The Iha Nuru Tomb may not seem too important by its humble appearance but is nontheless a very important site for the Ryukyuan and Okinawan culture (Photo: Michael Flemming)

Iha Nuru Tomb

Uruma City Cultural Asset #8

Michael Flemming   - 1 min read

Tombs and the dead themselves are the core of Ryukyuan and Okinawa cultural and religious beliefs.

The Iha Nuru Tomb in Uruma City is a coveted site believed to contain within its 15 unmarked urns the remains of the female priestess Iha, once the appointed religious leader of the nearby Kadena, Iha, Ishikawa and Yamashiro areas.

The tomb itself is carved out of a large limestone wall with small limestone rocks covering its entrance. While there are many tombs throughout Okinawa, most of which belong to specific families, its not uncommon for Okinawans to pray at this site for prosperity and longevity.

The site is located on a preserved hillside in northern Uruma City and directly on top of the northern entrance to the Route 329 Bypass tunnel. The tomb is designated as the Uruma City Cultural Asset number eight.

Getting there

The easiest way to access the site is to drive east along Route 6 from its intersection from Route 329 to the next lighted interchange; turn north (left) at this intersection and follow the signs to the Iha Nuru Tomb. The site is about 200 meters beyond the nearby Iha Castle Ruins.

Michael Flemming

Michael Flemming @michael.flemming

I'm a wanderer in Okinawa turning over every stone I can find. I write, photograph and blog about my favorite finds here in Japan's southernmost prefecture.