10 Must-See Sightseeing Spots in Miyazaki, Kyushu

Located in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's main islands, Miyazaki is a prefecture full of rich nature and historic landmarks that have appeared in Japanese mythology. Here are 10 of the most recommended places to visit in Miyazaki.

Miyazaki

Things to Do

1. Udo Shrine [Nichinan]

Udo Shrine (Udo-jingu) is a shrine located by the coast. Generally, shrines are built on high ground - mountains and hill tops and the like - but this rare shrine requires you to descend rather than ascend to get there. The view of the Pacific Ocean stretching out right below your eyes is nothing short of spectacular.

The main shrine is located within a cave - yet another rarity. The vivid colors of the the shrine’s decorations are even more beautiful when contrasted with the gloomy surroundings.

One thing you absolutely have to try is “undama nage” (fortune stone throwing). Buy a stone that has the character for “fortune” on it, then toss it at the small hollow in the rock at the bottom of the cliff. If you can get the stone into the hole, your wish will be granted. The distance from the rock is surprisingly far, making it more challenging than it might appear.

 

[About Udo Shrine]

Opening Hours: (April - September) 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM
(October - March) 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: Around a 10-minute walk from the Udo Jingu stop via Miyazaki Transportation Bus from Ibii Station.

Address: 3232 Miyaura, Nichinan-shi Oaza, Miyazaki
宮崎県日南市大字宮浦3232 (Google Map)

HP: www.udojingu.com (Japanese Only)

2. Takachiho Gorge [Takachiho]

In Japanese mythology, it is said that Takachiho Gorge is where the twin gods who descended from heaven created an island. The valley - formed, in actuality, by volcanic activity in an age long past - has cliffs which stand at 100 meters high, with an all-around mystical atmosphere to it. 

You can take a look at the valley from a boat. Get on the boat and cruise the valley, and it will make you feel as though you are a character from mythology yourself!

There is a spot where you can have a great view of 3 arch bridges on the promenade at the cape, which is a popular photo shooting spot. Nowhere else in Japan can you see 3 arch bridges at the same time, so you shouldn't miss out on this fantastic view.

 

[About Takachiho Gorge]

Opening Hours: Rental Boat Service 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (last reception at 4:30 PM)

Closed: Rental Boat Service is closed during high water or maintenance

Price/fee: Rental Boat Service 2,000 yen/30 min for a boat

Access: Around a 30-minute walk from Takachiho Bus Center Station on Miyazaki Kotsu Bus from Nobeoka Station on JR Nippo Main Line

Address: Mitai Oshioi, Takachiho-cho, Nishi Usuki-gun, Miyazaki
宮崎県西臼杵郡高千穂町三田井御塩井 (Google Map)

HP: takachiho-kanko.info/en/ (English)

HP: takachiho-kanko.info/tw/ (Traditonal Chinese)

HP: takachiho-kanko.info (Japanese)

3. Amano Iwato Shrine [Takachiho]

★Kumiko★/Flickr

If you are at all interested in Japanese mythology, be sure to visit Amano Iwato Shrine along with Takachiho Gorge. This shrine houses the cave rumoured to be the one in which the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu, hid when she was angered by the destructive acts of her brother, Susanoo.

Amano Iwato is considered particularly sacred, and visitors are not allowed to enter without being accompanied by a Shinto priest. Photography is likewise prohibited. However, you can visit Amano Yasugawara - the place where the gods are said to have gathered to discuss how to tempt Amaterasu from the cave - without a guide, and taking pictures is also allowed.

In an area near Amano Yasugawara, you can find small piles of stones. These were constructed by previous visitors, so be careful not to knock them over, as they represent the pilgrims’ wishes. The miniature stone towers add an extra bit of mystery to the already serene landscape. Of course, feel free to try building your own. 

 

[About Amano Iwato Shrine]

Opening Hours: Amano Iwato Guide 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (last reception)

Closed: Open all year

Access: Around a minute walk from the Amano Iwato Jinja stop via Miyazaki Kotsu Bus from Nobeoka Station.

