Naminoue Shrine

Japan Temples & Shrines: Naminoue Shrine Naha Okinawa

Naminoue Shrine Naha 波上宮

Naminoue Shrine, located in downtown Naha on the main island of Okinawa is the most important shrine on the island.

Naminoue Shrine, Naha.
Naminoue Shrine in Naha, Okinawa
Naminoue Shrine, Naha.
Naminoue Beach & Cruise Ship in Naha, Okinawa

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.

In 1890 during the Meiji Period of Japanese history, Naminoue Shrine was incorporated into the system of Japanese State Shinto and lost much of its original Ryukyuan features and rituals.

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.

Naminoue Shrine, Naha.
Statue of the Emperor Meiji, Naminoue Shrine in Naha, Okinawa
Naminoue Shrine, Naha.
Naminoue Shrine, Naha, Okinawa

Naminoue Shrine
Wakasa 1-25-11 Naha
Okinawa, 900-0031
Tel: 098 868 3697
Admission: Free

Some recommended places to stay in Naha close to Naminoue Shrine are:
Hotel Nikko Alivila, Hotel Continental and Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

Yui Rail Train, Naha, Okinawa.
Yui Rail Train, Naha, Okinawa

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.

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