Okinawa Tourism Information:ThesunofthesummersolsticeatTamagusukuCastleRuins

The sun of the summer solstice at Tamagusuku Castle Ruins

post : 2015.07.01 19:00

Situated in Tamagusuku in Nanjo City, Tamagusuku Castle is said to have been the oldest castle on Okinawa and built by the legendary creator of the Ryukyus, goddess Amamikiyo.  Since 2,000 years ago this place is said to have been used as a worship place.  After that, in early Ryukyu Dynasty, it is said to have been functioned as a major worship place and a castle. 

The gate of Tamagusuku Castle is said to have been shaped like “Goboura Gai (Strombus latissimus)”, a large sea snail that is found only in below Okinawa. 

During the Yayoi Period (traditionally dated 300 BC to AD 300), bracelets made of Goboura Gai were much-prized as a symbol of the power.

In Okinawa and Amami, the sea snails have the meaning of “Conch of Sun” and the legend has it that the sun rising above the horizon was born from the sea snail living at the sea bottom. 

Before and after the summer solstice, which marks the longest daytime of the year, we can see dreamy scenery when the lights come into the gate at sunrise.  In the direction of Kudaka-jima Island, which is called the island of gods, the sun rises and the light goes through the gate of Tamagusuku Castle Ruins, which was created by combining rocks and is commonly called “the hole of the sun”, and shines on hinukan (the gods of fire), which was built in alighnmen with the castle gate within the ruins of Tamagusuku Castle. 

I have been here to see the sunrise on the summer solstice a couple of times, but the scenery really touches my heart.

In Okinawa, the legend has it that there is a kind of utopia called “Nirai Kani (the islands where the gods reside in the far east of the ocean)” in the line of the sun light.

On the winter solstice, the sunset comes in from the opposite side, and you can savor the very gorgeous sunset.  The Ryukyuan people in the old times created this site by calculating the movement of the sun, didn’t they?  What a spirit of romantic adventure was given to this spot!

The rock gate shaped like Goboura Gai is said to be meant to be “women’s womb” and to be the place which reminds us of the important things like the birth of life and reincarnation, the origin, etc.

The castle ruins which rest atop a hill provide you a stunning view of Nanjo City and the ocean as well as a comfortable wind when the weather is nice.  When you come to this beautiful place, you surely can feel the mystery of nature.

Tamagusuku Castle Site

Address: 444 Tamagusuku, Nanjo City, Okinawa
Parking: Available for 10 cars

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer 0173 (Reina Chinen)