Chibana Gusuku

Wednesday - March 15, 2017

To begin, let's review a little history of the Chibana Castle ruins.

Being called Chibana Gushiku (or alternatively Chibana Goeku) locally, this castle was
built on a hill that has a karst topography* at an elevation of 87 meters above sea level.

It is the place where legend says Uni-ufugushiku, also known as OSHIRO Kenyu,
who was known for his bravery and valor in the 15th Century, spent his last days. The tomb of
Uni-ufugushiku, a cultural asset designated by the city, is located on the southern slope
of this castle. Iinu-tunumo (city designated cultural asset) and Kansa-jya, which are
places of worship to the locals, are located on the northern slope.

The castle sits on a fault that separates Northern Okinawa and Central-South-
ern Okinawa and is an important region, both geologically and botanically.

(Source: from a sign posted at the gusuku)

(Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite,
and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. Source: wikipedia)

The majority of this visit to Chibana Castle ruins was to be spent climbing and
descending. There was very little even terrain and not much of a distant view.

It was immediately clear in my mind that there had not been much activity here
judging by the extensive growth of foliage on the paths and the hand railings.

It occurred to me that this place would have to be a haven for spiders and snakes
and assuming that it was not well-traveled it did give me a bit of pause to proceed.

Yet, proceed I did! YOLO, eh? It took a while to get to the summit (see videos) and
when I got there I was sort of puzzled and maybe even a bit disappointed. I knew
that there was no way that the Chibana aji lived in a circular concrete building!

Someone had had the sense to recognize the crumbling decay of the structure and
rope it off to prevent Curious George types - like me - from doing further exploration.

There being no such obstruction of passage to the right I wandered over that way and
discovered what I initially thought to be another junk pile. But in taking in the sight I saw
that it seemed too well-organized to be just a pile of crap that someone had discarded.

I mean, who throws away bottles that remain upright and grouped? And those shoes.
And a newspaper!? Then whatever was underneath that blanket began to move a bit.

No, not a ghost. But for whatever reason I quickly discerned that I was intruding into
someone's home. So I quietly left a little something, hoping that he/she could use a
bit of help and began my descent into yet further unknown destinations. "Going Down!"

The going down part was quite a bit easier than going up. Despite a higher elevation I
wasn't able to find any spots that offered a clear view of the township below. All jungle.

Beautiful, lush, verdant jungle!

Down...

...and more down

I made it!

C'mon! Walk/climb along with me!

I was kinda disappointed when I got to the top of the first staircase/path to find a relatively new structure

On the way out I noticed this used car lot on the side of the road. Gauging by the
abundant grown outside of and from within the van I figured that sales must be a little slow.


Questions, comments, critiques? All are welcome. Type here then click "Send it!"

Thanks, Mick


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