immediately west of shuri castle is the mausoleum where the king and his family members were entombed. tamaudun mausoleum (玉陵) is another UNESCO world heritage site, and though it is next to shuri-castle it is considered a separate entry into the list. visiting this location is a nice addition to your trip; even if you cannot see the interior of the tombs.
to reach tamaudun get off at shuri station (首里駅) on the monorail and walk past shuri castle. it is just across the street.
the path leading up to the mausoleum. admission is 200 yen. stop by the museum in the entrance building to see some of the artifacts from the site.
i have never seen a root system like those of the trees at this location. roots would even grow down from the limbs.
the mausoleum was built in 1501 and houses 18 kings as well as queens, children, and other family members. looking through the entrance at the mausoleum.
facing the mausoleum you can see three separate cambers.
the center camber was used for temporarily storing the remains before washing the bones.
the chamber to the right, which is west, houses the children and other family members of the royal family.
the eastern chamber, that on the left, is where the king and queens are entombed.
though restored due to WWII bombing, the buildings are in the traditional royal ryukyuan architecture; a stone building covered by a wooden roof. the stone lions guarding the tombs are also traditional in their style.
caught a glimpse of this birdie on my way out. ;)
short video of the mausoleum.