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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Onna Part 1: Zakimi Castle Ruins and Manzamo Cape

After Naha, my sister and I traveled up to Onna. There, she spent two days diving while I explored the area. Since we rented a car, I drove around for the two days. Parking was free everywhere I went, and I didn't really see buses or train stops, so I would advise that you rent a car if you're heading to Onna.

Zakimi Castle Ruins (座喜味城)
My first stop was Zakimi Castle ruins. The castle is believed to have been built in the early 15th Century by a Ryukyuan lord named Gosamaru. It overlooks the nearby town and apparently it's a really good location for a fortress. It's also designated as a UNESCO world heritage site on December 2nd, 2000, along with other Gusuku ruins (including Shuri castle).

As you make your way to the castle, you'll pass through some trees

And then through the door.

The only things left are the walls, which are curved. It's a good place to wander around and is pretty peaceful (there was one tour group but the place is big enough that I could avoid them if I wanted).

I believe that at certain times in the year, Zakimi castle ruins are lighted up at night. For more information, you can look at this page, which also has information on how to get to the place (Japanese only).

You can also climb up and walk along part of the castle walls!

This is the view of the castle:

And this is the view on the other side:

If you like castles and nature, you should come and visit the ruins! Of course, if you're pressed for time and can only choose between this and Shuri castle, I would vote for Shuri castle because it has more things to see.

There is also a museum next to the place. Unfortunately, the museum was undergoing renovations when I was there, so I can't give any information on what it's like. The entrance does have some pamphlets about Zakimi castle ruins so you might want to stop by before visiting the ruins to grab some reading material.

They had a copy of the UNESCO world heritage certificate at the entrance!

Manzamo Cape (万座毛)
Manzamo cape is a scenic point in Onna, and one of the top tourist spots (according to Google). There are plenty of signs pointing to Manzamo, so it's pretty easy to find.

The car park has shops on both sides selling various omiyage, clothes, and juices.

There's basically a walking path along the cape.

The views are truly breathtaking, although my sister claims that the views while diving is even better.

You can even see a few resorts at one point.

I also saw a few signs warning about habu (poisonous snakes) so be careful when venturing off the path. I saw a lot of tourists who were taking photos next to the sign, but I'm not sure if they knew it was safe or if they just didn't see the warning signs.

If you're a fan of nature and scenic spots, this is definitely somewhere you'll want to go when you're in the Onna district.

For all the posts about my Okinawa trip, please look at the masterpost.

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