Best Places to Visit in Miyazaki

Takachiho gorge Miyazaki Kyushu

Miyazaki Prefecture is located along the southeastern coast of Kyushu Island. It is known for beautiful mountains, coastal scenery, and the warm climate. Miyazaki offers important sites related to Japanese mythology. Here are places to visit and things to do in Miyazaki. 

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Takachiho Gorge

Located in northern Miyzaki Prefecture in Kyushu Island, Takachiho Gorge is a v-shaped valley almost 100 meters in height and about 7 kilometers in length. This place has even appeared in Japanese mythology, and known as a power spot which is filled with spiritual energy. The impressive Manai Waterfalls in the Takachiho Gorge have been selected as one of the 100 top waterfalls in Japan!

There are two ways to enjoy the gorge: One is to walk along the paved pathway that runs beside the gorge. You can enjoy beautiful views all along the way and the trail leads you to the observatory deck which is in front of the Manai Waterfalls. 

The second way to enjoy the gorge is to rent a rowboat which is big enough for three adults. The water is very calm and easy to navigate. The boat ride offers a close up view of the cliffs and the waterfalls, and this is physically and mentally relaxing experience. During summer, the gorge is lit up until 10pm. 

How to access Takachiho Gorge

From neighboring prefectures, Kumamoto and Hakata Stations, there are long distance buses with direct access to the Takachiho Gorge.

Form Miyazaki Station, take express train to Nobeoka Station, and take local bus to Takachiho Gorge (about 2.5 hours). 

Udo Shrine

The main hall of Udo shrine is set in a cave on the side of the cliff overlooking the Nichinan Coast. The shrine is dedicated to the father of Emperor Jimmu, the mythical first emperor of Japan. The visitors come here to wish for good marriage and safe delivery of a child as well as to enjoy the spectacular view of the ocean. Outside the cave, on one of the rocks below, there is a target marked by a rope into which people try to throw small ceramic balls called “undama” which you can purchase with 100 yen. Landing undama inside the target brings you luck. 

How to access Udo Shrine

From Miyazaki Station, take Miyako bus and get off at the Udo Jingu bus stop (90 minutes). 10 minute walk from the bus stop to the shrine. 

Heiwadai Park

The park was built in 1940 for the 2,600th anniversary of the ascension of Emperor Jimmu, the mythical first emperor of Japan. Inside the park you can find the Peace Tower. The tower was constructed with stones sent from all around Asia and symbolizes a united world.

Another interesting feature of the park is Haniwa Garden. Haniwa is burial clay statues depicting animals, warriors, dances and houses, and in the Haniwa Garden there are over 400 replicas of Haniwa statues. During Kofun Period (3rd to 6th centuries), Haniwa statues were made for ritual use and buried with the deceased as funerary objects.
Inside the park, you can also find a restaurant which offers panoramic views of Miyazaki City, ponds, large lawn areas and play grounds for children. 

How to access Heidawa Park

From Miyazaki Station East Exit, take a bus bound for Heiwadai Park, get off at the final bus stop (30 minutes). 

Aoshima Island

This small island is located at the southeast coast of Miyazaki City which is connected to the main land by a bridge. The island is famous as the top surfing spot in Kyushu where you can enjoy surfing all year around. The beaches of the island are popular for many people during summer and the Aoshima Shrine, which stands in the center of the island, attracts those who wish for good marriage. 

Around the island, at low tide, you can see the geological phenomenon known as Oni no Sentakuba (Devil’s washboards) which is the naturally formed perfectly straight rows of rock. 

How to access Aoshima

From Miyazaki Station take the JR Nichina Line to Aoshima Station (30 minutes). 

Kirishima Mountains 

The Kirishima Mountains, consisting of about 20 volcanic mountains, lie on the border between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. The mountains offer wide range of trekking courses suitable for beginners as well as for more experienced hikers who would like to walk along the ridges of the mountains. 

The Karakunidake course is one of the most popular trekking courses and takes about 5 hours to complete. The Karakunidake is the tallest of all Kirishima Mountains (1,700 meters in height) and offers breathtaking views. It was named because it is said to be able to see Korea from its peak. A crater lake situated at the highest altitude in Japan can be found on your way to the top. 

Another popular hike is Takachiho-no-mine which top is located at 1,574 meters and takes about 2.5 hours to complete. It is popular because of its historical and mythological background as well as its scenic beauty. 

How to access Kirishima Mountains

Although there are 2 to 3 buses daily which run between Maruo Onsen to the visitor center via Ebino Kogen, the best way to access Kirishima Mountains is to rent a car. 

Enjoy Shochu

Shochu is Japan’s oldest distilled alcoholic beverage with over 500 years of history, which originates from southern Kyushu Island. Shochu was first produced using sweet potatoes, introduced to Kyushu in early 1700s. Today shochu is made from variety of ingredients including rice, buckwheat and brown sugar. Shochu can be served in various styles; it can be enjoyed hot or cold, with or without garnish, or mixed in a cocktail. 

Miyazaki is the heart of shochu production in Japan and the top prefecture in the country for shipment quantity. There are as many as 40 distilleries (!) in the prefecture and together they produce a wide range of different brands. Shochu can be enjoyed at almost any restaurants and bars in Miyazaki. 

There are some shochu factories where you can see and learn the process of shochu production. Kirishima Walk Factory in Kirishima Factory Garden offers a tour inside the shochu factory with a Japanese guide. The Kirishima Factory Garden also features Kirinokura Museum where you can learn about ingredients of Kirishima shochu such as sweet potatoes and water, a restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine, and shops where you can purchase shochu, beer, sweets made with schochu and shochu related items including glasses. 

Kirishima Walk Factory
Tours offered at 11am & 1pm (reservation required)
Free admission

How to get to Kirishima Factory Garden

From Miyazaki Station take JR Nippou Main Line to Miyako-no-shiro Station. Take taxi from Miyako-no-shiro (about 10 minutes). 

Where to stay

How did you think about Miyazaki? In Miyazaki you can enjoy ocean as well as mountains in a warm climate with delicious cuisine accompanied by glasses of shochu. We hope you enjoy Miyazaki. 

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Happy traveling!

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