Kumejima’s strategic location between China and the old Ryukyu kingdom made it an important stopping point and windsheild during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. As such it was fortified in many places with the Aji (Ryukyu Lords) building stone castles on many sites. Today the ruins of those castles provide a step back in time as well as breathtaking views of the island and surrounding oceans.
Chinaha Castle Ruins
Located near the Kume Island Cultural Center, Ishikinawa Castle is called Chinaha by the local Kumejima people.
Gushikawa Castle Ruins
The Gushikawa Castle Ruins overlook the East China Sea from the top of a cliff. Built in the 15th century from Andesite and Limestone, this site is a National Cultural Treasure. The ruins are located on the north-west corner of the island.
Suhara Castle Ruins
Rustic and scenic ruins at the end of a 350 path through the forest. The trailhead is located in Zenda Park
Tunnaha Castle Ruins
The Tunnaha Castle Ruins are located in the Tunnaha Forest park on a tall hill between the Maja and Nakazato neighborhoods. Following the road next to the Kumejima Town hall north, you will see a sign on the left marking the turn off to the ruins.
Uegusuku Castle Ruins
Uegusuku Castle is located at the highest elevation in Okinawa (310meters). The castle ruins include three main areas. From the first enclosure, one can see nearly the entirety of Kume Island as well as Tonaki, Aguni, and the Kerama Islands.