Eat. Pray. Love.
Head down south to this area in Miyazaki prefecture to feel the power of love and the universe. Plus a little less intensity with some fun in the sun, tropical fruits and the chance to bike around a scenic island.
Located in the south of Miyazaki City on the Nichinan Coast, the area of Aoshima is home to a ton of great tourist spot worth the trek, including:
- Aoshima Subtropical Botanical Garden
- Aoshima Beach Park
- Aoshima Island
- Aoshima Shrine.
While the area can easily be covered on foot, rent a bicycle at Gurutto Aoshima Rental Cycle near Aoshima station and take advantage of the sights of the coastal cycling road. (To be sure, don’t mistake this piece of paradise for an island of a different breed, Ehime‘s famed “Cat Island” is also Aoshima.)
The actual island of Aoshima is filled with natural beauty not found in the big cities. It’s covered in over 5,000 trees and is home to more than 200 subtropical plants. In fact, the island itself is a designated natural monument. In 2011, it earned 2 stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.
Aoshima island is easily accessible by crossing Yayoi Bridge in Aoshima Beach Park. As you cross the bridge, you will be greeted by a peculiar rock formation of sandstone and mudstone known as Oni no Sentaku Ita or, the Devil’s Washboard. These formations surround the island and aren’t quite like anything you’ve seen before.
The entire island is believed to be a “power spot,” or a place where one can harness the energy of the universe. However, the main attraction lies at the heart of this quaint island. Aoshima Shrine is a top destination for lovers and those looking for love. It became a popular domestic tourist attraction after Emperor Akihito (then Crown Prince) visited with Empress Michiko.
If you’re already in a relationship, you can purchase special amulets to strengthen the bond with your loved one. Single travelers, don’t be discouraged — you can purchase special fortunes and amulets to aid you on your quest to meet your future lover.
Before leaving Aoshima, snack on Miyazaki’s famous tropical fruits and fruity Aoshima senbei, sugar wafer cookies with mango, strawberry, and hyuganstsu (a native citrus fruit) cream filling. Scenery of Aoshima adorn the packaging, making it a tasty lightweight souvenir.