Okinawa Island Guide

Everything on Okinawa Island from A to Z | The Ryukyu Kingdom’s biggest and most important ceremony comes alive

Okinawa Island Guide

The Ryukyu Kingdom’s biggest and most important ceremony comes alive


Shurijo Castle Festival (Ryukyu Dynasty Parade and Ryukyu Dynasty Festival in Shuri)

Date: Friday, Oct. 31-Mon, Nov. 3, 2014
This event is a can't-miss opportunity to experience the grandeur, history and romance of the Ryukyu Kingdom up close and personal.

The city of Naha is transformed into the Ryukyu Kingdom's old capital during the annual Shurijo Castle Festival. The highlight of the festival is the Ryukyu Dynasty Parade, which takes place on Kokusai Street on the third day. It is truly a splendid sight to watch the king and queen and Chinese envoys in elegant, colorful costumes, with approximately 1,000 people participating.

The Ryukyu Dynasty Festival in Shuri, which is held as part of the Shurijo Castle Festival on Nov. 3, features a traditional procession with nearly 3,000 participants departing from Shurijo Castle and parading around the Shuri area while offering a variety of performances, including shishimai (lion dance) and hatagashira gaaee (banner performances).


Shurijo Castle Festival (Ryukyu Dynasty Parade)

Date: Friday, Oct. 31-Monday, Nov. 3, 2014
Place: Shurijo Castle Park and Kokusai Street (Naha City)

The Koshiki Gyoretsu, held on the mid-day of the festival, revives the royal ritual of the king’s visit to nearby temples during the welcoming of the new year in those days.


Sapposhi Parade & Sappou, Coronation Ceremony

Date: Saturday, Nov. 1, 20141

Time: 11:40-11:55
Place: From Shureimon Gate to Shicha-nu-Una in Shurijo Castle Park’s free area
Time: 12:10-13:10
Place: Una courtyard in front of Shurijo Seiden *Admission required to watch the ceremony in the Una courtyard.

In 1404 the Sappou, Coronation Ceremony, which was the enthronement ritual held during the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, took place for the first time. This event revives this Sappou, Coronation Ceremony -- one of the Ryukyu Kingdom's biggest ceremonies. A re-enactment of the Sapposhi Parade, a procession of envoys sent by the Chinese emperor that proceeded from Tenshi-kan (the accommodation facility for the envoys) in Naha City to Shurijo Castle, takes place preceding the ceremony.


Ryukyu Dynasty Parade

Date: Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014ouchouemaki2013-074

Time: 12:30-14:30
Place: Kokusai Street (Naha City)

This is a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the history and elegance of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The parade features approximately 700 participants, including the king, queen and sapposhi (Chinese envoys) in colorful costumes as well as groups presenting traditional performances.


Ryukyu Dynasty Festival in Shuri
Koshiki Gyoretsu (Traditional Procession)

Date: Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 2

Time: 12:50-15:30
Place: From the Una courtyard in front of Shurijo Seiden - Shureimon Gate - Ryutan Street
*Admission required to watch the procession in the Una courtyard.

The Koshiki Gyoretsu is a re-enactment of the procession of the king to pay the year's first visit to the three temples located near Shurijo Castle. This visit was made on Jan. 3 of every year to pray for peace and order throughout the Ryukyus and also for a rich harvest.