Naha residents and tourists alike watched in horror and sadness as the city’s most beloved landmark, Shuri Castle, suffered a terrible fire in 2019.

The most impressive part of the castle, the Seiden area, as well as the Hakuden and Nanden Halls, were completely burnt to the ground.

Shuri Castle Main Hall
The Seiden at Shuri Castle | Photo by Gregory Lane

However, many parts of the castle did, thankfully survive, and as quickly as eight weeks after the fire, Shuri Castle Park reopened certain areas to the public and began welcoming tourists again. Reconstruction work for the Seiden area will take years, but in the meantime, visitors can still visit Shuri Castle, and see many of its beautiful attractions.

Shureimon Gate

Shureimon Gate
Shureimon Gate | Photo by Gregory Lane

One of the most popular icons of Shuri Castle, the Shureimon Gate is still standing tall, welcoming all visitors to pass through and enter the castle grounds. The gate is the same one featured on Japan’s 2,000 yen bill, so the next time you happen to find one in your wallet, hold on to it!

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Kankaimon Gate

Kankaimon Gate
Kankaimon Gate | Photo by Gregory Lane

Another significant landmark, the Kankaimon Gate is the first gate that leads to the inner part of the castle grounds. The striking stone shisa which guard this gate are extremely photogenic.

Kyo-no-Uchi Observation Platform

Photo by Gregory Lane

Enjoy the view of Naha City below, and an endless sea in front of you from this beautiful observation area.


Kofukumon Gate at Shuri Castle
Photo by Emily Dickson

One of the larger buildings in the park, the red walls and gate of Kofukumon is a good representation of the traditional architecture around the castle park.


Located at the base of the castle park, Ryutan is a scenic pond, almost always full of happy ducks, and a pleasant place to take a quiet stroll.

The official website for Shuri Castle has a full list and a map of which areas are still open, and a recommended walking route to see all of the beautiful sights that are waiting to welcome the public.

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Filed under: Things to Do

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