Experience Japan’s regional areas in-depth

Discover a land of myth and legend, telling the story of Japan’s origin, just 2 hours from Haneda Airport.

The sun is shining on the sea of clouds
The sea of clouds in Kunimigaoka in Takachiho, also featured in the Michelin Green Guide

The origin of Japan has been passed down as a creation myth since ancient times. The country was created by deities. According to legend, the place where these deities descended is Miyazaki Prefecture, located in the southwest part of Kyushu. As such Miyazaki Prefecture has several places relating to these deities throughout the land.

Fresh streams flowing

Takachiho, located in the northern edge of Miyazaki Prefecture, is said to be the very land of Tensonkorin (the descent of sun goddess Amaterasu’s grandson from heaven). Fresh streams flow along the complex terrain, created by an eruption of Mt. Aso, forming beautiful gorges.

People dancing

Deities that made the country have been worshipped at the shrine and people have dedicated a dance called Kagura to them every year. The dance is performed at night at Takachiho-jinja Shrine and 33 programs still exist.

You can reach this wonderful land of Miyazaki in a little less than 2 hours from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. If you leave Tokyo in the morning, you can enjoy a stroll around the homeland of Japanese myths in the afternoon and a Kagura performance at night.

An example of a trip between Tokyo and Miyazaki

Travel south along the beautiful coastline from Miyazaki Airport and your wishes will come true in a beautiful scenic spot!?

A scenic train of JR Kyushu runs
Inside the scenic train
Limited express sightseeing train “Umisachi Yamasachi”

“Umisachihiko” ,who appears in Japanese myths, is a deity that lives by fishing in the ocean. “Yamasachihiko”, a younger brother of Umisachihiko, is a deity that lives by hunting in the mountains. The train that runs along the Nichinan coastline in Miyazaki Prefecture, the land of myths of these two deities, is a limited express sightseeing train operated by JR Kyushu, “Umisachi Yamasachi”. This train is unique in that its interior uses plenty of “Obi” cedar, which was used for Japanese-style ships. The fresh scent of nature soothes you as you board the train.

The main shrine in a natural cave

The “Udo Shrine” in Nichinan City is a unique shrine where the main shrine was built in a natural cave. If you look down at the sea from the front of the shrine, you will see a rock called Kameishi (turtle rock). It is said that if you can throw a special stone called an undama into the square-shaped hollow on the turtle’s shell, your wish will come true. The deep-blue ocean and a reef of strangely-shaped rocks spread beyond the steep cliff, so how about experiencing this amazing view and testing your luck at the same time?

A scene and the inside of the aquatic sightseeing glass bottom boat cruising the venue

Get on the “Marine Viewer Nango”, that departs from Tonoura Port facing Hyuganada Sea, and you will be able to fully enjoy the beautiful scenery made up of tropical beaches and small islands. The engine is turned off while offshore and you can see the view beneath the sea through the bottom of the boat. The colorful underwater world of creatures, including red coral, yellow and black pennant coral fish and blue sapphire devils, spreads through the glass, letting you feel as if you are diving while still on the boat.

Grilling fresh bonito on a metal grill
Fresh bonito is also delicious grilled

If you have come all the way to a place by the ocean, you want to enjoy the taste of seafood as well. Bonito caught with the “Ippon-zuri” (pole-fishing) technique, which does not hurt the body of the fish, is said to be the freshest of all. Miyazaki Prefecture has the largest catch of fish caught with the “Ippon-zuri” technique in Japan. Search on the “ANA EXPERIENCE JAPAN” website for information on delicious local restaurants. You will definitely find one you like.

Marvel at evergreen trees. Travel a little further to Aya-cho Town and taste delicious food from the mountains in a rare forest!

A suspension bridge over the gorge

Aya-cho Town is located close to the center of Miyazaki Prefecture and about 80% of its total area is covered with forests. In 1982, a 250m-long, 142m-high suspension bridge, one of the highest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world, was built over Ayakawa Gorge.

The area around this bridge is made up of an evergreen forest of fascinatingly beautiful shades of green. While evergreen forests are found from the southwest part of Japan to Taiwan, Yunnan Province of China and on the slopes on the south side of the Himalayas, they grow in very limited places in the world and there are actually only a small number of natural forests remaining. The large-scale evergreen forest at Ayakawa Gorge is a primeval forest that cannot be found anywhere else.

Evergreen trees
Evergreen trees

Do you think all the trees in Japan change their colors in autumn? Actually, some trees in Japan do not. The evergreen tree is another name for the evergreen broad-leaved tree. Evergreen forests produce different blessings to those that change colors. The number one blessing is without a doubt, trees whose leaves grow thickly even when it gets cold. A natural promenade continues for about 2 km along the slope of the mountain ahead of the suspension bridge, where you can enjoy a stroll, taking in the evergreen trees with your senses.

Locally raised chicken being grilled

There is plenty of good food, too. The whole town of Aya-cho is working on organic farming and the vegetables are sold as high grade produce in department stores in Kanto and Kansai regions. The taste of Aya-gyu beef, Aya-buta pork and Aya-jidori chicken is also exceptionally delicious. Search on the “ANA EXPERIENCE JAPAN”website for information on delicious local restaurants. You will definitely find one you like.

Kyushu has lots of other attractive spots in addition to the culture, nature and blessings from the ocean and mountains that can only be experienced in Miyazaki! Find a destination that appeals to your senses on “ANA EXPERIENCE JAPAN”

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Check out the cultural experiences available in the countryside! Do not miss useful information.

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