After spending a few wonderful few days with the turtles and fish of Akajima, we had only one overnight stay in Naha. This meant only one day to sight-see. My husband and I love going to world heritage sites and I adore castles, so of course we chose Shuri Castle.
However, we traveled so far and I was dead set on getting at least one goshuin while we were in Okinawa.
Ankoku-ji is only a few minutes walk from the main gates of Shuri-jo. The gate into the shrine is, to put it simply, very Okinawan. The gate is made of the same white stones that you see often in architecture in Okinawa and features dragons, and the roof is also done in the usual Okinawan style. It was my first time seeing a temple with this kind of architecture.
King Sho Taikyo of the Ryukyu Kingdom was an avid believer in Buddhism and built Ankoku-ji as well as several other zen temples in the 1400s. Like the nearby castle, the temple was destroyed in WWII and the current structure was built after the war.
The temple is by no means large, but it’s a very pleasant sight to behold. If you happen to be visiting Shuri Castle, and have a little free time, I suggest paying it a visit.
Note: Shuri Castle, which is considered the symbol of Okinawa, was burned down in October, 2019. This is the first time it’s burned down. It will be rebuilt, but it will take time