Miyazaki Prefecture in eastern Kyushu is one of Japan’s hidden gems, with miles of wonderful coastline, superb mountainous scenery and legends and history at every turn. With good rail connections and even a regular ferry service from Kobe and Osaka, getting there couldn’t be simpler too! Here are some of the best sights:
This small mountain resort town is steeped in legend and history. It is supposedly the place where the grandson of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, descended to earth. The views from above the town at Kunimigaoka are quite spectacular.
Takachiho’s most famous tourist attraction, this gorge was carved out of the land by the violent eruptions and lava flows from nearby Mt. Aso. Visitors can experience this natural wonder from the comfort of their own rowing boat!
Just outside of Takachiho town and down by the river is this picturesque cave and shrine where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself away.
Just south of Miyazaki city is Aoshima, a beautiful small island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island is home to a sub-tropical jungle and a shrine that is said to bring luck to married couples. At low tide you can see curious straight lines of basalt rock along the shore, known as the ‘devil’s washboard’. The nearby beach area is popular for surfing too.
Stretching about 100km south of Miyazaki city, the Nichinan coast has countless beautiful beaches, interesting rock formations, hidden coves and secret shrines. The highway which hugs the coastline is one of the most scenic drives in Kyushu. The famous Udo Shrine was built in a cave on the cliff-face, and just below it is a rock marked with rope; if you can throw a small ceramic ball into the target area it is said to bring good luck!