The artwork for our 2020 100 Kobudo Kata event celebrates the birthplace of Okinawan kobudo, SHURI CASTLE, which unfortunately suffered a major fire late last year.
This year we will hold our 100 Kobudo Kata event in the shadow of Shuri Castle at Sakiyama Park and use the event to promote awareness of 6 local Shuri locations which are a MUST SEE when you go to Shuri.
Reconstruction of the Shuri Castle buildings will take years but in the meantime if you are in Okinawa please take time to explore the Shuri area and enjoy all the rich history and culture that it has to offer. Our recommended 6 locations in Shuri give you a great starting point to sample the sights, tastes and secrets of Shuri, the old capital of Okinawa island.
1. EICHIN – handmade sweets store. This tiny store run by a local Shuri couple, the Kinjos, sells delicious sweets and holds a special secret. Ask the Kinjos for information on the tour route for the 12 Zen Buddhist temples around Shuri. It starts at the store and they speak excellent English too!
2. SHURI RYUSEN – textile workshop. At Ryusen you can buy beautiful printed textiles and even try your own hand at it too in their upstairs workshop. Ryusen offers unique coral rock printed souvenir clothing and small gifts.
3. WOLFBRAU brewery and coffee roasters – a new arrival in Shuri but already very popular with the locals. Locally brewed delicious craft beers and fresh coffee using the very high quality Shuri spring water traditionally used in making awamori sake. A very refreshing stop on your Shuri tour!
4. RYUKYU SABO ASHIBUINA – one of the finest Ryukyu cuisine restaurants in Shuri with a Zen style garden in the center. Often dinner here is accompanied by live performances of Okinawa song and sanchin. The owner is very friendly and loves karate!
5. ZUISEN Distillery – Founded on May 1st, 1887, Zuisen remains at the heart of the old awamori district, the Sanka, in the shadow of Shuri Castle. Zuisen awamori is famed for its high quality and has won many many awards. Take the distillery tour, learn about the history and production of awamori sake and then enjoy the free tasting session afterwards!
6. SAKIYAMA KOEN – Sakiyama koen (park) sits just south of Shuri Castle on a high ridge giving it excellent views over Naha city and to the ocean. The park has long been a location associated with karate and kobudo practice stretching back to the old days of the Ryukyu monarchy. Recently a monument stone to that important history was erected in the park by local kobudo masters. Sakiyama koen is the location for our 100 Kobudo Kata Challenge.