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Sunday, November 6, 2011

"The Nangusuku Castle Site Ruins in Nago City"

Steps leading up the Nangusuku Site Ruins

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Nangusuku Castle Ruins of Nago City

     N 26 35.269E 127 59.424

The Nangusuku Castle Site Ruins in Nago City

The Nangusuku Castle Ruins is part of a much larger park known as the 'Nago Castle Site Park'. The ruins are collocated on the same mountainous region where they host the annual Nago Cherry Blossom Festival every January and February. English translated signs found near the site explain that the ruin grounds were residence to Nago Aji, once royal members of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Additionally research has shown that various artifacts excavated here have been said to have theirs origins traced to China and Korea giving belief that people first settled here around the 14th Century. Artifacts included Chinese ceramic pottery known as 'Kamwi-yaki' jars and Korean roof tiles and pots. Unlike many of the major castles found on Okinawa, the Nangusuku site does not have any stone walls. Instead, trench like defensive structures have been discovered at this site.

When you first arrive near the ruin grounds, it is not quite clear where exactly are the ruins. Everything seems to have been modernized (meaning modern construction) with the exception of a few old sacred prayer sites scattered about. There is a shrine at the top of the steps. This too is built from modern construction. As you walk around you will see a network of trails and beaten paths, and paved roads. You will be tempted to walk around the entire park. As stated before, the ruin grounds is part of a much larger park. If you do wish to venture off, prepare to walk a lot. Most of it will be up or down hills.

Location and Parking. Parking closest to the Nangusuku Castle Site is at the 'south entrance'. The Green Thumbtack icon you see above marks the base of the steps that lead up to the ruin site, and also marks one of the designated parking areas at the 'south entrance'. These landmarks are collocated near the end of Route 18 and the Nago Green Bridge.

If you wish to visit the entire park and see other stuff and have no desire to walk long distances, then view the last picture in the photo-album. It a photo of a map board taken at the park. The 'south entrance' will be a the lower left hand corner. Downloading the photo will not give you a high resolution. Use Google's zoom tool already affixed to the photo album instead to see more details. This map board is also located at the Lower Creek Park caddy corner to the Nago Green Bridge (both near the south entrance).

Note: Other photos of the park are included in the photo album in case you decide to visit other areas.

What to bring. Water, mosquito repellant, good foot wear, umbrella for rain and knocking away spider webs, camera, hat or sweat rag (optional), Bento lunch (optional).

Bathroom facilities. There are various bathroom facilities spread out through the park.

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