Tourist spot in Okinawa Prefecture

Seifa-Utaki [斎場御嶽]

Entrance of Seifa-Utaki
Entrance of Seifa-Utaki
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

Ujouguchi (the entrance) in Seifa-Utaki
Ujouguchi (the entrance)
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

Seifa-Utaki is a former sacred place of Ryukyu Kingdom.
(It is also called as "Sêfa-Utaki" or "Saifa-Utaki".)

In Okinawa language, "seifa" means "the highest position", and "utaki" means "sacred place".

It is located near the tip of small Chinen Peninsula at the southeast part of Okinawa Island and about 13 km northeast of Gyokusendo (Okinawa World).

Around the 15th and 16th centuries, this place was used as the sacred place for religious rites.

This site was managed by female priest.
And only women were allowed to enter this site.
Even male Ryûkyû King wore a woman's dress at the entrance.

First, female priests went to "Urookaa" (a spring) to the right of the entrance, and purified their bodies.

Then, they walked the approach through "Ujouguchi" (the entrance).

Ufuguui in Seifa-Utaki
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

Yuinchi in Seifa-Utaki
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

They reached "Ufuguui".
It was the first worshipping place.

A path leads to "Yuinchi" to the left.
It was the kitchen to make the meal for the king.

Entrance to Sanguui
Entrance to Sanguui

Inside of Sanguui in Seifa-Utaki
Inside of Sanguui
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

Another path leads to "Sanguui".
It was the most sacred place.

The entrance to Sanguui is a tunnel between two huge rocks.
After passing through the tunnel, there is the worshipping place.

The sea and Kudaka Island are seen from there.
Ryukyu myth says that the god of Ryukyu came from heaven and create the island first.

Kudaka Island from Sanguui in Seifa-Utaki
Kudaka Island from Sanguui
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

Approach to Seifa-Utaki
Approach to Seifa-Utaki
Photo by Rettou Houmotsukan

In 2000, Seifa-Utaki was declared a World Heritage site, as one of Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.

Recently, the visitors are increasing.
This place is very sacred place for Okinawa people, so the visitors must be quiet in this site.

Now, male visitors have been allowed to visit the site.
But, if many vistors don't have good manners, male visitors may be prohibited to enter the site again.


How to get here

By route bus, about 40 minutes from Naha terminal to Seifa-Utaki-iriguchi stop.

Other Tourist Attractions in Okinawa Prefecture

South part in Okinawa Island

Middle and north part in Okinawa Island

Other islands of the prefecture

Return to Okinawa Prefecture Return to Kyushu Region