To the east of Naha Airport, in Nanjo City, there is an area called Seifa Utaki. During the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom, it was a holy land and the site of many festivals.
Faith in the healing powers of the sacred place continues to this day. In the year 2000 it was registered as a World Heritage site and is thus protected for future generations.
Utaki is a term indicating a sanctuary, widely used in the Nansei islands. Seifa Utaki is the holiest of these sanctuaries, a land that is central to the creation myths of the Ryukyu heritage. Originally a land forbidden to males, it is said that even the Ryukyu king was dressed in the costume of women to enter Seifa Utaki.
Entering the dense, lush forest, the visitor encounters many quiet spaces; the cool breeze whispers sweet gossip through the dense green leaves and the warm rays of sunlight filters through the overhanging branches. It is easy to feel that a God lives here. Climbing slowly to the top of the hill, one can see to the east Kudaka Island, also known here as the Island of God.
Known for its accessibility, many tourists find their way to the site while driving on the island.
50 minutes drive from Naha Airport.
Address: Kudeken Chinen, Nanjo-shi, Okinawa Prefecture
Airport: Naha Airport
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Golden national treasure recognized as world cultural heritage
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