According to legend when a heavenly maiden gave birth to her child, she used the water from Uega Well. The maiden, who came down to Earth, gave birth, and used this well to give her newborn its first bath.
In the Ryukyu Kingdom era, the kingdom’s highest priestess would place some of the well’s water on her forehead to gain spiritual power. A ritual called Agariumaai was held every year consisting of a pilgrimage to sacred places east of Shuri Castle.
There are a total of 14 such places and one of them is Uega. Now, a shrine has been built on the well. The space around the shrine is surrounded by Indian coral trees (deigo) and is also a common place for local residents to go for recreation and relaxation. The annual tug-of-war ritual also begins and ends here.
When visiting the well, many may not see water, and that is because the well has a secret switch on the pillar. Once that switch is turned on water will begin to flow. Those who are up to the challenge looking for the switch in order to put some water on their forehead are welcome. Just please be respectful and also careful not to misuse the water.
Source of photo and text: Japan Update July 27, 2014