South Kyushu: a refined spiritual location where
myths originate

In the beautiful nature of South Kyushu, there are countless locations where legends and stories of gods remain. Let’s take a look around the spiritual locations of South Kyushu where these myths still live on.

Japan’s foremost spiritual location for visits from the gods Takachiho

Requests for marriage come true at the solemn and ancient shrine to the gods Takachiho Shrine

This is a shrine to the three generations of Himuka, a succession of gods that are said to have come down to Takachiho and to reside in Himuka (currently Miyazaki prefecture). The solemn atmosphere of the main shrine sends a shiver down the spine. It is said that the gods here bless farming and marriage, and can ward off evil.

Address:
1037 Mitai, Nishiusuki, Takachiho, Miyazaki
Entrance fee:
Free
TEL:
0982-72-2413

Couple cedar

Couples and lovers hold hands and walk around these trees three times in order to get their desires for marriage, family safety and offspring prosperity fulfilled.

Japanese Myths and South Kyushu

Japan myths centering on the gods and emperors usually refer to the stories found in Japan’s oldest books of history from the 8th century, such as the “Records of Ancient Matters” and “Nihonshoki.” One of the major Japanese myths is the legend of Tenson Korin, in which the gods descended from heaven to control the chaos on earth, which is said to have been in Takachiho. Until the first emperor, Jimmu Tenno, was enthroned in Yamato (now Nara prefecture), it is likely that most myths were set in what is currently Miyazaki prefecture, which is supported by the innumerable legends regarding the gods in areas all over South Kyushu.

A healing and mystical location of natural beauty and legendary waterfalls Takachiho Gorge

This mystical location of healing was formed in the ancient eruption of Mount Aso. The sight of the famous Manai waterfall flowing into the valley is enough to cleanse one’s heart. In addition to the mythical Ten Manai, which is the source of the waterfall, there are numerous other such mythical locations in the area, such as Onokoro Island, Tsukigata and the Kihachi Power Stone.

Address:
Oshioi Mitai, Takachiho, Nishiusuki, Miyazaki
Visiting charge:
Free
TEL:
0982-73-1213 (Takachiho Tourist Association)

Legends of the supreme god of Japanese myths still remain Amano-Iwato Shrine

In the Legend of Amano-Iwato, which is a famous mythological scene, Japan’s supreme deity, Amaterasu Oomikami, unable to endure the behavior of her brother, was driven into a cave. That cave, “Amano-Iwato,” is an object of worship in this shrine. A commanding atmosphere permeates the grounds of this shrine, which is littered with mythical sites.

Address:
1073-1 Iwato, Takachiho, Nishiusuki, Miyazaki
Entrance fee:
Free
TEL:
0982-74-8239

A cave filled with power from eight million gods Amano Yasugawara

This cave is a ten-minute walk from the Amano-Iwato shrine. In the Legend of Amano-Iwato, this is the location where eight million gods assembled to discuss what to do about Amaterasu Oomikami, who was hiding in the cave. The mystical nature and the legends of gods seem to imbue the cave with a great power.

Address:
Iwato, Takachiho, Nishiusuki, Miyazaki
Visiting charge:
Free
TEL:
0982-74-8239 (Amano-Iwato shrine)

The famous sea of clouds where the grandchild of Japan’s founding father viewed the country Kunimigaoka

This is the legendary hill from which the grandchild of Japan’s first emperor, Jimmu Tenno, carried out a national inspection (viewing the geography of the country from a high point) when governing Kyushu. This popular viewing spot thrives from autumn to early winter, when people come to see the early morning sea of clouds.

Address:
71-3 Oshikata, Takachiho, Nishiusuki, Miyazaki
Visiting charge:
Free
TEL:
0982-73-1213 (Takachiho Tourist Association)

Yokagura: A deep all-night festival held in Takachiho during winter

In this deep Shinto ritual, each community in Takachiho calls on its own gods by performing thirty-three musical performances (songs and dances dedicated to the gods) throughout the night. All of the mythical and legendary gods appear in this deep festival. The 20 communities carry out performances sequentially from mid-November to early-February. Tourists may also follow the due procedures in order to observe the performances. A summarized version of Yokagura can be seen at Takachiho Shrine every night of the year.

