According to Ryukyuan mythology, Amamikyo, the creator of the Ryukyu Islands, built Minton Gusuku and made it her permanent place of residence after moving from Hamagaa (Hamakawa) Utaki. Minton Gusuku is also the place from where Amamikyo’s descendants spread and populated the Ryukyu Islands.
Artifacts such as stone axes and pottery fragments have been found dating back to the Jomon Period. This indicates that the area around Minton Gusuku has been inhabited for more 10,000 years ago.
Minton Castle or Minton Gusuku is located on a small hill behind a private residence. Access to this castle ruin is via someone’s garden. When I visited, the owner of the home was cutting the weeds in the garden, so my wife and I asked and got permission to pass through his garden and onto Minton Gusuku.
This isn’t much ruin to see here compared to nearby castle ruins such as Kakinohana Castle and Tamagusuku Castle, but Minton Gusuku is a very important sacred site for Okinawans, and there is a shrine on site. Minton Gusuku consists of what looks like two small overgrown baileys, but there could be additional baileys hidden in the undergrowth.
Minton Gusuku along with Chinen Castle, Tamagusuku Castle, Sashiki Castle and Sefa Utaki is part of the Agariumai Pilgrimage Route, so it is possible to see pilgrims praying there.
After a 5-minute bus ride from Nanjo City Hall, get off at the Nakadakari (仲村渠) stop using the A2 mini-bus which runs in a loop back to Nanjo City Hall. Minton Gusuku is on the other side of the road from the bus stop. You can also catch the A1 Nanjo City mini-bus, which runs in the opposite direction, but it will take around 35 minutes to get there.
All the photos uploaded with this profile were taken in late December 2022.
RaymondW wrote this castle profile and contributed all the photos.
|Prefectural Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|Free, but you have to go through someone's backyard
|Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture
|26° 8' 43.01" N, 127° 47' 29.00" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited