Have you ever noticed how observant kids can be? They don’t miss a beat. In the car, if I ever deviate from an established driving route my kids immediately ask, “Mom, where are we going?”

When they were little I’d smile slyly and say, “We’re going to get a snack!” and they’d sit happily in the back seat for an hour or more giggling to each other.

Now when they ask, I mutter “Hang on a sec, I just want to see where this road goes…” and then tune out all the moaning and groaning from the back seat. My kids learned long ago that “just a sec” actually means “I’m exploring and you’re along for the ride.”

The other day I noticed this sign on route 81.


If you’re squinting wondering “What’s that sign say?” join the club. I had to do a u-ie to get another look. There’s a similar sign from the other direction, too, and they both read:

Nakagusuku-jo Site 2.8 km

Nakamura Old House 2.3 km

The arrows are pointing at the street directly across from Foster’s SgtMaj gate.

I can’t resist the urge to explore. So instead of turning into the SgtMaj gate, I went the opposite direction. Sure enough, right about 2.3 km, I came to this sign:


Decisions, decisions. Turn for the “Old House”, or proceed on the road to the Nakagusuku-jo Site?

I turned because (1) I had no idea what a Nakagusuku-jo Site was, and (2) I wanted to see how old a house had to be to warrant it’s own “Old House” sign!

The parking lot is super easy to find, about 50 yards down the street on the right:


Once parked, however, I was stumped. There were a couple of buildings facing the parking lot, and frankly they all looked old. What I thought was the official “old house” turned out to be the visitor’s center:


Complete with school of koi silently screaming “FEED ME!”


(these things give me the willies)

And a great little gift shop:


And the ticket window for admission to the old house:


I still didn’t have any idea what I was paying to see, but figured it was worth five bucks* to satisfy my curiosity.

Step through this entryway:


to see Nakamura House, “a rich farmer’s residence” dating back to 1720! I had a very pleasant time wandering through this captivating 8 room home:


and it’s surrounding grounds.


You don’t need all day to see Nakamura Old House, but plan on a couple of hours to be transported back in time.


Phone: Tel/Fax.098-935-3500

Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

*As of April 2014 we have been informed there is no longer an entrance fee for Nakamura House

Editor’s Note: Do you ever drive down a road just to see where it goes? Or follow signs just to see where they lead? Share your stories with us here at Okinawa Hai!


  1. Just went to this today with my kids. There is no longer an entrance fee. A couple of hours in the original post sounds like a really long time. We were there for no more than 45 minutes. That included walking through the entire house and grounds, buying a handmade Shisa set & having tea with brown sugar jello.

  2. I’ve never been to the Nakamura House, but it definitely sounds like we need to visit it.

    We have been to Nakagusuku castle ruins though. There are some great views and picture ops there. Very pretty! Plus there is the freaky haunted hotel looming in the background.