10856509, Japan, Shuri Castle, Shuri, Naha city, O
Luthy Yannick/© Luthy Yannick
Originally erected in the late 14th century, Shuri Castle served as the residence of the Ryukyu kings right up until 1879. Destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries—most recently in 1992—it is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The wonderfully reconstructed interiors feature exhibits and artifacts relating to the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom, highlights of which include a replica of the kings’ throne, the lavishly decorated Seiden (main hall) and some stellar views courtesy of the castle’s strategic hilltop location.