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Visiting the Southern Part: Healing and Spiritual Spot Route

■Sefa-utaki

  斎場御獄 Utaki is an Okinawan term for a sacred place of prayer. Sefa-utaki was the highest ranked praying site of the Ryukyu Kingdom. They are not man-made structures but the bare rocky hills in the dense forest are worshiped as a place where a god resides. Men used to be prohibited from entering here, so even the Kings had to dress as women when they entered.
A lot of local people still come here to pray even now. As Sefa means “highest,” it is exactly the best spiritual spot of Okinawa.
 
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■Cape Chinen

  知念岬 Cape Chinen is located in Nanjo city, the south part of Okinawa. It has been maintained as a park situated on a cape which looks like it is sticking out into the ocean. You can overlook the Pacific Ocean and see Kudaka and Komaka Island close by. The beautiful Pacific Ocean view spreads out under your gaze and the fresh sea breeze and spectacular view on a sunny day will raise your spirits. The view of the surrounding sea is one of the most beautiful in the southern part of Okinawa.
It is a spot where you can also experience paragliding.
 
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■Tamagusuku Castle ruins

  玉城城跡 Tamagusuku Castle is the oldest castle in Ryukyu. It is said that Amamikyu, the creation goddess of Ryukyu, built it and the descendant, Tenson, was the lord of the castle. Later, around the 13th and 14th centuries, Amagusuku Aji (families of the lord) looked after the castle doing repairs and extension. People also come to make a pilgrimage called "Agariumai," and continue to worship this place even today. After climbing the steep path, you will come across the round castle gate, which was carved out of a natural rock, and the view from up there is magnificent. We recommend wearing sneakers or sports shoes to climb the steep hill.  
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■Valley of Gangala

  ガンガラーの谷 Valley of Gangala is a place of a pristine subtropical forest which spreads out over the valley. The valley was formed by the collapse of limestone caves over hundreds of thousands of years ago. This place could be the residence of the Minatogawa Man, who existed about 18000 years ago, and there is an excavation site for research purposes. You can join a tour and feel the primitive “nature” and “life.” At first, you will be very impressed to see the limestone cave at the entrance and become very excited. This is a popular spiritual spot where you can enjoy viewing mystic sceneries.  
       



 

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