Churaumi Aquarium is a popular tourist spot where you can see Whale sharks up close and personal.
Tamaudun is a World Heritage site on Okinawa which was built in the 1500s by King Sho Shin as the royal mausoleum for the Ryukyu Kingdom. You can feel the ancient history of Ryukyu. It is easy to get there from Naha-city, there is parking available.
- Phone number0988-85-2861
- Parkingparking lots for 120 cars available
- TagWorld Heritage sitesStone monumentRyukyu kingdomShuri
Tamaudun is located at Kinjo town Naha city. The site is located only a short walk from Shuri castle. It's a very popular tourist spot and worth a visit. The Tamaudun is a mausoleum that was built by King Sho Shin as the royal mausoleum to bury his father King Sho En. The 2nd Sho Dynasty and the family were buried in the mausoleum. The mausoleum was seriously damaged in WWⅡ, but the last great grandchildren of King Sho Tai used his own funds to rebuild the mausoleum. The restoration took 3 years to get done. Tamaudun is the most ancient and biggest mausoleum in Okinawa. You can feel the spectacular atmosphere and get to know the Okinawan history.
Exhibition hall at the Houen kan (Ticket counter)
First, It's recommended to visit the exhibition hall at the Houen kan (Ticket counter) to get to know the information about Tamaudun. Here there are exhibits of historical records, Zushigame (Okinawan style urn),the look of the last King's son Sho Ten funeral. If there is a pig singing "Volunteer guide ready" at the reception desk, you can get a free guide!
Once you enter the 1st gate, there is a stone a grave. The stone is made of dolerite which escaped the attack of the WWⅡ. This is the 2nd oldest stone monument in Okinawa. Phoenix and arabesque were written on the stone. The King nine names were also written along side the quote "If you disregard this note, you will be cursed.” A warning from the kings because she only wanted blood relatives to the king to be buried here.
When you enter the 2nd gate, the spectacular mausoleum is spread in front. The mausoleum is 2.442㎡ in area, the garden at Shuri castle is set in size. The coral sand is spread all over the mausoleum is from Kudaka island known as "God's island" and has a meaning to drive the evil spirits away. The grave was modeled after a shingle roof palace which was made of Ryukyu lime stone. The mausoleums is separated in 3 areas, The middle room was a place to wash the bones and enshrine the dead body until it turned into a skeleton. Then, they put the bones into a urn and placed in a mausoleum. The King and princess are sleeping in the east room, the right room is for the rest of the family.
A little tidbits of Tamaudun
The history of Ryukyu Kingdom is necessary when you talk about Tamaudun. King Sho Hashi ruled Ryukyu Kingdom in 1429. In 1470, Kanamaru who was born on Izena island as the son of a farmer, who stage a coup. He gave himself the name "Sho En" and made Ryukyu Kingdom prosper. The second Sho Royal family is stared. After the death of King Sho En, his brother King Sho Seni inherited the throne. However, his power only lasted 6 months. After that, King Sho Shin (the son of King Shoen) who was only 12 years old inherited the throne. His mother, Ogyaka used her power to make her son the new King.
There is no King Sho Seni name written on the Tamaudun monument. Although there is no name for King Sho Shin children. King Sho Shin took a wife who was a daughter of King Sho Seni. Although the 9 Kings who's name's were on the Tamaudun monument were all descendants from Ogiyaka. She didn't expect to have a Sho seni family's name on the Tamaudun. However, there is no Ogiyaka name on the monument and no urn of any Ogiyaka was found in the mausoleum, This is a huge mystery in the Ryukyu Kingdom.
There is a place of worship a little further from Houen kan (Ticket counter) that no one could enter in the old days. At the front of the first gate is a stone wall and you can see the entrance of the gate from Houen kan. The reason why the two gates are not facing each other is because Okinawan people believed that evil spirits can only go in straight lines and they cannot turn. Bad spirits tend to gather at the intersection. You can see Ishigantou(stone tablets) that protects homes close to intersection from the evil spirits.
The 2nd gate is 5feet in height. This height was the average height during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Once you enter the gate and see the white spots on the east room and West room of the Tamaudun were damaged from WWⅡ and then repaired with Ryukyu limestone. The middle room was damaged from a shell, was covered with plaster. You can distinguish the repaired parts from original from their colors.
There are three Shisa on the Tamaudun roof. They are the special Shisa that are standing. Three of them are facing the gate and protect the grave from bad spirits. The Shisa on the Tamaudun brochure is on the right side. There is another Shisa on the handrail and the Shisa at the east side(where the King is sleeping) is facing the entrance. This means the Shisa is protecting the King. Under the handrail panel, there is a lion, dragon, lotus, phoenix and bat a drawn on the panel. There were 33 panels but only 14 of them survived the war attack.
The last buried in Tamaudun was in 1934 King Sho Ten's wife. Their children are in Tokyo and come visit to pray for the ancestors several times a year. This is not private property but Naha-city owned. At the Tamaudun there is an speaker with Tamaudun history information. Enjoy the atmosphere of the historical important site of Okinawa and Ryukyu.
Postcode: 903-0815 1-3 Kinjo town Shuri Naha-city Okinawa
It takes about 30-40 minutes from Naha-airport by a car
It takes about 15 minutes from Shuri station by walking
It takes about 2 minutes from Shurijo-mae bus stop by walking
Open year around
General (less than 20 people)
Group (More than 20 people)
※By showing the monorail 1 day pass, 2 day pass you’ll get 20%off
How to pay
Reservation is not available
Prefectorial parking lots for 120 cars available
Handicapped drivers or drivers with handicapped people park for free.
You are not allowed to smoke in non-smoking area
There is no shops and sunshade area, It's recommended to bring Sunscrean,Sunshade,Towel, and water.
A little advise from Churashima travel
|A brief comment||
Tamaudun is located close to Shurijo castle. It’s easy to access from Naha-airport. It the most ancient and biggest grave in Okinawa!
It's recommended to bring sunshade or a hat during the summer time.
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