Okinawa, which has a very unique culture, is dotted with numerous power spots. For this selection, we have picked up 5 recommended spots.
Sefa Utaki, in the Chinen peninsula, is considered to have been built by "Amamikiyo," the founder of the Ryukyu Kingdom (the old name of Okinawa prefecture) and it is considered the most sacred of the seven utaki of Okinawa. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in December 2000. During the era of the Ryukyu Dynasty, this place held the ceremony of assumption of office for Omiki Kikoe, a Shinto priest of the highest rank, and rain-making rituals as well. There are 6 holy precincts in Sefa Utaki, and it continues to be a place of worship for the locals even today. You will surely feel the power of nature once you find yourself surrounded by the mystical atmosphere of this quiet space thickly covered with trees and greenery.
Open hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Entrance fees: High school students and older: 200 JPY, elementary and junior high school students: 100 JPY
1. Sefa Utaki
Kudakajima is considered to be a sacred island that stands in between "Nirai Kanai" (a mythical place where the spirits of the dead go) and this world, and it is also called "the Island of the Gods." The Kaberu Cape, on the northernmost tip of the island, is said to be the place where Amamikiyo, the founder of the Ryukyu Kingdom, downed on earth, and it is also considered to be a sacred place where the god of the Sea descended upon in the form of a white horse. In addition, according to the legend, Ishiki Beach on the east coast of the island is the place where a vessel of seeds for the five grains arrived, becoming the place of origin for cereals. The five grains are considered to be rice, wheat, beans, and two kinds of millet (awa and kibi). Besides this, the island is scattered with sacred places such as "utaki" and "uganjo," some of which visitors are not allowed into. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the whole island of Kudanjima is a power spot itself. Make sure to visit it to feel the overflowing power of nature with your whole being.
The Valley of Gangala is a spot overflowing with nature in the form of rivers and forests that extend over the area of a collapsed limestone cavern. It is also the focus of attention of fans of archaeology, since recent excavations have brought to light unglazed earthenware and fossils from about 7,000 years ago. The Valley of Gangala holds tours in which you can visit the nature-rich forests and caves with a guide. Inside the forests, you will find plenty of interesting things such as stalactites in mysterious shapes; the Ikiga-do cave, which has been an uganjo to pray for a long life since the era of the Ryukyu Dynasty; the Ufushu Gajumaru, a giant banyan tree known as the Senior of the Forest; and the Bugei-do cave, where early men are said to have lived. Make sure to come to the valley to get a feeling of the mysterious forces of nature.
*Reservations are required in advance in order to go on a tour in the Valley of Gangala.
3. Valley of Gangala
The Uchikana Gusuku Taki in Kinjo-cho, Shuri, is a lush forest that is considered to be a sacred place. Inside the forest, 6 giant akagi (bishop wood) trees grow wildly to a height of about 20 meters, and they are registered as natural monuments of Japan. The biggest of these akagi trees is estimated to be about 200 years old. According to tradition, a god descends upon the cavities that are created in the tree roots over long periods of time on June 15th (in Japan's old lunar calendar) and makes one wish come true. Since this location is close to the famous sightseeing spots Shuri castle and the Ishitatami paving, we recommend taking a stroll about the town and coming to see the akagi trees. The atmosphere is so mystical that it feels like a god might actually descend here, and its peacefulness makes it the perfect place to charge up on energy. Be careful, though, as the area is also known for being home to habu pit vipers.
4. The giant akagi (bishop wood) trees of Kinjo-cho
What remains of Nakijin Castle are the ruins of the castle of the king of Hokuzan, a castle which existed before the establishment of the Ryukyu Kingdom in the 14th century. It was designated as a national historic site in 1972, and as a World Heritage Site along with other gusuku and related sites of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 2000, together with Shuri Castle. The vast premises of the castle offer many features worthy of note, including the Ushimi, where the castle garrison practiced combat exercises; the kazafu, a natural moat that ingeniously incorporates natural steep gorges into its construction; and the umya, a square for religious services and festivals. The view from the Uchibaru, which used to be the residence of the court ladies, is especially beautiful. How would you enjoy feeling the breeze of Okinawa as let the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom wrap around you?
Open Hours: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Admission Fee: Adults 400 JPY, Children (Elementary, Junior High, and High School students) 300 JPY, Children under school age FREE
5. Nakijin Castle Remains
Did you enjoy the article? Okinawa is overflowing with natural energy, and it is scattered with many power spots. It is a great place to practice marine sports, but it is also a great destination to go on a soothing trip.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.