識名園 Shikina-en Garden
- World Heritages Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
- Around Naha and Shuri
- Travelko Rating
Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.
- Around Naha and Shuri
- 421-7 Maaji, Naha-shi, Okinawa 902-0072, Japan
- World Heritages
- Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
- Opening Hours
- [1st Apr-30 Sep] 9:00-17:30; [1st Oct-31 Mar] 9:00-17:00
World Cultural Heritage and National Site of Scenic Beauty : Royal garden villa
The garden located in south of Shurijo Castle is a nice place to take a relaxing walk and to learn about some more Ryukyu history. The biggest garden villa was built as Ryukyu loyal family’s rest place and also as a place to host Chinese envoys in the late 18th century. It was designated as National Site of Scenic Beauty in 1941, but a half of the garden was destroyed during WWII, especially because it was used as a Japanese military’s post. Then after 20 years of renovation work from 1975 till 1995, the villa gained back the current beautiful appearance, and it was designated as World Cultural Heritage in 2000.
The uniqueness about the villa is that you can see Okinawan, Japanese and Chinese features in one location, which is very rare in East Asia. Udun, the house, is made with Okinawan architecture. The stone bridge and Rokkaku-do are Chinese style. And the garden is Japanese style because Kaiyuushiki Teien, a garden you can stroll around, is applied.
You can also see some ingenious ideas that past Okinawans made. The stone paved path from the main gate, where only royal people and VIP visitors could use, is winding. You’ll find an answer why it is made so when you walk on that path. And from Kankougai, a watch tower, you can see the vast land in south, but no ocean. Then-Okinawan’s political strategy is hidden in those gardening architectures.
The inside of the main building, Udun is also open to public, so you go inside and view the garden as if you were a member of Royal family or VIP guest. For your information, the view from Ichiban-za, the number one room, is the best because there is one less pillar to provide a better view for special guests.
Add: 421-7 Maaji, Naha City (Zip: 902-0072)
Open : 0900-1730 (1 Apr ~ 30 Sep), 0900-1700 (1 Oct ~ 31 Mar)
Admission: 400 JPY for adults, 200 JPY for JHS students and under, free children under 7 accompanied by guardians
The Ryukyu Royal family’s villa
Shikina-en was made to embellish the rulers of the Ryukyu Kingdom and it was used for the reception of an envoy from China.
The garden is very large and its features are designed to make the garden appear even larger. The small path from the entrance to the palace wind its way through the trees and man-made hills, deceiving the visitors into thinking the garden is vast since they can’t see the destination. Even if you climb up the hill in the garden, you cannot see the ocean. All of these features were designed with purpose, in which to make the Ryukyu Kingdom appear more like a large country than a small island.
On the way of the path, there is a fountain pond as well; the trees and flowers covering both sides of the path make you feel like you are walking through a forest. Once you reach the end of a path, the scene opens up to a spectacular garden featuring a big pond. The blend of the Ryukyu-style palace and Chinese-style garden is very revering. Around the pond there are small pathways you can walk around. There are many good spots to take photos as well.
The palace is open to the public, and you can look at the rooms inside. There are restored Ryukyu Kingdom period style toilets and kitchen, giving you a peek of how the royalties might have spend their time here.
- * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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