Saturday, October 16, 2010

Zakimi Castle

On the way up to Cape Zanpa I saw signs for Zakimi Castle Ruins and on the way home I decided to take a detour and check it out. I was going along nicely, until suddenly the road I was on turned into a narrow one way street. Uh-oh, how will I get back? Oops. But, I kept going (since I had to on the one way road) and eventually the road winded up to the castle ruins. At least I found it. Before getting out of the car I noticed the Japanese people in their cars looking at their road maps, not a great sign. But, I got out and was determined to make the most out of this spot, especially if I was going to get lost because of it. Zakimi was recognized by the Japanese government as a National treasure; it has also been been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There were nice walking paths shaded by tall trees and birds were singing. Quite a quiet, peaceful spot. The main path lead up to the castle walls.

Huge blocks of stone still holding strong since the 15th century. "Ryukyuan militarist Gosamaru, Zakimi Castle oversaw the northern portion of the Okinawan mainland. The gusuku fortress has two inner courts, each with an arched gate. This is Okinawa's first stone arch gate featuring the unique keystone masonry of the Ryukyus. (Wikipeida)" Zakimi castle is said to have been built by having the stones from Gosamaru’s former castle moved one by one by a human chain of workers!

I ended up only being slightly confused (I won't even say I was lost) and found my way back to the main road pretty easily. After all Yomitan is a relatively small village. This was a cool piece of history to visit. And, it was free!

1 comment:

Mary Rogers said...

Impulsive adventures are the #1 best. What a gorgeous spot you found!