In Japan, there are several areas that have been deemed UNESCO World Heritage sites. On mainland Okinawa, there are 9 areas. Most of them are gusuku (castle in Okinawan) ruins. Castles are also called "jo" or "shiro" in Japanese.
On past trips to Okinawa, we were able to visit 3 of the 9 sites(Katsuren castle ruins, Shuri Castle & Nakijin castle ruins). On this trip, we visited the remaining 6 sites.
Sonohyan-utaki-ishimon (located on the grounds outside of Shuri castle) everything except the door is made from Ryukyu limestone, the roof a top the door had sparkling Chinese jewels embedded in it.
Tama-u-dun downhill from the grounds of Shuri castle, was built in 1501 to re-entomb the remains of King Sho and his decendants. The site is 2442 square meters.
Shikinaen was the largest second residence of the Ryukyu royal family and was used to entertain Royal family members and foreign guests.
Sefa-utaki was regarded as an extremely sacred place and had strong ties with the official religious organization established by the Ryukyu Kingdom. Sefa means holding divine power. Utaki means sacred place. The limestone stairs were really worn and slippery. (Instead of sliding up and down the stairs, I was the only female to take off my shoes and walk barefooted--you will almost never see Japanese women do this)
Nakagusuku-jo ato-According to the guide brochure, you can see three types of stone layering at this castle ruin. The remains of this castle were really large (about 112, 399 square meters). There were archaelogical crews working to find more artifacts while we visited.
Zakimi-jo ato-this castle ruin was made of mostly coral and considered one of the most beautiful within Okinawa. The arched gateway is considered to be one of the oldest in Okinawa.
It was great to be able to see all of these World Heritage Sites. Are there any World Heritage Sites where you live? have you visited them or others around the world?