Address: 1073-1 Iwato, Takachiho-cho, Nishi Usuki-gun, Miyazaki
宮崎県西臼杵郡高千穂町岩戸1073-1 (Google Map)

HP: amanoiwato-jinja.jp (Japanese only)

4. Obi Castle Town [Nichinan]

Obi is a castle town where you can see the houses just as they were way back in the late-16th century. Of course, there is a museum in the town where you can learn more about the city’s history, and its 280 years of unparalleled prosperity.

Even the train station fits in perfectly with the whole atmosphere, as it was modeled after Obi Castle. Why don’t you try comparing the two and see how closely it stacks up?

In this historic town, you’ll feel as if you’ve slipped back in time to the Edo era. A stroll through these serene and peaceful streets is sure to soothe away any stress. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the beautiful koi fish that live in the canals!

 

[About Obi Castle Town]

Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Obi Station

Address: Obi, Nichinan-shi, Miyazaki 宮崎県日南市飫肥 (Google Map)

HP: obijyo.com (Japanese Only)

5. Aoshima [Miyazaki]

Aoshima is a tiny island with a circumference of only 1.5km. It is surrounded by strangely shaped rocks known as “the Oni’s (demon’s) washboard”, since the horizontal bars are reminiscent of the antique tool. You can walk to the island from the mainland by using the bridge that connects the two areas.

Postboxes in Japan are usually red, but there is a lone yellow one located in Aoshima. The postbox is known as the “yellow postbox of luck” and was inspired by the myth from “Kojiki”, Japan’s oldest history book. Of course, it works perfectly well as a postbox too. Why not send a postcard or two for good fortune?

Although it is a small island, Aoshima has a unique shrine with a long history - Aoshima Jinja. Home to a powerful matchmaking deity, if you’re looking for true love, a visit here may help you find that special person. After you buy your good luck charms, don’t forget to check out the torii gate along the coast.

 

[About Aoshima]

Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Aoshima Station

Address: Aoshima, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki
宮崎県宮崎市青島 (Google Map)

HP: www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/en/sightseeing/spcat01/spot01.html (English)

HP: www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/tcn/sightseeing/spcat01/spot01.html (Chinese)

HP: www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/tourism/spot/10.html (Japanese)

6. Sekinoo Fall [Miyakonojo]

Sekinoo Falls is a waterfall in the Kirishima Geo Park. It actually consists of three falls - Otaki, Otokodaki, and Onnadaki. The biggest of the three, Otaki is 40m in diameter and 18m tall. The best place to view this dynamic scene is, arguably, the bridge closest to the cascading water.

A volcanic eruption thousands of years ago created these unique holes in the ground. Known as Ouketsugun, this natural phenomenon is spread out over a 600m area. This formation is so rare, that the area is registered as a Natural Monument of Japan. 

Starting from the area around the waterfall, a walk along the promenade is the best place to see the fall foliage. From late November to early December, the maple trees are colored a startling shade of red.

 

[About Sekinoo Fall]

Access: Around a 3-minute walk from the Sekinoodaki stop via Miyazaki Transportation Bus from Nishi-Miyakonojo Station.

Address: Sekinoo-cho, Miyakonojo-shi, Miyazaki
宮崎県都城市関之尾町 (Google Map)

HP: miyakonojo.tv/kanko/tourism/sekino (Japanese Only)

7. Kirishima Factory Garden [Miyakonojo]

In the southern part of Kyushu, the shochu (Japanese alcohol made from grains, potatos, or molasses) business is flourishing. Miyazaki is home to one of the most famous shochu breweries, Kirishima, where they produce their namesake shochu. Near their head office is the Kirishima Factory Garden, where you can see the shochu brewing process and learn about the history of the liquor.

From 11 AM to 1 PM every day, you can participate in the factory tour, after which you can sample 9 different kinds of shochu! Be sure to pick up a bottle of your favorite as the perfect souvenir.

There is a restaurant, a bakery, and even a shrine inside the facility, so that you can have a good time even if you don’t drink. They focus on making local cuisine with fresh, local ingredients, so why not have a great meal before or after your tour?

 

[About Kirishima Factory Garden]

Opening Hours: Varies depending on the facility. Please refer to the homepage for details.

Closed: Open daily unless otherwise specified.

