were all over the place at Nakagusuku Castle, Nakijin Castle, Shuri Castle and Urasoe Castle in late December / early January.
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RaymondWHatamoto

6 months ago
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I re-visited this castle with my wife after Katsuren Castle on New Year’s Eve, 2021. Once again, I opted to use a taxi to save time. The bus is cheaper, but if you divide up the cost of a taxi for two or more people, it is only a bit more expensive than using a bus. It costs 3,000yen from Katsuren Castle to Nakagusuku Castle.

Apparently, Katsuren Castle considers Nakagusuku Castle its competitor for tourists. It is hard to rank the two as both are fantastic castle ruins to visit. Nakagusuku feels more like a natural ruin while Katsuren seems to have more completely restored ishigaki (stone walls) and a fantastic museum. Both Ryukyuan fortresses have wonderful views of the sea and surrounding coastal area from their location perched on top of a hill. I highly recommend visiting both castles if you have time.

At Nakagusuku Castle, one can find three different styles of ishigaki: nozura-zumi, nuno-zumi, and aikata-zumi. There is a section of stone wall a bit below Third Bailey and located in the North Bailey, where you can see an example of nozura-zumi and nuno-zumi incorporating some natural rock in between the two styles of Ishigaki. Another feature of Nakagusuku Castle that I didn’t see at Katsuren Castle are gun loops in the stone wall ruins.

This is probably my favourite gusuku, Okinawan for “castle”, as it has retained that feeling of a castle ruin without being as “polished” as Katsuren Castle or have as many visitors as Nakijin Castle. I’ve been to this gusuku several times now, and the first time was particularly memorable since my wife and I were the only ones there during a thunderstorm. Also, like Katsuren Castle and Nakijin Castle, every time that I visited this castle, it was quite windy. It must be its location overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

If you want to go to the last station on the monorail line, Tedako-Uranishi Station, from Nakagusuku Castle, it costs 2,500yen. We’ve taken the taxi a few times on this route, and each time the fare was the same.

For those interested in visiting the tomb of Lord Gosamaru, the castellan of Nakagusuku and before that, Zakimi Castle, his tomb is a 5-minute walk from the carpark of Nakagusuku Castle.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

89 months ago
Score 0++
To answer your question Eric, yes i visited today 2 other Okinawan castles. Nakagusukujô was first. Since the bus terminal is almost closed i took the bus #30 in front of the Ryubo department store. I told the busdriver where i was heading and he stopped at the busstop at 2 km from the site. The fee is 750¥. The site is nicely maintained and is bigger than I thought. At the admission counter you receive a leaflet in english and the indication panels are translated. Like all okinawan castles it is completely different from japanese ones, being built during the Ryukyu period.
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RebolforcesAshigaru

90 months ago
Score 0++
2km walk up hill from bus stop. Fantastic spot, great views, lots of walls. #30 Bus runs from bus stop B of Naha Bus terminal
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Jcastle.oldHatamoto

151 months ago
Score 0++
I was stationed on Okinawa from July 1967 to July 1969. My visits to Nakagusuku Castle are among my most memorable in Okinawa. I took a lot of photos of and from the walls and all visits were on gorgeous, blue-sky-weather days.