Overlooking the East China Sea on Okinawa’s west coast, Ginowan is a small city home to a UNESCO-listed castle and popular recreational beach. It’s also near the Okinawa Peace Park and reconstructed Shuri Castle.
Things to do
Explore the ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nakagusuku Castle, which was built by the Ryukyu Kingdom in the early-15th century. You can admire the highly-skilled masonry of its stacked stone walls that were typical of gusuku architecture.
Don’t miss Shuri-jō, which lies on the outskirts of Naha City and once served as the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa, it has been beautifully reconstructed to its 14th-century appearance and includes ornate gates, shrines, courtyards and ceremonial halls.
Relax on the shores of Ginowan Tropical Beach, a lifeguard-patrolled stretch of sand backed by a leafy park. Enjoy a picnic at one of the barbecues and let the kids run loose in the playground, then stop for ice cream and snacks at local food stands.
Combine your visit to Shuri-jō with the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, where the World War II Battle of Okinawa is remembered. Admire the towering Okinawa Peace Hall and wander through the poignant Cornerstone of Peace inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives.
Ginowan is around 40 minutes’ drive from Naha Airport and connected to Naha City by regular buses. Buses and taxis travel throughout Ginowan and rental cars are available for exploring further afield.
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