The Chibana Castle Site in Okinawa City is a great example of the condition which most of the 200 plus Ryukyuan Kingdom historical sites are presently in. It's not intact or restored or even ruinous, it is simply a site with not much more than modern day walk ways and signage to show that it was once the chosen home of the local Lord. Perched high on a hilltop that has been reclaimed by dense jungle vegetation, it absolutely does take an adventurous spirit and active imagination to envision the Okinawa City Site of Importance as something more than just a forgotten relic of Okinawa's past. The site is a great spot for a short visit as it takes no more than an hour to explore the hill, walk the paths, enjoy the views, and trudge through its overgrown boonies. Wear very comfortable hiking shoes and full length clothing as the site is not only overwhelmed by the jungle but much of the improvements to make it accessible by foot have deteriorated over the years. There is an observation tower at the top of the hill. The site is less than five minutes south of the Okinawa Expressway Exit number 5 at the intersection of Routes 329 and 16. Just north of that intersection look for the "Chibanajo Castle Site" signage and the towering hillside. Drive toward the hill as shown on the signs which will lead down a steeply declining road. While on this steep decline look for an equally steep inclining road on the left after about 50 meters which leads to the site. The Chibana Castle Site is open 24 hours a day but it's best to visit during daylight hours.
I'm a wandererer in Okinawa turning over every stone I can find. I write, photograph, and blog about my favorite finds here in Japan's southernmost prefecture. Find more of my rants and finding on my travel blog.