Accepted credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, and UC

Access: Around a 10-minute taxi ride from Miyakonojo Station.

Address: 5480, Shibita-cho, Miyakonojo-shi, Miyazaki
宮崎県都城市志比田町5480 (Google Map)

HP: www.kirishima-fg.jp (Japanese Only)

8. Ebino Plateau [Ebino]

Towering at 1,200 meters, the beautiful Ebino Plateau is located in the southern half of Ebino City. Aside from the fantastic view, a beautiful cobalt blue pond, a number of nice hikes, and hot springs also await you if you visit.

If you are visiting between late-March to mid-June, Tsutsuji Hills in the Ebino Plateau is a highly recommended. Here, about 30,000 azalea bushes grow naturally across an area of 6 hectares. The view of light pink and light purple blossoms blanketing the ground is absolutely breathtaking.

There a lot of wild animals who call the Ebino Plateau home, especially deer. As the deer live just close enough to the city that they are used to seeing humans, you might be able to snap a selfie with a particularly curious critter. 

 

[About Ebino Plateau]

Access: Around a 5-minute walk from the Ebino Kogen stop via Kirishima Renzan Circular Bus from Kirishima-jingu Station

Address: 1495-5 Suenaga, Ebino-shi, Miyazaki
宮崎県えびの市末永1495-5 (Google Map)

HP: ebino-kankou.com/sightseeing/ebinokogen.html (Japanese Only)

9. Toi Cape  [Kushima]

hiroaki/Flickr

Toi Cape is on the southern tip of Miyazaki, facing the Pacific Ocean. The white lighthouse there is the only lighthouse in all of Kyushu that is open to the public.

Misaki horses, a breed of small horses native to Japan, also inhabit the area. Watching them frolicking and playing around, or even just laying around for an afternoon nap, is sure to make you smile. Of course, they are still wild animals, so make sure to keep your distance.

With nothing between you and the horizon, you can see stunning sunsets and sunrises. With a number of lodging facilities around the cape, why not book a night or two to take full advantage of your trip? 

 

[About Toi Cape]

Opening Hours: Lighthouse 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Closed: The lighthouse may close due to inclement weather.

Price/fee:  Lighthouse Admission: (Middle school students and over) 200 yen, (Elementary school students and under are free)

Access: Around a 5-minute walk from the Toi Misaki stop via Community Bus from Kushima Station.

Address: Ono, Kushima-shi, Miyazaki
宮崎県串間市大納 (Google Map)

HP: kushima-city.jp/toi/ (Japanese Only)

10. Takachiho Amaterasu Railway [Takachiho]

On the Takachiho Amaterasu Railway, you can ride on a small train called the Grand Super Cart. The 30 minute round-trip runs across 5.1km of enclosed track. The car doesn’t have a roof, leaving you free to enjoy the fresh air.

While some may think of it as an attraction for kids, the trip is a great way for avid photographers to get marvelous views of the changing seasons, especially over the 105 m high bridge. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some rare birds.

Be sure to stop in at the souvenir store for the popular Kukkippu. A cookie (“kukkii”, in Japanese) shaped like a  ticket ("kippu"), with the name of Takachiho Station printed on it, it looks just like the real thing. The box doubles as a coloring page, making it a great souvenir for children.

 

[About Takachiho Amaterasu Railway]

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (On weekends and public holidays between March 1st and November 30th, it opens at 9:20 AM.)

Closed: Thursday (Aside from Golden Week and summer holidays. May close due to inclement weather.)

Price/fee: Entrance Fee: 100 yen
Grand Super Cart + Entrance Fee:  (Adults - ages 16 and older) 1,300 yen, (Children ages 7 - 15) 800 yen, (Children under 6) 400 yen

Access: Around a 10-minute walk from the Takachiho Bus Center stop via Miyazaki Transportation Bus from Nobeoka Station

Address: 1425-1 Mitai, Takachiho-cho, Nishi Usuki-gun, Miyazaki
宮崎県西臼杵郡高千穂町三田井1425-1 (Google Map)

HP: www.amaterasu-railway.jp (Japanese Only)

 

That’s the list! The rich nature and mystical sceneries of Miyazaki will surely refresh your mind, so do give it a visit if you can! 

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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