Shuri Castle was the home of the various kings and the seat of power of the Ryukyu Kingdom from1429 - 1879. It was rebuilt in 1992 after having been completely destroyed during World War II. After WWII Ryukyu University was built on the site and it was only after the campus was relocated that reconstruction of the castle began. Old plans and photographs were used during reconstruction.
The Shuri Castle complex covers a wide area most of which is free to explore. If you are travelling with children collect a Stamp Rally Pamphlet and then add stamps to the pamphlet at the various stations around the castle grounds. There are numerous photograph opportunities and shady paths along which to wander. Make sure to visit the Enkanchi Pond which has a small shrine in its centre and can be found to the North of the main Castle site. Visiting the inner castle requires an entrance fee. Although fairly pricey, it is interesting to see the inner courtyard, throne room and other artifacts within the castle buildings. Explanations are in Japanese and English. Take the time to sit and drink Okinawan tea overlooking a traditional garden at the rear of the castle building.
On your way down the hill visit the Shureimon. This gate symbolises Okinawa and can be found on the 2000 yen note. From Shureimon take some time to browse the row of souvenir stores or partake in some refreshments at the rest area before heading to the Stone Paved Path.