Gushikawa Castle (Itoman Okinawa)

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Gushikawa Castle Ray 4.jpg


There are no historical records of who built Gushikawa Castle or when it was constructed. Archaeological investigation on site have found artefacts indicating that the castle was in use between the late 12th century to 15th century.

According to legend, it is said that the second lord of Gushikawa Castle on Kume Island, Makanikui, fled Kume Island after losing to Manikutaru in battle. Manikutaru was the second son of the lord of Ue Castle on Kume Island. Makanikui settled in the southern part of the main island of Okinawa and built a castle at Cape Kyan. He named it Gushikawa Castle, after the castle that he lost on Kume Island.

Visit Notes

Gushikawa Castle is the southernmost gusuku on the main island of Okinawa. It also has the most photogenic seaside view of all the gusukus that I have visited as it is located right next to the Pacific Ocean. This castle has two baileys, both surrounded by stone walls built using nozura-zumi style. Parts of the stone walls have been restored. There is a way down from the castle to the sea, but that has been roped off.

If you have a car, getting to Gushikawa Castle is easy, and there is small parking area about 50 metres from the castle ruin for around 5 cars. For those relying on public transport, there is a mini-bus run by Itoman City which drops you off at the same place, but you will have to reserve a seat and time for the mini-bus. This is all done on online, but it is only in Japanese. Thankfully, my Japanese wife dealt with all the reservations. Alternatively, there are infrequent buses from the Itoman Bus Terminal to a bus stop opposite the Kyan Post Office. From there, it is about 1.5km walk to the castle.

I wrote 30 minutes for the time needed at this castle. However, if you like taking a lot of photos and want to enjoy the ocean view, allow for an hour at this impressive castle ruin. My wife and I spent around 70 minutes on site before we headed to the next gusuku for the day.

All the photos uploaded with this profile were taken in April 2022.

RaymondW wrote this castle profile and contributed all the photos.

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Castle Profile
English Name Gushikawa Castle
Japanese Name 具志川城
Founder Makanikui (according to legend)
Year Founded Unknown
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Bus, mini-bus (see visitor notes)
Visitor Information Free
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture
Coordinates 26° 4' 49.30" N, 127° 39' 52.27" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor RaymondW
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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