●Yokagura at Takachiho Shrine

Address:
1037 Mitai, Takachiho, Nishiusuki, Miyazaki
Visiting charge:
Adults 700 yen; Elementary school students and below Free
Hours
From 8PM (approx. 1 hour)
Closed:
N/A
TEL:
0982-73-1213 (Takachiho Tourist Association)

Enjoy this viewing spot South Kyushu is a picturesque spiritual location

Another mythical place of the gods Kirishima Shrine

The setting of the legend of the descent of the grandson of the sun goddess is said to be Mt. Takachihonomine, which rises in the Kirishima mountains on the prefectural border between Miyazaki and Kagoshima. The ancient Kirishima Shrine was established in the 6th century at the foot of the mountainis dedicated to Ninigi-no-Mikoto, who is the main character in the legend of the descent of the grandson of the sun goddess. In the beautiful grounds, where the red colors of the main shrine shimmer against the green trees, these myths continue to passed down even today.

Address:
2608-5, Taguchi, Kirishima, Kagoshima
Entrance fee:
Free
TEL:
0995-57-0001

●Seven Wonders of Kirishima
Local people talk of the sights and legends known as the “Seven Wonders of Kirishima” that can be found in Kirishima Shrine and the surrounding area, including the purifying river shown in the photo, which dries up between November and April, but is filled with water around May.

Spiritual island filled with southern vibes Aoshima Shrine

This shrine is in the center of Aoshima, where subtropical plants grow in abundance. Yamasachi-hiko and Princess Toyotama, whose romance is told in legends, are deified here, and are said to bless marriages, childbirth and safe voyages. It is also known for the ten unique Shinto prayers, including paper strings that are attached to the sacred Couple Trees.

Address:
2-13-1 Aoshima, Miyazaki
Entrance fee:
Free
Hours:
Presentation area: 5:30AM to sunset (6AM from November to February)
TEL:
0985-65-1262

Charge up on the power of nature at the base of a beautiful waterfall Ogawa waterfall

This waterfall in south Kagoshima has a drop of 46m and a width of 60m. Just lazily gazing at the emerald green base of the waterfall while listening to the background noise from the mountain stream has an extremely soothing effect. The cliff face also has a mysterious geometrical design that looks like it is floating. This is a spiritual location that integrates with nature to charge up your power.

Address:
Nejimekawakita, Minamiosumi, Kagoshima
Visiting charge:
Free
TEL:
0994-24-3115 (Minamiosumi Project Promotion Department) *Entry to the waterfall walkway is prohibited from November 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016 due to construction work. Viewing is possible from the viewing platform.

Picturesque scenery and historical romance Saitobaru Kofungun

This is Japan’s largest area of ancient tombs, in which more than 300 tombs from the end of the 3rd century to the first half of the 7th century occupy an area 2.6km by 4.2km. You can also explore inside the tombs, which are seeped in an eternal romance. It is also known for the scenic beauty in which nature and the ancient tombs harmonize.

Address:
Miyake, Saito, Miyazaki
Visiting charge:
Free
Hours:
Free admission (inside tours of the tombs between 10AM and 5PM)
Closed:
N/A (closed to inside tours of the tombs on Mondays; closed the following day if Monday is a national holiday)
TEL:
0983-43-6230 (Saito Guide Center Konohanakan)

Nature has produced the character for “fulfil“ Cross Sea

Erosion from the waves has made cross-shaped rocks and the adjoining cliffs look like the Japanese character for “fulfil,” so there is a legend in this beautiful location that your wishes will be fulfilled when you visit. On the viewing platform overlooking the coast, there is a bell that symbolizes purification of the heart and entrusting one’s wishes to heaven.

Address:
Hososhima, Hyuga, Miyazaki
Entrance fee:
Free
TEL:
0982-55-0235 (Hyuga City Tourism Incorporated Association)

Kagoshima Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

100 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 11※

From Nagoya Chubu Airport

85 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 4※

From Osaka International Airport

70 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 7※

Miyazaki Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

110 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 12※

From Nagoya Chubu Airport

80 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 3※

From Osaka International Airport

65 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 7※

*Information correct as of November 19 2015

Details correct as of end of October, 2015.

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South Kyushu: a refined spiritual location where myths originate

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