Part of the Kyushu prefecture, Miyazaki is located on the south eastern part of the Japanese island, and is one of the well known beautiful and scenic destinations in Japan. If you ask anyone if they have been to Japan, the answer you will get is yes, and where have they visited? Nine out of 10 people will tell you Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
My objective here is to provide you with some exciting new destinations around Japan, and in this article, Miyazaki in Kyushu Island is one of the recommended places to visit. Why you may ask, simply because this place offers some of the more natural attractions, compared to the usual Japanese modern city, food and anime.
One of the most beautiful gorges in Japan is call the Takachiho Gorge, which is said to be formed by an volcanic eruption which created 100 meter high cliffs. This destination is highly recommended for adventure and nature lovers, where abundance of flora and fauna can be seen at this national park.
Hikers will also discover a beautiful natural waterfall called the Manai Waterfall which holds an interesting Japanese mythology that dates back centuries. Overall, the Takachiho Gorge is a wonderful place for photography and seeing a greener side of Japan.
Address: 〒882-1103 Miyazaki-ken, Nishiusuki-gun, Takachiho-chō, Mukōyama
To Get Here: From Miyazaki City, it takes about tow hours drive one way. A train will take you about three and a half hours to get here.
The unique stone statues at Takanabe Daishi. Photo Takabotach Tourism.
Takanabe Taishi or Daishi
A unique place where you can find over 700 Buddha statues and other religious monuments near the Mochida ancient burial mounds. The statues were carved by the late Yasukichi Iwaoka, who devoted his half a lifetime to this feat and took 40 years to carve the statues here.
His main reason for doing this amazing feat was to appease the souls of those buried in the mounds after a series of grave robberies that took place here. You can find sculptures of Fudo Myoo, Inari Okami, Twelve Yakushi Nyorai, Juichimen Kanzeon (11-faced Kanzeon), Amaterasu Okami, Susanoo no Mikoto and various other small statues at this place.
Address: Takanabe-cho, Koyu-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan 884-0000
To Get Here: Driving here will take you about 1 hour from Miyazaki City, and it is recommended to use the coastal scenic road.
Sunmesse Nichinan (Easter Island Moai Statues)
If you ever wanted to see the world famous Easter Island statues, and cannot go to Easter Island, this is your next best place to visit Sunmesse Nichinan is situated along the Nichinan coastline and on top of a small hill overlooking the sea.
These seven replicas of the original Easter Island Moai statues are 5.5m high, and legend says that if you touch the second Moai statue from the right, you will be blessed with wealth and fortune. And if you touch the third statue from the left, you will be blessed with luck in love. Truly one of the amazing places to visit in Miyazaki, Sunmesse Nichinan is not to be missed by any traveler.
Address: 〒887-0101 2650 Oaza Miyaura, Nichinan-shi, Miyazaki-ken
To Get Here: You can take a 65 minute bus ride from the main Miyazaki Station and get off at Moai Saki town. From there, it is a short walk up the small hill. There are restaurants, souvenir shops and some beautiful scenery to be seen.
Beautiful flowers at the Ikoma Plateau in Miyazaki. Photo Wiki Commons. Public Domain.
This beautiful plateau is located at an altitude of 550m and offers some amazing views of the Kirishima Mountains and also the Kyushu mountains. Known for the spring and summer seasons, the place is very famous as a flowery plateau, but there are flowers available throughout the year here.
For anyone who loves flowery places, gardens and beautiful landscapes, the Ikoma Plateau is where you should be headed. In the spring season, you will find Field Mustards, Pansies and Iceland Poppies blooming, while in the summer, expect lots of Sunflowers, Salvia, Crape Myrtle and American Hibiscus.
Address: On the Miyazaki Prefectural Road 1, which goes from Kobayashi City to Ebini Plateau
To Get Here: It will take around 80-90 minutes by bus from the Miyazaki Station. If you are driving, it will take you about one hour from Miyazaki City.
Hours: 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Admission ¥520 per person
Aoshima Island, photo by Nuofi.
Aoshima Beach Park and Aoshima Island
One of the most famous beaches in Miyazaki is located at Aoshima Island where the beach is on the south side of the island. This is one of Japan’s very popular local beach and is usually crowded with people throughout the year. Though not your regular white sand beach, the attractions around here make it a different experience.
Over here, there are also quite a bit of things that you can do, like visit the Aoshima Shrine on the island which can be accessed by walking over the Yayoi Bridge. And there is a famous Onsen or Japanese hot spring located on the island, which is highly recommended.
While exploring the main area, you can find the Aoshima Beach Park, a beautiful botanical garden, and along the inner beach road, you can find many restaurants, cafes, hotels, a shopping mall and souvenir shops that clearly say Aoshima is a tourist destination.
Address: Aoshima Beach, Japan, 〒889-2162 Miyazaki Prefecture, Miyazaki, Aoshima
To Get Here: From Miyazaki City, it is only a 30-minute drive to Aoshima Beach and Island. A bus in the same direction will take yo about 40 minutes one way.
Yatogi Waterfalls at Osuzu Nature Park
The Yatogi waterfalls are listed as one of the Best 100 waterfalls of Japan, and located in the Osuzu Nature Park in Miyazaki. This waterfall is quite amazing as it has a height of 73 meters, and a perfect place for nature and adventure travelers, not forgetting to take some amazing photographs.
Overall, a journey here would be purely nature related, where you can do some camping, hiking and trekking in the nature park. Many who visit the Osuzu Nature Park are mainly seeking a true Japanese nature experience, and you can be sure that you will have some of the best here as this nature park is well known for one of the best scenic places in Japan.
Address: Osuzu Prefectural Park, 〒889-1201 Miyazaki Prefecture, Koyu District, Tsuno, Kawakita
〒889-1201 Miyazaki-ken, Koyu-gun, Tsuno-chō, Kawakita
To Get Here: From Miyazaki, it is a 90 minute drive to the park, and is the best way to get here.
Scuba Diving at Miyazaki
If you are into the sport of scuba diving, you will be pleased to know that Miyazaki in Kyushu is one of the best places in Japan for this as the prefecture borders the Hyuga Nada Sea. The coastline is filled with abundance of marine life and is also rich with coral life.
Dive operators can be contacted where they can pick you up from the airport of anywhere in Miyazaki City to bring you for your dives. Here, you can choose for a beginner dive experience or if you are a licensed scuba diver, you can take the various dive packages which also offer night dives. A standard dive will cost around USD$70-80 per person.
There are 10 dive sites located around the Oshima Island, which is roughly about 1.5 kilometers from the mainland. From Miyazaki, it will take you about 1.2 hours drive to the main harbor area of Oshima Ferry Terminal. In Miyazaki, there are a few dive operators which you can make you booking from and a few more in the Aoshima beach road.
Where: Nobeoka, Aoshima, Oshima Island and Nango area of Miyazaki.