Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Miyazaki
Population
1,170,023

Miyazaki

Mountains and mangos in southeastern Kyushu

Miyazaki is a mountainous and mango-growing prefecture to rival Okinawa in the tropical paradise stakes.

A consistently warm climate makes Miyazaki Prefecture a perfect year-round getaway. Head to the stunning Nichinan coastline for great sun, sea and surfing, plus a few ancient shrines for good measure, or travel inland to the misty mountains of Takachiho to hear legends of the birth of Japan.

Miyazaki also has its own prefectural take on Japanese food, adding original dishes like chicken nanban and cheese manju, as well as locally grown mango, to the national recipe book. Rent a car if you can, and don’t forget your appetite.

The Udo Jingu is a seriously scenic shrine along the Nichinan coast.

Sunshine, surfing, and island living in Miyazaki

Apparently blessed with the most hours of sunshine of any city in Japan, the prefectural capital of Miyazaki city is packed with (slightly retro) resort facilities facing out onto some of the best surfing conditions in the country. Along the coast between Miyazaki and Nichinan are endless scenic vistas. Stop at palm-covered Aoshima island to visit Aoshima Jinja, a picturesque shrine that attracts couples looking for marriage blessings.

Further along towards Nichinan, you’ll find the Udo Jingu, a colorful shrine set in a cliff overlooking the ocean. The shrine is dedicated to the legendary first Emperor Jimmu of Japan. Look out for the breast-shaped rocks which are supposed to have fed Jimmu at his birth. For a bit of luck in your love life, buy a few undama stones and try to throw them at a target in the rocks below the shrine.

The Sun Messe Nichinan is a quirky theme park that mimics Easter Island. It’s a memorable “only in Japan” stop as you continue to drive along the scenic Nichinan coast.

Takachiho in Miyazaki

Photo by: Norio Nakayama Explore Takachiho gorge.

Learn some Japanese mythology

Hidden away in the mountains inland, Takachiho is a region where ancient Japanese mythology comes alive. Legend has it that this is where the gods descended and made land on the top of Takachiho-yama—the beginnings of Japan. You can visit Takachiho Shrine to watch the traditional kagura dances during which masked locals perform the stories of Japan’s unruly gods.

Takachiho-kyo is a breathtaking V-shaped gorge lined with sheer cliffs formed by a double volcanic eruption at volatile Mount Aso. You can view the chasm and the spectacular Manai waterfall from either above, along the walking trail, or from below in a traditional rowboat.

Check out the locations below to start planning your trip.

Places to visit

Amano Yasugawara Power Spot

The secret gathering spot for gods where the sun once hid from the Earth.

Obi Castle in Kyushu

Obi Castle Town

Kysuhu's little Kyoto has a big history.


View of Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge

Row, row, row your boat gently down this magnificent gorge.

Aoshima

Aoshima

Eat. Pray. Love.


Amano Iwato Shrine

The cave of the sun goddess.

Takachiho Shrine

See the dance of the gods at this cedar-shrouded shrine.


Sun Messe Nichinan

Japan's own replica Easter Island.

Udo Jingu

A storybook shrine.

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