Japan Temples & Shrines: Naminoue Shrine Naha Okinawa
Naminoue Shrine Naha 波上宮
Naminoue Shrine literally means "Above the wave(s) shrine" and the buildings are perched on a cliff above a beach and the sea.
Naminoue Shrine was originally a sacred place (utaki) of the religion of the Ryukyu Islands, dedicated to nirai kanai, the source of all life in Okinawan mythology and to the sea.
Sailors would pray at the shrine for a safe voyage, fishermen for a good catch and farmers for a bountiful harvest. The Okinawan king would lead the prayers for the nation at New Year.
The sacred spot is mentioned in ancient Okinawan chronicles and folk songs.
Like much of Naha, Naminoue Shrine was destroyed in World War II, except for the torii gate at the entrance, and the buildings we see today were first rebuilt in the 1950's and 60's beginning with the Honden in 1953. The Honden was rebuilt again in 1993.
Naminoue Shrine receives supplicants praying for health, luck in finding a partner, a successful business and for road safety. The major festival of the shrine is the Nanmin Festival on 17 & 18 May including Okinawan sumo, dance, singing and a beach tug-of-war.
Wakasa 1-25-11 Naha
Tel: 098 868 3697
Naminoue Shrine Access
Naminoue Shrine is close to Fukushu-en Garden, Gokokuji Temple, Shiseibyo Confucian Temple and the Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum. The nearest Yui Rail station is Asahibashi, 15 minutes away on foot. There is a bus from Kencho-mae Station at Palette Kumoji Department Store, get off at Nishinjo.